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If Neil Wagner wanted one scalp out of yesterday's England innings, it was Kevin Pietersen's.
Not even he believed it would happen first ball and leave him sitting on a hat-trick in his fourth test, and first at home for New Zealand on University Oval.
"It was massive. Getting Kevin's wicket was massive in the warmup game [in Queenstown] but getting him in a test is even better. If you asked me before the test, is there any wicket you really want, that was the one," Wagner said.
"We've got plans and that was something that was up there. We knew we had to try and make it count, first ball up make it swing and try and get ourselves in with a shot."
Wagner's inswinger thudded into Pietersen's front pad and he almost walked before the decision was given. It reduced England to 18-3 and New Zealand were away. Ian Bell negotiated the hat-trick ball but Wagner was flying along and he ended with 4-42, his best test figures.
Not that he thought it was anything special as England's batsmen just kept flaying and falling.
"Today was one of those days where it didn't really feel that great but things just happened. I bowled a wide half tracker to [Alastair] Cook and he hit it straight to point. It's one of those days. You get freakish days in cricket where you bowl well and field well but nothing happens and you end up taking 1-100."
England batsman Jonathan Trott, the former Otago player who topscored with 45 in the tourists' innings of 167, conceded they were outplayed.
"It can't get any worse, you can say that. But there's no place for feeling sorry for ourselves or thinking we didn't get the rub of the green because you earn that in cricket, you earn the right to put the opposition under pressure, and we didn't do that today," Trott said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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