November 28, 2001

Turner toils long and hard for elusive fifth wicket

Wellington bowler Ash Turner said today that trying to pick up his fifth wicket in Canterbury's second innings was like trying to get his first first-class wicket.

He waited long enough to join the list of bowlers who have taken five wickets in an innings on debut.

After Canterbury went to stumps on day two at 59/4, with Turner having all four wickets it was into the final session today before he got there.

Canterbury's batsmen yielded only one wicket in the two sessions before team, and it didn't go to Turner, it was just after the tea break that he finally got the fifth, century maker Aaron Redmond bowled for 101.

Soon after Canterbury declared and Turner had five for 66 from 26 overs.

"I was nervous to start with bowling to players like Chris Harris and Gary Stead, but I am rooming with James Franklin and I asked him how I should go about things.

"He said to me that these guys all play club cricket and just to treat them as club players. I was nervous for a wee while until I got my first wicket [Redmond caught in the gully for one]."

In the second innings after Franklin had batted for more than a session, Turner was given the new ball.

"I enjoy bowling with the new ball. It was doing very little off the seam so I wanted to use the new ball for swing. I didn't use it too well to start with, I was a wee bit wide.

"But I bowled with more aggression in my second spell when I bowled with the wind at my back. I just thought to myself, 'bowl straight, they'll miss and I'll get the wickets.'

"It was hard to motivate yourself as a bowler out there because it was so flat but Gadgie [Andrew Penn] was at mid-off and he kept pumping me up and patting me on the back.

"I thought I would only bowl three or four overs in the spell but the adrenalin started pumping when I got the wickets and I was stoked.

"I spent all day today looking for that fifth wicket and it was like trying to get my first first-class wicket. I thought I had Harry [Harris] plumb at one stage but [umpire] Doug Cowie said it bounced just outside leg," he said.

But there's no time to rest for Turner. The man he replaced, Iain O'Brien is expected to be fit for the next match, and there are other bowlers like Mark Gillespie, Mayu Pasupati and Paul Hitchcock waiting for the chance.

But for today, Turner was enjoying his day in the sun.