Series decider for Black Caps
to enter the rooms. There were probably six or seven.’’
Nicholson was in his early 40s, ready and willing. He borrowed some whites from 12th man Danny Morrison and had some warmup catches with Coney. Somehow New Zealand scrambled enough fielders for India’s second innings with an opening attack of Chatfield and Evan Gray, then Bracewell at first change.
Said Nicholson: ‘‘They decided so I wouldn’t get involved that they’d bowl leg stump to a 7-2 on-side field. I was in the covers and Paddy Greatbatch at long-off, so I had about 120 yards of boundary to cover and all they did was step outside leg stump and smash it through the covers.
‘‘Wrighty was walking across the pitch and he burst out laughing. One of the batsmen, Sidhu, had stopped him and said ‘I know who Mr Coney is, but who is the little fat man in the covers?’. That annoyed me a bit because I’d lost a stone and a half because I was crook too.’’
Nicholson’s day one report included pictures of Hadlee’s record wicket from a local TV station, which they filed home at 1am.
‘‘It was a great relief and the crowd went berserk. It was a big occasion for cricket.’’
There was just one photograph of the moment when Kuggeleijn grasped the catch and Hadlee following through, taken by K Gopinathan of the Indian Express. He later wrote how he was mocked by other photographers for his 400mm lens and for snapping every ball Hadlee delivered, having to wind the film after each click.
Hadlee signed a copy for Gopinathan and the picture featured in his book, Rhythm and Swing. Kuggeleijn got a copy too.
‘‘Richard signed it and gave it me, ‘many thanks for sharing a special moment’, and I got it framed and now it’s up at the Lone Star in Hamilton.’’
Hadlee still has the ball and everlasting friendships from that match. ‘‘It’s mounted and has 374 written on it and was signed by Arun Lal and myself. It’s a pretty shoddy looking ball, scarred and out of shape with no seam on it.
‘‘I saw him [Lal] many years later when he came over to do commentary and we were in studios working together. A lovely fella and in many ways he was part of history the same as [Sanjay] Manjrekar was with the 400 [in Christchurch].’’ They’ve been here before and done the job, New Zealand.
But if they’re to win a third successive one-day cricket international series decider in the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan tomorrow, normal transmission needs to resume.
It means two of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham to shoulder the batting burden in Dubai and openers Colin Munro and George Worker to adjust after both made poor decisions in game two in Abu Dhabi.
‘‘They’re not big margins, we showed in the first game that there was some really good work there and a very competitive total, but it’s important we do address the [batting],’’ Williamson said after the Black Caps’ sub-par 209-9 was overhauled by Pakistan with 9.3 overs to spare in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
Taylor top scored for a second successive match, and was 86 not out off 120 balls at the end. Lack of support led to his low strike rate, while Pakistan’s spinners Mohammad Hafeez and Shadab Khan performed the familiar mid-innings strangle.
Two days earlier Taylor anchored the innings and Latham hit 68 off 64 balls as New Zealand’s 266-9 proved plenty. On these sluggish pitches par is 250, anything more and you’re right in it.
Senior men Williamson and Latham are certainly due after their respective misfortune in game two.
Williamson lasted just three balls before Shaheen Afridi’s long arm got a touch on a Worker drive and left him stranded, run out. Latham was Afridi’d too, the teenage quick delivering a yorker Waqar Younis in the commentary box would have been proud of as the left-hander departed seventh ball.
Without the injured Martin Guptill the opening partnership is a work in progress. Munro (13 off 10) crashed Afridi for six then tried to repeat next ball and was caught, judicious shot selection still his work-on in ODI cricket.
Worker (28 off 50) displayed his frustrating tendency to get bogged down early, then charged too hard at Hafeez and got in a tangle.
‘‘We never really fired a shot,’’ said Williamson.
Having won the 2009 and 2014 ODI series deciders against Pakistan in the UAE, this one will provide a test of how quickly the Black Caps adjust in their first big ‘final’ of a lengthy World Cup buildup, a little over six months out.
With the ball New Zealand were playing catch-up, even more so when the first wicket didn’t fall until the 29th over as Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam swung hard.
There was a hint of swing but not for long for game one hat-trick man Trent Boult and Tim Southee. The strike duo went for a wicketless 108 off 19.3 overs, and might tempt Williamson and coach Gary Stead to consider gambling on an in-form Matt Henry for Southee in the decider.
Lockie Ferguson has been the big mover and looks an ever-strengthening bet to be pencilled into the World Cup squad, his pace and hostility a key point of difference.
Having taken 3-36 two days earlier Ferguson took 3-60 in game two, and ended opener Imam-ul-Haq’s night when he rattled his helmet grille. Imam hit the ground then was wobbly on his feet but he was later cleared by scans in hospital.
The ball skidded on under lights and Ferguson was a handful from around the wicket with leg side catchers, a similar approach to Neil Wagner in the tests.
‘‘It’s not something we do all the time but we were so far behind the game we were trying to make a few plays,’’ Williamson said.
‘‘It came at a nice height and a nice speed, and most third graders would have caught it.’’ NZ catch-taker Chris Kuggeleijn
Richard Hadlee in the Bangalore dressing room with his world record test wicket-taking ball in 1988 and, below, saluting the crowd after snaring victim 374.
Pakistan celebrate another New Zealand wicket in Abu Dhabi yesterday.