Watling waxes lyrical over Wagner


BJ Watling lauded the bowling performance of Neil Wagner, who finished with 6-106 to revive New Zealand's hopes of defeating Australia in the second and final Test at Hagley Oval.

Having made 370 in the first innings, the Black Caps were staring at the likelihood of a huge first-innings deficit with Australia going along nicely at 438-4.

However, a sustained spell of short-pitched bowling from Wagner proved hugely effective, with Mitchell Marsh, Adam Voges, Peter Nevill and Josh Hazlewood all falling to the left-armer, who had dismissed Joe Burns and Steve Smith on day two.

Australia reached 505 all out, having lost their last six wickets for 67, but remain in control as New Zealand closed 121-4, still 14 runs behind.

"He almost gets faster the deeper he goes into his spells," Watling said of Wagner. "He's done it for us on many occasions.

"Today he got his rewards. It was just a fantastic effort by him to do that for so long. For a fast bowler to do that for about 25 overs is a pretty special effort.

"We've definitely got a few players in the shed left to try and get a total for us. It's great that Kane [Williamson] is still out there and Corey [Anderson] is coming off a good first innings.

"We're definitely backing what we've got to put a total on the board and however many that is, we're just going to have to come out with the ball and try to win it."