Baby bonus spurs Boult to hat-trick

Taranaki Daily News - - Sport - Mark Geenty mark.geenty@stuff.co.nz

Trent Boult didn’t know if wife Gert was watch­ing on TV with their new­born son, but the Black Caps spear­head was happy to credit them for his stun­ning in­ter­na­tional cricket re­turn.

Barely a month af­ter be­com­ing a fa­ther for the first time, the world’s fourth-ranked one-day in­ter­na­tional bowler de­liv­ered a hat-trick and man of the match per­for­mance in New Zealand’s 47-run win over Pak­istan in Abu Dhabi.

‘‘The lucky charm. He must have been watch­ing in the early hours of the morn­ing back home. I haven’t caught up with them [fam­ily] yet but I’m sure they’re pretty happy,’’ Boult said.

Af­ter Danny Mor­ri­son against In­dia in 1994 and Shane Bond against Aus­tralia in 2007, Boult was the third Black Cap to snare an ODI hat-trick.

With his eighth, ninth and 10th de­liv­er­ies Boult re­moved a strong trio of Fakhar Za­man, Babar Azam and Mo­ham­mad Hafeez to crip­ple Pak­istan’s in­nings at 8-3.

‘‘My role is to run in and pitch the ball up and swing it around and try to take wick­ets.’’

Trent Boult

They were even­tu­ally dis­missed for 219 as New Zealand went 1-0 up in the three-match se­ries with their 12th suc­ces­sive ODI vic­tory over Pak­istan.

‘‘My role is to run in and pitch the ball up and swing it around and try to take wick­ets. We’re al­ways aim­ing to get a cou­ple at the top in that first power play,’’ Boult said.

‘‘When the hat-trick ball came around I was try­ing to make him [Hafeez] play and get the ball on the wick­ets. It was nice for it to swing back a lit­tle bit and trap him in front, a pretty cool feel­ing.’’

The Hafeez wicket was his favourite, a lethal in­swinger trap­ping the vet­eran in front in an ideal hat-trick ball.

Fakhar’s was a good one, too, as he played all around one and was bowled, be­fore Ross Tay­lor jug­gled then held a sharp grab off Babar at a wide first slip.

Boult ended with 3-54 af­ter his dev­as­tat­ing first spell and the pace trio did the job, with Tim Southee (1-31) ac­cu­rate and a hos­tile Lockie Fer­gu­son (3-36) adding an­other di­men­sion with a welldirected short bar­rage.

Hav­ing lost the Twenty20 se­ries 3-0, the New Zealan­ders wel­comed back their No 1 striker from pa­ter­nity leave af­ter one first-class match and two one­day­ers for North­ern Dis­tricts.

‘‘I’ve had a pretty quiet win­ter, prob­a­bly four months off, away from cricket. The sum­mer pretty much starts here for me. I’ve been in the gym do­ing the things I need to do to make sure my body’s right. The rhythm felt good tonight.’’

With a full se­ries against Pak­istan, then a packed home sum­mer be­fore the In­dian Pre­mier League and buildup to the World Cup in the UK in June, it’s an in­tense run from now on.

Boult’s per­for­mance was a re­minder – if we needed one – of his im­mense value to the Black Caps and, along­side cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson, the man they could least af­ford to lose at the World Cup.

Af­ter the T20 se­ries went to form so did the ODIs, with New Zealand back in their favoured for­mat and con­tin­u­ing their stran­gle­hold over Pak­istan in 50-over cricket.

Tay­lor (80) and Tom Latham (68) car­ried on from last sum­mer an­chor­ing the in­nings of 266-9 with late cameos from Southee and Ish Sodhi avert­ing a mini col­lapse against legspin­ner Shadab Khan (4-38).

Now they can close it out back at Sheikh Zayed Sta­dium early to­mor­row and clinch a third suc­ces­sive ODI se­ries over Pak­istan in the UAE af­ter 2009 (2-1) and 2014 (3-2).

‘‘They’re a qual­ity side and the big chal­lenge is to come over here and beat them in con­di­tions like this,’’ Boult said.

GETTY IM­AGES

Trent Boult, right, com­pletes his hat­trick against Pak­istan and Tim Southee, left, and New Zealand cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson rush to join the cel­e­bra­tions.

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