A little bit about me and my little blog

This is by far not the first cricket blog to be written and it certainly won't be the last (or necessarily the best). But it's mine.

This is mainly an excuse for me to carry on about a sport that has been something of an obsession since I was knee high to a middle stump. An obsession which has never left throughout the many highs (behave, there have been some) and lows (and boy have there been many of those…..) of being and England cricket fan in the years since.

The views and opinions in this blog are entirely my own. Sometimes light-hearted, occasionally irreverent, hopefully never offensive.

What gives this fool the right to have an opinion on this great sport? Where are his credentials I hear you ask? Well I think my catch at mid-on in the inter-house final at Heath Grammar school in 1981 speaks for itself…..

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Tour of New Zealand 2013 - part 2

At the time of writing this entry I'm in my sick-bed with flu. No, not man-flu. Flu. The whole family have possibly the worst bout of the stuff that we've ever experienced and as I was to first to have it, and in essence, introduced it to one and all, I'm the one to blame apparently. The hate filled venom that I see in their flu-dripping faces whenever I ask if they're OK is plain to see. It didn't help that the doctor informed my wife that the bug had mutated to its worst state from me through to her - I fear for my safety.

In fact I feared much more when I asked if I could have the remote control for the TV to watch the highlights of England's T20 warm up match against a New Zealand eleven, the cries of derision from my wife and daughter were almost deafening. For you see, they don't particularly like cricket....... Strange, I know. The fact that I tried explaining the T20 isn't really proper cricket didn't seem to wash. So much so that I, my cough, my sneezing, my headache, and my iPad were all banished to bed. Sky go on the iPad it is then.

Final T20 (not proper cricket) warm up match. 
New Zealand XI v England

I have to admit that the Cobham Oval cricket ground in Whangarie is beautiful. A good sized crowd in there too, bathed in sunshine, drinking beer and clearly enjoying themselves. I think I hate them.

Joss Buttler - being a bit good
England's innings of 170 was reasonable enough, though this being T20 the innings had its fair share of Keystone Cop run outs and peculiar shot selections that resembled my own range of shots when I used to play - the difference being that I was actually trying to play proper shots, they just looked strange. The stand-out section of the innings was when Jos Butler came together with Eoin Morgan in the middle. The two brought in their good form from the previous game, adding 87 runs in 8.2 overs, 23 runs being smashed in the final over, before Buttler, who made an unbeaten half-century in the previous match, was
dismissed for 51 off 31 balls by Neil Wagner.

So the batting on the whole doesn't seem to be an issue. The bowling on the other hand............
On the plus side the return of Stuart Broad was a much need reminded reminder of how good he can be with wickets and a stunning catch off the bowling of Finn in the 17th over. 

Broad confuses Dernbach after bowling 2 straight deliveries in a row

On the minus side, well when Samit Patel is your most economical bowler you know there are problems to sort out. Jade Durnbach for one continues with his cunning method of trying to confuse opposing batsmen by bowling one excellent delivery out of 20 outright crap ones.

At one stage it looked like the Black caps would cruise to victory, However, ( feel free to choose your description of choice here) ;
1) England made a strong comeback, taking three wickets in seven balls to give themselves a shot at victory. 
2) New Zealand almost grabbed snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and made sure of a last-ball finish in a thinly veiled attempt to please the home fans.
Either way Ronchi and Latham were dismissed in the penultimate over by Captain Broad and Dernbach then dismissed Doug Bracewell off the first ball of the 20th over. It was all getting rather tense and even I was temporarily taken in by the possibility that we might wine the thing until Matt Henry and Andrew Ellis decided to score the required runs in the final over.

So lets not be fooled eh? Yes the final ball finish made it a little exciting for the crowd and the rest of us watching, but the poor bowling performance has to be a cause for concern. The total we posted was more than defendable - but thanks to Finn & Tredwell having a bad day and Dernbach being, well, Dernbach, things definitely need to improve in the attack. If the cricketing sage Nick Knight is to be believed then old Jade's place may well be in jeopardy. 

And on that bombshell of Nick Knight actually stumbling on a sentence that I agree with, I'll leave it there for now…….well at least until the 1st T20 International takes place on Saturday.

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