The Kiwi all-rounder was back in his national colours for the first time since June 2017, and played a pivotal role in the win against Sri Lanka by smashing 34 runs off Thisara Perera’s over.
Jimmy Neesham made a dream return to international cricket by smashing 34 runs in an over for New Zealand in the first One-day international (ODI) against Sri Lanka at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, on Thursday.
The Kiwi all-rounder blasted five sixes in Thisara Perera’s over enroute his 47 not out from 13 balls, which saw the hosts post 371/7, their seventh highest ODI score of all time. In reply, Sri Lanka started well to compile 211 runs for the loss of thre wickets in just 32.3 overs, but then wickets fell at regular intervals to see them eventually reduced to 326 all-out in 49 overs.
It was the 49th over of New Zealand’s innings that Neesham went full-ballistic, as the ball went for 6, 6, 6, 6, 2nb, 6, and a 1, much to the delight of the crowd. Watch the five sixes here:
Neesham’s insane power-hitting is now third on the list of most expensive overs ever in the ODIs, behind Herschelle Gibbs’ six sixes against the Netherlands and Perera’s 35 runs against South Africa, and tied with AB de Villiers’ efforts against the Windies.
Perera now has the dubious honour of having both struck and conceded 30-plus runs in an over. He had bowled well until then, maintainig figures of 9-0-46-2, but the fateful over meant that he finished with 10-0-80-2.
Neesham, playing his first ODI since June 2017, displayed some clean hitting as he sent the first two balls of Perera’s over flying over mid-wicket, before the third went straight back down the ground for six more.
The fourth delivery was also smoked over mid-wicket for a maximum.The fifth delivery was a waist-high full toss and was called a no-ball, as Neesham took two runs by running.
That kept him on strike for the resultant free-hit, which was promptly dispatched to the Bay Oval roof. He was, however unfortunately denied six sixes as Perera finally got it right in his last ball with a low full toss that went only for a single.
The 28-year old’s batting strike rate of 361.53 is the world-record for anyone facing more than 10 balls.
Neesham’s hitting came after 138 from Martin Guptill, 76 from Kane Williamson, and 54 from Ross Taylor. Guptill was eventually adjudged man-of-the-match, having crossed 6000 ODI runs alongside making his 14th hundred in the format.