Fast bowler Neil Wagner was once hailed as an “inspiration” on Wednesday after he shrugged off the pain of two broken toes to help bowl New Zealand to victory in the first Test. A Shaheen Afridi yorker fractured two toes in Wagner’s correct foot all through New Zealand’s first innings but, surviving on painkilling injections and grit, he bowled 21 overs in Pakistan’s first innings and 28 in the second one for a match haul of four wickets. Wagner crucially removed Fawad Alam for 102 all through a marathon 11-over spell late on the fifth day to snuff out Pakistan’s hopes of a surprise victory. New Zealand eventually won by 101 runs, 27 balls from the near.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said it was once an implausible performance, even supposing Wagner’s heart was once mannered known inside the team.
Pakistan skipper Mohammad Rizwan said: “I just told him he is mad. He is a different guy. His attitude is everything, his aggression is very beautiful.”
Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali also said he had “enormous respect” for Wagner. “I said that to him — that is what it means to play for your nation,” Azhar said.
“I think he is showing that and he is an inspiration, we all know he is got not one, but two, broken toes and he is fighting for his team.
“He was once giving 100 percent and perhaps more than that, so I have a enormous respect for him.”
Williamson said trying to receive the most out of Wagner before the painkillers wore off was once a unique situation.
“People talk approximately the size of his heart relating to what he (most often) does on the cricket field but to have a few broken toes, and he is in numerous pain and going off to receive injections and numbing his foot, and we’re trying to use him,” Williamson said.
“It was once very, very special from ‘Wags’, one the team appreciated. We needed him in the market and he delivered.”
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