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Vettori has little time to reflect on 300 wicket milestone

March 8, 2015

NAPIER, New Zealand (AP) — In the hurly burly of a World Cup campaign, Daniel Vettori does not have the time to reflect on his achievement of becoming the first New Zealander to take 300 wickets in one-day internationals.

Vettori achieved the mark in his 291st match when he took 4-18 in a Man of the Match performance which led the hosts to a six-wicket win over Afghanistan on Sunday.

The 36-year-old had not anticipated reaching the milestone during this tournament. He now has 12 wickets, behind the 13 of teammates Trent Boult and Tim Southee. They are the top three wicket-takers of the World Cup, reflecting New Zealand’s dominance with the ball.

“I suppose I went into the World Cup not really thinking about that milestone,” Vettori said. “I actually didn’t believe I would take this many wickets in this few games.

“It will be something nice to look back on but we are caught up in the middle of a World Cup, there is an important game on Friday and then probably the most important game of our careers (a quarterfinal) the following Saturday. Maybe in a month or so’s time there will be a chance to look back on it.”

Vettori joined teammates on Saturday in watching Pakistan upset South Africa in what might have been a match between New Zealand’s prospective quarterfinal and semifinal opponents. Depending on the outcome of remaining pool matches, New Zealand might face Pakistan in the quarterfinals on Saturday week and, if they win that, South Africa in the semifinals a week later.

“You get through to those knockout stages and that’s where it really starts,” Vettori said. “All the teams that eventually make it (to the quarterfinals) have got match-winners in them, so you can’t sit back and say a team’s on form or hasn’t played well, because you’ve got to go into thinking a team is going to play their best.

“You look at the caliber of players that South Africa have, look at Pakistan as well, India, anyone that we come up against in that quarterfinal is going to be a tough opposition.”