New Zealand legspinner Ish Sodhi created a first-class record during the Plunket Shield encounter between Central Districts and Northern Districts at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Monday.
Sodhi, who has played 14 Tests for New Zealand along with 15 ODIs and 12 T20Is, picked up 7/107 for Northern Districts in the Day-Night encounter which was played with the Pink Ball. The leg-spinner became the first New Zealand bowler to claim a first-class five-wicket bag with the pink ball.
The 24-year-old Sodhi was in fine form as he broke a solid 91-run opening stand to give Northern Districts a much-needed breakthrough.
He ran through the lower-middle order in style as Central Districts ended on 272/9 declared, with Greg Hay top-scoring with 90 and backed up with 72 from George Worker and an unbeaten 51 from Adam Milne.
In response, Northern Districts got off to a terrible start as they were reduced to 28/4 at stumps on day 1, with Seth Rance picking up all four wickets to finish with figures of 6-2-6-4.
Ish Sodhi’s 7/107 was the second time he had taken this haul in first-class cricket. In the 2015/16 season of the Plunket Shield, Sodhi had taken 7/102 for Northern Districts against Otago at the University Oval in Dunedin.
The 2016/17 season of the Plunket Shield will see several matches played with the Pink Ball.
The venues will be Seddon Park in Hamilton, Eden Park in Auckland and the Westpac stadium in Wellington. There were plans to conduct the Plunket Shield under lights in the 2015/16 season but it could not be achieved due to logistical issues in some venues.
Sodhi on song
The 2016/17 season has been good for Sodhi. In the recent Big Bash League, Sodhi was one of the star performers for Adelaide Strikers.
In Adelaide’s last league game against 2015/16 champions Sydney Thunder, he picked up 6/11 to dismantle the side for 101 to give the Strikers a 77-run win.
Sodhi’s haul was the second-best in the history of the Big Bash League, behind Lasith Malinga’s 6/7 for Melbourne Stars against Perth Scorchers.
His great form has been noticed by English County Nottinghamshire and the club have signed him on for the 2017 Natwest Blast T20 tournament. The tournament will begin from July 7 and conclude on September 2.
Speaking on Sodhi’s appointment, Nottinghamshire head coach Peter Moores said: Ish is a young player whose game has really moved forward. He’s growing fast and we’re really excited to have him. He’s not been to England before, so he is an unknown quantity for our opposition and we’ve seen the impact leg-spinners can have in T20 cricket.”