While Neil Wagner might occasionally let you down, he does frequently pick up a few wickets from a long and determined spell when no-one else is really making any inroads

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As Australia’s batsmen dominated New Zealand’s bowlers, there was only one thing left to do: call for Neil Wagner and ask him to bowl 25 overs of short-pitched bowling.

Neil Wagner isn’t perfect, but if you’re looking for donkey work strike bowling (can that be a thing?) then he’s your man. It’s-going-to-take-a-while-to-strike bowling maybe – that’s his niche.

Unlike Brendon McCullum, Wagner’s best isn’t perhaps all that exceptional, but he will keep striving for it. If he’s been banging it in and finds himself with 0-58 off 16 overs, he tends to think: “Right, I’m going to really bang this one in.”

At this point, he’ll be hit for four. Wagner’s response to that will be: “Right, I’m going to really, really bang this one in,” and when he then takes a wicket, he’ll take this is as confirmation of his method.


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  1. Back to these cryptic titles again. How am I ever going to know whether to continue reading or not?

  2. Pithy.

    I don’t mean “helmet-like”, nor indeed “having the characteristics of fruit pulp”. Now that I think about it, I don’t mean “pithy” at all. “Not pithy”, that’s more along the lines of what I’m trying to get at, in all three senses.

    Went to a pub quiz last night. Which chemical element derives its name from the Greek word for stranger? What name was given to the senior magistrate in the Roman Republic? There was also a nice picture question, where we had to guess the name of a band from a picture of a man with a cello, a vacuum cleaner and a head torch.

    That’s the level of quiz we go to – none of your, “Who starred in a million episodes of Coronation Street” stuff. Although, one question was “How many bottles turned up on the beach in that Police song?” We came fourth, and owing to the unique way the quizmaster works out positions, were only beaten by six teams.

    1. I knew the 1st answer to the Greek question and guessed the answer to the Roman one. I spent a sleepless night worrying about a cello, a vacuum cleaner and a miner’s lamp. Elizabeth Dyson is quite famous and plays cello, Dyson makes vacuum cleaners and recently acquired a company run by another Mr Dyson which makes head torches. One of the range of Dyson vacuum cleaners is called a V6 Motorhead, am I warm?

      1. I have no comment on your temperature.

        Here is a clue. The man has a cello. That makes him an orchestral man. He has a vacuum cleaner, thus he hoovers. And he is wearing a head torch, implying that he is in the dark.

        As a final clue, it’s not China Crisis.

      2. Equally admiring of this genius. OMG!

        If you google ‘cryptic band names quiz’, there are at least half a dozen image results which if clicked upon will ruin your life, and not in a downloaded-porn-onto-work-PC kind of way…

  3. I expected just such an article, having seen Neil Wagner taking six-for in a damage limitation exercise.

    I now demand an article on how England are the world’s worst limited-overs side.

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