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Wagner thrilled at Test wicket milestone

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/11/2016 Daniel Gilhooly
Neil Wagner © AAP Image/Dave Hunt Neil Wagner

Neil Wagner is pleased he hasn't knocked a New Zealand cricket legend out of the record books after racing to 100 Test wickets.

Fiery left-arm paceman Wagner reached the milestone in his 26th Test when taking 2-21 against Pakistan on Saturday, swinging the first Test New Zealand's way with a crucial spell on day three.

Thirteen Black Caps had reached the milestone previously but only one had done so quicker - Sir Richard Hadlee, in 25 Tests.

"I'm more than happy for Sir Richard Hadlee to keep that because he's just an absolute legend," Wagner said.

"In my wildest dreams I never thought about getting 100 wickets so pretty pleased and stoked.

"Which ever way I can play a part for the team and just contribute and deliver, I'm happy."

A fringe selection early in his Test career, the Pretoria-born Wagner has become New Zealand's most potent bowler.

His 34 wickets in the calendar year is the eighth most in the world and come at an average of less than 22.

Proven new ball pair Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who both took 29 Tests to reach 100 scalps, have played second fiddle to Wagner, who has honed a method based around intimidating short-pitched bowling.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur could see Wagner's potential a decade ago, before the player moved to New Zealand.

When he was the South African coach, Arthur's eye was caught by a young Wagner bowling in the nets and doing anything to help the national side.

I'm not surprised to see him doing exceptionally well, he's a whole-hearted trier," Arthur said.

"He kept running in today. I thought he was magnificent."

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