James Neesham made a dream return to international cricket by smashing 34 runs in an over for New Zealand in the first ODI against Sri Lanka at the Bay Oval on Thursday.
The Kiwi all-rounder’s pyrotechnics (unbeaten 47 off 13 balls) propelled his side from 322-6 at the end of the 48th over to 371-7 after 50 – the Kiwis went on to win the game by 45 runs, with Neesham taking 3-38 as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 326.
Batting first, Neesham, playing his first ODI since June 2017, displayed some clean hitting as he sent the first two balls of Thisara Perera’s last 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 more.
The free hit was sent to the Bay Oval roof.
Neesham was denied six sixes as Perera finally got it right with a low full toss that went only for a single.
Here’s the video: