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…..

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tour of New Zealand 2013 - part 4

Queenstown - Final warm up match before the 1st Test

It is a well known scientific fact that the England Cricket team never does anything the easy way. In fact it has also been empirically proven beyond all probability that the England team, will on occasion AND without warning, either defy the laws of cricketing physics and logic, or do a Derren Brown-type social experiment and almost by magic, force many of us loyal fans pull our hair out in fits of frustration. Indeed there is a secret mathematical formula for this scientific problem, also known as 'Gower's declaration against the West Indies conundrum' for teaching the ability to England captains and their team to grab defeats from the jaws of victory.

Queenstown cricket ground - 'It's a bit nice'

It was all looking so very good - and I'm not just talking about as stunning a backdrop to a game of Cricket one could ever hope for.  The cricket ground at Queenstown is rather nicely nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the sprawling ridges and mountains of the Southern Alps and is about as picturesque a place to watch gods own game as you can get. That is,  if you like that sort of picturesque thing.

No, I'm talking about the state of the match at the beginning of the 4th and final day. England had declared their second innings overnight at 256-9, setting the New Zealand XI 334 to win. Thus giving us the opportunity to bowl out the opposition and give us a bit of a boost before the first Test match next week - no problem then. Well, actually there was, because the cheeky and cunning New Zealanders had come to an all-together different conclusion and try to win the game themselves - tricky beggars.

BJ Watling being a bit annoying & scoring lots of runs
For one thing, the England bowlers in his occasion failed to deliver, with Graham Onions in particular coming in for a bit of stick conceding 82 runs off 16 wicket-less overs as New Zealand reached their target with still seven overs of the day remaining. There were notable knocks from BJ Watling and Hamish Rutherford which were key for the hosts, with the wicket keeper finishing with 89 from 122 balls, which included eight fours and two sixes. Rutherford, who will definitely figure in the first Test, got the innings off to the best start with 33 off 42 balls.

So depending on which publication you read today - its either the end of the series right now with England returning to the bad old days of cocking tours up before they had even started, or it's all just a 'blip' on our road to regaining the number one status back from the Saffers. Lets go for the latter then eh?

The ' lets be phlegmatic about this', or in other words,  the getting our excuses in first, section

1) For a start this was the first time the our boys had lost a first-class tour match since 2006. If any of you reading this are sad enough to think about researching actually what the last game we lost was, don't bother, it was the eight-wicket defeat against an India Board President's XI in February 2006. Yes I'm that sad and looked it up.

2) England - were without rested front line seamers James (Golden god) Anderson and Steven, erm, Finn. 

3) The New Zealand XI featured 10 players with international experience with five of their team in the squad to face England again next week in the first of three Tests in the series. On the one hand that's a good excuse for why we lost, they have some good players then. However it could be a bad thing for next week's Test match, because they have some good players then.

4) We've had the chance to have a look at a few of their players, particularly their batsman. Well at least  Graham Onions did with the amount of runs he conceded in the match as they ran past him.

So lets not panic eh?

To be honest, my main concern is the fact that the New Zealand cricket board flatly ignored my emails asking if the games could be played at British daylight time - a bit rude of them I thought. Particularly as it was a well thought out argument regarding my not being able to stay up and watch the whole proceeding live as I have to get up for work. Disappointed.

My prediction for the series - 3 nil to Captain Cook and the boys.

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