Black Caps victory a great comeback
The Black Caps played the first ODI against England on Sunday in front of a full house in glorious conditions at Seddon Park.
New Zealand won the toss and Brendon McCullum elected to bowl.
Ian Bell and Jonathon Trott put on a partnership of 84 with Bell scoring a half century.
England batted themselves into a very strong position being 184 for 2 in the 38th over.
With 12 overs to go, and with England in complete control, a score in excess of 300 looked likely.
However, the bowlers stuck to their task bowling good lines, backed up by smart fielding. With the pressure being consistently applied, eventually the wickets started to fall.
The policy of playing several allrounders worked in New Zealand’s favour as McCullum was able to keep changing the bowlers.
Eventually quick wickets fell and England found themselves all out for 259 in the 49th over.
Perhaps the highlight of the innings was a spectacular catch by McCullum.
He had started to move to his left, but the ball had nicked the bat, meaning McCullum had to stop, push viciously off his left leg, dive full length and glove the ball centimetres above the ground.
In New Zealand’s innings, Kane Williamson played a masterful innings, top scoring with 74, before being run out to a ‘‘Yes, no – oh sorry’’ situation from McCullum.
After that, McCullum had to bat well, and did – putting in a real captain’s knock, scoring a wellearned half century.
New Zealand went on to win by three wickets, after the injured Martin Guptill returned and finished the game off with a few lusty blows to the boundary.
Guptill’s injury raises a few question marks as to who will replace him in the remaining ODIs and the tests. If Guptill is not available, I would go for Daniel Flynn or Hamish Rutherford.
I was very glad to see the rowing duo of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray awarded Team of the Year at the Halberg awards.
The award recognises all the hours of hard training over the past four of five years and their unbelievable dominance throughout this time.
They absolutely dominated the race for the gold medal last year, making many people feel proud to be New Zealanders.
Rugby has always been my first choice sport to support, but I was glad that the team of the year award went to some other team other than the All Blacks.
Super Rugby finally arrives this weekend for Kiwi teams when the Chiefs play the Highlanders in Dunedin. This should be a really good game between evenly matched teams.
The other game is between the Hurricanes and the Blues – a clash between the young bucks of New Zealand Super Rugby. Two very exciting games to kick off the rugby season.
Lydia Ko once again proved what a formidable talent she is by winning the New Zealand Women’s Open last week and following that up by coming third in the Australian Open over the weekend.