New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, who made it to New Zealand’s Playing XI for the first time in over 17 months, had a dream return to the international cricket as he slammed incredible 34 runs in an over during his side’s first ODI against Sri Lanka at Bay Oval on Thursday.
The 28-year-old smashed five sixes, a two and a single in the penultimate over from medium-pace bowler Thisara Perera as he narrowly missed out on the fastest-ever half-century in the ODI format.
Neesham finished with 47 not out from 13 balls to guide New Zealand to the score of 371-1–the country’s highest-ever ODI score of all time–in their stipulated 50 overs.
Perera now has both struck and conceded 30-plus runs in an over. Having started the fateful over with figures of 9-0-46-2, 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 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.
The 28-year old’s batting strike rate of 361.53 is the highest for anyone facing more than 10 balls.