New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner
New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner

Pacer Neil Wagner reached a milestone after he became the second-fastest bowler from New Zealand to pick 200 Test wickets. He achieved this feat in the ongoing Boxing day Test between Australia and New Zealand.

Wagner dismissed Australia's talisman Steve Smith to claim his 200th wicket in 46 matches in the longest format of the game. Legendary bowler Richard Hadlee, who achieved the feat in 44 games--two lesser than Wagner-- remains the first on the list.

Wagner used the short ball, releasing at Smith's hip, who attempted a pull shot just going across off, to find a top-edge over his shoulders, and Tim Southee took a fine catch to complete the dismissal.

Wagner has dismissed Smith in all four innings of the series. The right-hander has scored just 22 runs against Wagner from 116 deliveries (99 dot balls) and lost his wicket each time to a short-pitched ball.Wagner leads the wicket-takers list this series with 13.

The left-arm pacer has been highly impressive in Australia, troubling the opposition with his deathly bouncers. Apart from Smith, Matthew Wade is another batsman who has faced the wrath of Wagner's fiery deliveries in the series.

Despite Wagner's blasts with the ball, Australia is in the driver's seat with a 456-run lead after New Zealand were bundled out for 148, with a remarkable spell from Pat Cummins who picked 5 wickets for 28.

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Free Press Journal