Curran brothers have a good time away from home
In a four-man seam attack that includes two players who have played 184 Tests between them, it was a rookie who grabbed the headlines at the Centurion.
While the rest of the English attack were without match practice, having just recovered from sickness, Sam Curran bowled beautifully to try and justify his captain’s decision to bat last on a deteriorating pitch despite having a batting line up that is as inexperienced as Curran himself. The left-arm pacer finished with four wickets on the opening day of the Test series against South Africa.
Meanwhile, Sam’s elder brother Tom lit up the Big Bash League with back-to-back Player-of-the-match awards for excellent showing with both bat and ball. The pacer notably held his nerve in the super over during the Sydney derby to help his team, Sixers, maintain top spot in the league table.
Archer misses his mark
During the second day of the first Test against South Africa, Jofra Archer delivered two beamers at night-watchman Anrich Nortje, who ended up lasting longer in the middle than the whole of England’s top-order did in the first innings.
While they seemed like knuckleballs that went wrong, the umpires could have easily banned the fast bowler from bowling again in the Test match. The square-leg umpire reasoned that the second knuckleball though aimed for the nose of Nortje, dipped due to the lack of pace and just went over to the stumps. So the second beamer wasn’t called a no-ball and the pacer lived to bowl another day.
He came back on the third day to finish with a fifer, much to the irritation of the hosts.
Cummins picks up a rare LBW
Ranked No.1 in the world, Pat Cummins is the highest wicket-taker in 2019, picking up 59 Test wickets.
However, it took him 400 odd overs this year to finally trap a batsman LBW. Between his previous leg-before dismissal and the LBW of Henry Nicholls, Cummins has picked up 70 wickets.
It must be nice to have a fielding unit that can hold on to catches!
Only Hadlee is better than Wagner.
The relentless Neil Wagner who would aim for the throat of a batsman even on a green pitch under overcast skies, is the second fastest Kiwi to pick up 200 Test wickets. The left-armer got there in 46 Tests, only Richard Hadlee has done it in fewer Tests (44).
Neil Wagner becomes 7th bowler to take 200+ Test wickets for New Zealand; joining Sir Richard Hadlee, Chris Cairns, Daniel Vettori, Chris Martin, Tim Southee & Trent Boult— Fox Sports Lab (@FoxSportsLab) December 28, 2019
Wagner is 2nd fastest NZ bowler to take 200+ Test wickets (46 Tests); behind Hadlee (44 Tests)#AUSvNZ 🇳🇿 pic.twitter.com/Ff5WrLBx8u
To get to the landmark with the wicket of a player of Steve Smith’s calibre by bowling his stock delivery at the MCG is a memory the pacer will definitely treasure.