ESPNcricinfo– In his first international match since June 2017, allrounder James Neesham blitzed Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera for five sixes in an over. He couldn’t make it six in a row, but his unbeaten 47 off 13 balls launched New Zealand to 371 for 7 in Mount Maunganui. Having started the penultimate over with figures of 9-0-46-2, Thisara came away with 10-0-80-2. Neesham nearly broke the record for the fastest ODI fifty, but New Zealand ran out of balls in the end. Here’s how our ball-by-ball commentator Saurabh Somani recorded Neesham’s breathtaking assault.
48.1 NLTC Perera to Neesham, SIX runs, in the slot and bang, a rare bad ball by Thisara, perfectly in Neesham’s arc. He picks it up from off and sends it flat over cow corner
48.2 NLTC Perera to Neesham, SIX runs, similar ball, same result, he’s losing his length and line against the left-hander, been so good to the right-handers. In the slot again and Neesham sends it exactly over the same spot at cow corner for another six
48.3 NLTC Perera to Neesham, SIX runs, Neesham’s on fire Thisara goes straighter, but still doesn’t get the line right. Too full, and Neesham clears his leg to swat it back over the bowler’s head and into the sight-screen
48.4 NLTC Perera to Neesham, SIX runs, ho ho ho, who says Christmas is over Thisara is losing the plot. Full toss outside off that time and Neesham clobbers it over cow corner once again.
48.5 NLTC Perera to Neesham, (no ball) 2 runs, full toss and no-ball for being above waist height There’s a free hit coming up, and New Zealand have 27 runs off the first four balls! That was outside off, and Neesham swung hard at it, but it went only to mid-off
48.5 NLTC Perera to Neesham, SIX runs, good god, someone give Thisara some brandy or something to recover too full again and Neesham can’t put a foot wrong. That’s gone on the roof. I miss Tony Greig on air, who would have done justice to a ball going on the roof and a fifth six off five legal balls in the over. Amazing. Incredible
Long discussion between Malinga, and the bowler. Can he prevent a sixth six?
48.6 NLTC Perera to Neesham, 1 run, no six sixes. managed to not get it quite as that full ‘in the arc, out of the park’ length. Neesham still smashed it, but didn’t get the elevation. sends it flat to midwicket, but the good news is, he’s retained the strike