Cricketer delivers spell-binding over

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An Otago cricketer delivered a record wicket-taking over during a first-class game at the Queenstown Events Centre today.

In the last over before lunch on day three of Otago’s four-day game against Wellington, South African fast bowler Neil Wagner snared five wickets.

He had opener Stewart Rhodes caught off his first ball.

Wagner then clean-bowled Justin Austin-Smellie with his next ball then bowled former New Zealand spinner Jeetan Patel the ball after, to bring up his hat-trick.

Off his fourth ball, Wagner bowled Illi Tugaga.

Former NZ fast bowler Mark Gillespie fended the next ball before being skittled off Wagner’s last ball.

From 136 for four, Wellington slumped to 136 for nine in one over.

Wagner took the last wicket after lunch to finish with a career-best six for 36.

Wellington – 57 for one overnight – finished their first innings at 148 after Otago yesterday declared their first innings at 441 for eight.

The previous best over delivered in New Zealand was in 1929-30, when English bowler Maurice Allom took four wickets in five balls against NZ during a Test in Christchurch.

Commentator Steve Davey says: “This is an incredible performance. There have been five people out in a six ball over before, but that included a run out. Wagner will make world cricket history today.”

Wagner, 25, joined Otago two summers ago with the hope of qualifying to play for NZ.

Eligible next summer, his chances of playing for NZ must have escalated after his miraculous showing in Queenstown today.