Lockie Ferguson brushed aside a fractured thumb to take 12 wickets in Auckland‘s first victory of the season. The 26-year old fast bowler, who took a seven-for in the first innings, bundled out Otago out for 170 and 185 in his side’s 135-run win.
Ferguson, who had suffered the injury while batting against Central Districts last week, prised out six of Otago’s first seven wickets, leaving them reeling at 84 for 7 before Anaru Kitchen (44) and Neil Wagner (39 not out) pushed the side past 150. Ferguson’s 7 for 34 in 15 overs gave Auckland a 43-run first-innings lead.
Auckland’s second innings tally of 277 left Otago with a fourth-innings target of 321. By the third evening, Otago were already struggling at 140 for 6 and the Auckland seamers needed ten overs on the fourth day to wrap up proceedings. Ferguson’s five-for was complemented by debutant seamer Benjamin Lister‘s 3 for 41 and Matt McEwan’s two wickets. The 12 wickets took Ferguson’s tally to 19 after three matches and propelled him to the top of the charts, one wicket ahead of Wellington’s Logan van Beek
The bowlers’ performances meant that Auckland bounced back well despite a first-innings total of 213. Having been put in to bat, Auckland crumbled to 52 for 5 against pace bowler Warren Barnes, and were revived by fifties from Michael Barry and wicketkeeper Ben Horne. The pair added 91 for the sixth wicket before McEwan added quick runs in a 49-ball 41 not out. Neil Wagner wrapped up the tail for his three wickets, while Barnes took 4 for 36 and James Neesham finished with two wickets.
Auckland’s second innings, meanwhile, was hurt by a middle-order slump. Having got to a position of 190 for 2, courtesy fifties from Sean Solia (56) and Robert O’Donnell (84), Auckland lost their next five wickets for only 47 runs. Barnes, Wagner and Neesham were among the wickets again, with Neesham taking 3 for 46.
“Dougie [Bracewell] got me with a decent short one right on the end of the thumb,” Ferguson told stuff.co.nz “I’ve just got a little fracture, nothing to write home to Mum about. It was a bit niggly last week but it settled down and luckily it’s under the nail so not on the part of the thumb where I hold the ball.
“It was just one of those games where everything went my way, definitely in the first innings. In the second we got some early poles and young Ben Lister bowled really nicely and we got into their middle order and then I just bowled to the tail, which is one of my strengths, and we got an early lunch.
“It was nice to see some swing and I was feeling good and few balls where I definitely ramped it up. That’s my job and I was happy to do a job for the boys.”