Sunday, 21 December 2008

New Zealand vs West Indies - 2nd Test - Napier - Day Three

Batting warm ups are great.  We're two down and there's no chance I'll be bowling anytime soon.  I head down early again to get a net in before we start to warm up proper.  Over to Nelson Park to get on the bowling machine and I had a really good 'net'.  Started with some full stuff, which wasn't really going to help me if I get a bat today as they're not going to bowl full to me anyway, then moved onto some shorter stuff, that's more like it.  Felt pretty good, the feet were working and I was seeing it ok.  It's always a lot different out in the middle though.

Watching Timmy Mac bat yesterday was just brilliant.  Watching him bat today was even better.  He was like a barnacle on the bottom of a ship, he just would not budge.  No matter what the Windies threw at him they just couldn't faze him, just couldn't get to him.  All day he just dead batted the good balls, ducked the short balls he didn't want to hook and stroked the fuller one where he wanted.  He looked great and fully deserved this, his first, Test match hundred.

Jesse, again, hit the ball like nobody else can.  He is one serious player and stroked his way to a pretty 57.  We sit back in the changing room watching him bat with awe just wishing we could have as much time as he seems to have. 

Today was a very special day for Dan, but it seems to have slipped by without too much of a mention.  He joined an exclusive club, 200 Test wickets, and 3000 Test runs.  It was a pity more wasn't made of it as this is one amazing club to be a part of.  From me, congrats Dan.  Amazing!

It was my turn to bat and guess who was bowling.  I had a quick chat with Fidel this morning congratulating him on his 100 Test wickets which he completed yesterday afternoon.  A quick chat and a laugh and a "I know what you'll be bowling to me when I bat" thought in my head.  And I wasn't wrong.  First ball, bouncer, I start to get under it, it grazes my shoulder and takes a bit of my helmet and heads down to fine leg, Jeetan and I come back for two.  Maybe I was a little silly coming back for the second, although I'm not backing down from this 'fight'.  Next ball, bouncer, I duck this one better, it sails over my head.  Third ball, bouncer, swayed this one as it was a touch wider.  Actually starting to feel quite good, I was picking the ball up early, even in the gloomy light, and felt sure in getting out of the way of the short stuff.  Fourth ball, I was expecting this one to be full and almost set up for a drive; Iain, don't premeditate, it only gets you in trouble!!  It wasn't full, another short one, and a late duck gets me under it quite safely in the end.  Last ball of the over, this one has to be full.  It was, thudding into my pads.  I felt it was heading down and was surprised they referred the 'not out' decision.  Third umpire agreed, not out. 

For the first time in a while I ended up with a not out.  These are, normally, good for the average, that's when you get runs that is.  My 0 not out does nothing for the average but I do take confidence from innings like that every time a short ball passes me by without leaving an impression.

I was given the new ball.  And it didn't go very good at all.  Four overs for 33 is not how you want to start an innings.  But that is what I've gone and done.  I've bowled a touch to short and gave Chattergoon to much width.  That's the consistency that I just can't keep for the whole match.  It's a learning lesson though, and straight after the days play I chatted to a couple of guys, got some feedback and will go into tomorrow with a target to get those figures back in my favour.  And maybe, just maybe, four wickets; but I won't get ahead of myself there though!


Judi said...

I, for one, was waiting for Dan to score those last 29 runs. I even set the alarm for 4am and was cheering from the UK. Did you hear me? I'm glad to hear that the Black Caps are making a big thing of it. Now for those next 15 wickets.

Many thanks, as ever, for a fascinating inside view, Iain.

Nadeem said...

Hey Iain

Nadeem from Canada, just wanting to thank you for keeping this blog. Its wonderful to see a test cricketer share his experiences with the world. I love Kiwi cricket, keep up the good work and wish the boys all the best from me!


Anonymous said...

It's a shame we blew getting a massive lead, with BMac and TMac at the crease I thought we would almost certainly score 400+...not to be I suppose.

Those 2 wickets at the end of the day really helped us...well bowled Jeetan and Dan! Get Gayle out early tomorrow and we are right in the mix!

Again, if you can get Chanders out at any stage i'll shout you a case of beers :P Not that I don't rate you, I just don't rate ANYONE getting him out.

Good luck today mate! Knock em over!!!

Ram said...

Whats your take on the Powell fight?


Lush L Panther said...

Hey Iain,

Full credit on all your success. But don't rest I want more...

I'm really enjoying seeing an honest hardworking fellow get great results.

I remember you at Petone College... quipping that my mediocre 90km deliveries were average.. I agree not quite right but not bad for a girl.

I'm a very proud ex old teacher. You and your brother, as well as the guys that you hung out with then, have all been self motivated and driven. The best group I've had the honor of knowing.

You're a great role model.

Take care
Linden Eagles

Phil said...

Don't worry too much about your consistency, that will come with experience. Just as long as you recognize quickly when you are dropping it too short and change things to get back to line and length.

BeautifulBron said...

I read this with soppy sister tears in my eyes. I remember when we both started playing cricket at in my matching hot pink shorts and t-shirt set....bowling torpedoes (full tosses right over the wicket-keepers head).....and you just being a right pain in the butt.

I love reading your blog...and I love watching you on TV....every time I watch you bowl you just seem to be getting better and better....not just with your bowling...but with your game plan as well.....I said to Andy last night "That's my little bro"....hard to see you as an international you are so grounded and never forget where you have come from.

Keep up the good work and we will see you for a yummy yummy curry at Akbars when you are back in the UK

I won't finish with kisses as that will only embarrass you....finish them off tomorrow and have a great Christmas.


Iain O'Brien said...

Thanks Ms Eagles!! And 90kmph, really... that fast!!??

Iain O'Brien said...

And cheers big sis... Catch you soon for that Curry! oh, yes!

Nicola said...

Huge congrats to Dan - what an achievement!
I may be in the UK now too, but I'm still a massive Black Caps fan. So I'm really enjoying reading your blog.
All the best for the last day!!