Days like yesterday hurt. It doesn’t matter that I had a reasonable game as it’s the end result that really matters.
We got destroyed by a team that has, over the last couple of years, played some impressive One Day cricket. Otago have never, generally, been considered favourites in cricket for a long time. We (Wellington Firebirds) went into the match as one of the two stronger teams in the country (us and CD) aware of what kind of cricket Otago can play. If they get their tails up then they are as strong as opposition as there is around. And yesterday they had more than just their tails up.
We had just come off a good close win against a strong Auckland team a couple of days earlier; that was the first win I had been a part of since the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong, it had been a long time! From there and into the gym the day after and training at 10am on New Year’s Day.
No resolutions, as I don’t do them, but I certainly have goals and if you’ve been reading, then I don’t have to mention them all. Apart from the obvious short term one (getting into the ODI team, there, I told you so you don’t have to go back and read...), there are still two Test matches towards the end of this summer, against India, that I am targeting to continue my Test match form.
Obviously, to play or to be in contention to play, I have to be fit. This is often the toughest thing to work with as injuries can just happen, freak things or general wear and tear over the course of what will be a longer season than I have previously been involved in. It started all the way back in Chennai on a NZ ‘A’ tour to play against India ‘A’ (a series we won too!). So the gym plays a big part in me staying strong physically, and the stronger I am physically the less likely that I fall to pieces. The problem with that is the gym sessions are tough and trying to work them into a full week of training and playing and also trying to get the rest needed to recover is the fine balance that we’re always looking for.
Anyway, back to yesterdays match, although the less said about that the better, maybe!
We batted first after losing the toss; we were pretty keen on batting anyway. It was a better start than we’ve had for a while as we got to 33 before losing our first wicket. This still isn’t good enough, but it’s going in the right direction at least.
A great 82 knock from Flea (Neal Parlane) in a partnership of 142 with BJ Crook, who backed up his last match score of 75 against Auckland with a controlled 65 took us through to 199 at the start of the 46th when they were now both dismissed. In the last five overs of the innings we only scored 20 runs, that’s almost 30 short of what is quite often done at that stage of a innings with wickets in hand. It gave Otago the momentum to take into their batting innings, and boy did they come out swinging and it’s fair to say that, as a bowling group, we didn’t adjust and work the right plan quick enough. It wasn’t really good enough from a reasonably well experienced attack.
Otago knocked the target off inside 40 overs, it gained them a bonus point for getting there so quick, and really put us in our place. My figures, at the end, weren’t flattering. I felt I bowled quite a bit better than they would suggest, not a good as I could have, but I’m heading in the right direction.
Today, the day after yesterdays match, I headed up to see our masseur for a rub; my legs were starting to get a bit sore yesterday afternoon. During training the previous day I had done some extra speed work. I think this may have had some left over effect on my legs going into the match, not at the start, but towards the end of the overs in the field. I’ll either have to get used to it or have a look at the programme that I’m working to and see if we can make some changes.
Head to Christchurch tomorrow to play Canterbury on Monday and then fly back Monday night after the match. This is always tough, so it’ll be a quick pack up, quick shower, compression tights and travel kit on and off to the airport. It’s always a little rushed, but sometimes it’s got to be done; and it does get you home to your own bed (and family) as soon as possible. That’s if you have a home, a flat, or even a place to stay, I’m currently looking for a flat/apartment to rent for the remainder of the summer. I’m Kind a living like a hobo at the moment, skipping from house to house when I’m in Wellington. Not the best situation, but being used to living out of a suitcase it’s not that much of a problem, hopefully something will pop up soon.
That’s two updates in two day, hope you’re enjoying them.