England hero Ryan Sidebottom admitted to being dumbstruck by his stunning hat-trick which inspired his side's fightback on the fourth day of the first cricket Test against New Zealand here Saturday.
With England on the back foot as New Zealand piled on the runs in their second innings in an attempt to force a result, Sidebottom swung the game around in the space of three balls.
He dismissed Stephen Fleming, Mathew Sinclair and Jacob Oram to reduce New Zealand to 115 for six and by stumps they had struggled to 147 for eight, a lead of 269 runs with one day's play remaining.
"I didn't really know what to do, I just ran away like a bit of a headless chicken," Sidebottom said after he became the first English bowler since Matthew Hoggard four years ago to achieve the cricketing rarity.
"I'll remember it as long as I'm alive I suppose. I've never had a hat-trick before.
"To get it in a Test match is more special. I don't quite know what to say to be honest."
Fleming, who had been leading the New Zealand run charge and became Sidebottom's first victim when on 66, saw a positive spin-off.
"It's breathed some life into a game that was meandering along," Fleming said.
"While you'd love to be in a position where you could dictate a little bit more, it's probably the best thing that could have happened -- it's given us the best chance of winning."
He said a total of around 280 would offer opportunities for New Zealand spinners Daniel Vettori and Jeetan Patel and that it would be a"tough ask" to get a result.
"It is going to be difficult. We have still got to get two wickets," he added.