Tuesday, 3 February 2009

New Zealand vs Australia - Perth - 1st ODI

Well, well, well... This will probably be the toughest blog I've had to write. Don't want to get carried away, but .... wow, that's a great feeling; beating the Australians in their own back yard. We arrived here to a newspaper headline, "Even This Useless Mob Think They Can Beat Us." Well, actually, yes we did think we could win, and mate, we did.

That is as good a feeling I have ever experienced in cricket. The elation in the changing room after Dan hit the last ball of the match through the field for the winning run was pure, an amazing feeling. That's the most 'man love' I have ever seen in a changing room. It was just one match in a series of five, but after a game that roller-coasted until the last ball, our loss to the PM's XI and in the heat and conditions that we played in, we were one very happy bunch of boys!

I was nervous, and excited, heading into this match. My last ODI, my first one, didn't go so good; six overs, 1 for 59 in two three-over spells. Not good enough, hence it was my one and only match before yesterday. We lost the toss and bowled first, we probably would have batter first too had Dan [Vettori] kept up his run with the tosses. It was hot, and humid. This was going to be hard work which was part of the reason we were keen to bat first so that we could bowl in the cooler conditions. I passed Shaun Tait as we were walking heading off from warm-ups, just after the toss, he was pretty pleased he didn't have to bowl first up in the heat, and I couldn't blame him. Our 'Dirtys' and management crew did a great job around the boundaries and onto the field with the drinks. The boundary riders got drinks handed to them from the other side of the rope and the inner-circle fielders got drinks run out to them at great pace so to not slow down the play by the 'Dirtys'. These small efforts often go unnoticed but can add so much to the team's performance.

[Kyle] Millsy and Timmy [Southee] started the innings off well with the ball; both had it swinging and gave the openers very little to hit. Warner had looked dangerous since his debut in the Twenty20 v the South Africa; we were certainly weary of his abilities and Shaun Marsh had looked pretty solid. To have them both out within the first nine overs was the best start we could have asked for. Then a piece of brilliance from Neil Broom in the outfield, an amazing throw to run Ponting out was all we could have asked for. And as if lightning doesn't strike twice, Guptill, with an equally great throw, ran Michael Clarke out as he too came back for the second. That's four down, the top four, and we couldn't be happier.

I had started my overs by now and had started pretty well. Two balls stood out in my first spell though, one that went screaming through the covers to the fence and then another that met the fence quickly at midwicket as I dropped too short, with not enough on it, to Clarke after bowling him a good bouncer. A couple of poor follow-up balls, which let the pressure off, frustrated me.
Four-over spell to start with. Then I came back for a two-over blast and then finished up with four overs in a row at the end of the innings.

I have been bowling for Wellington in the batting Powerplay and have felt like I've done pretty well, I wanted to bowl in it for NZ too and I got my chance. My three last overs were in the Powerplay. Hussey and Hopes were in and it was time for them to take the attack to us. We had done quite a bit of scouting on both of these guys for this time of the innings so we had our plans pretty well-set. And it worked. I picked them both up in the first Powerplay over much to my, and our, relief. Both these boys are dangerous and by dismissing them pulled back the total that we would be chasing. Huss and Hopes were caught inside the ring, both mid-on and mid-off were up and that was the gamble, it worked. This Powerplay can work both ways, it's, obviously, a chance to score big runs, but for the fielding team it is a genuine opportunity to take wickets with the batsmen getting a touch more expansive.

We bowled pretty well at the death and Millsy picked up his fourth wicket of the innings, another fantastic performance from one of the world's best.

With 182 to win, it was the worst possible start we could have asked for. Baz [McCullum] was unlucky in the second ball of the innings after getting an inside edge into his pad to be given out lbw. Not much you can do about it. Then we lost Fults and Gup with the score on 25. Three for 25 and Australia have got the start they would need to halt us in our chase. It's not too often you see three slips in a one-day match but with Tait bowling fast and with a little bit of shape Australia had the lot in; attack and leave no questions unanswered.

We were a little nervous up in the shed; we knew it wasn't going to be the easiest chase on that deck. A 39-run partnership restored a little bit of composure to the scoreboard. Broomy and Rossco [Taylor] then put on 42 for the next wicket and we're looking good again, then Rossco and Millsy put on the best 62-run partnership I think I've ever seen and got us within 14 of the 182 we needed. It was here that things started to get a bit twitchy in the changing room. Rossco was dismissed with 12 runs left and 15 balls remaining; now it was going to be tight. I headed out the back of the viewing room to get padded up and ready for whatever scenario was going to be set for me.

Eight down, four runs needed, every chance that I was going to have to bat or at least get out there for a ball or two. I was really quite excited about it, actually looking forward to being out there when the winning runs were going to be scored, possibly having the chance to get them. It's a whole world away but I've had the chance for Wellington in similar situations to get out there and finish a game off with success so I was backing myself to be able to do whatever was asked, bat on ball and run as fast as I can!

I wasn't needed, Jeets, coolly scored two of the two balls he faced and Dan hit the last ball through the field for the remaining run to win. Hugs, cheers, high fives, you name it, we were enjoying it. What a feeling!

We stayed in the changing room till rather late on Sunday night, much to the displeasure of the security that had to stay at the ground till we left. Sorry guys, but we were having fun! We had a travel day yesterday, in Melbourne now preparing for the next match on Friday at the 'G'. I can't wait! Got a few friends to catch up with here, should be a good stay, I'm just hoping the temps stay down a bit!


Brett Dale said...

Congrats on your winning performance, Hope ya bowl as well as you did in the first one dayer.

Leg Break said...

Good read Iain,

But there seems to be a paragraph or two missing between

“Broomy and Rossco then put on 40 for the next wicket and we're looking good again,”


“then Rossco and Millsy put on the best 60 run partnership I think I've ever seen.”

Marshmallow said...

Hahahha @Leg Break, I think Iain is definitely doing the right thing and staying well out of that ;-)

Was great to see you in one day colours again, and what a match! Looking forward to seeing you at the bowling crease again for Melbourne.


Inventory2 said...

Rubbish Marshmallow - he's a blogger, so let him blog about it. Some of us are keen to get an insider's view lol

Cricket fan no.1 (-_-) said...

Awesome match O'Brien brilliant to watch. Just wondering about your views and the teams views on the old Haddin's gloves controversey. Don't worry if you don't feel the need to talk about or don't really care. Great bowling anyway xD. I really enjoy your blogs

Bruce said...

Great win Iain, plenty of controversy which also adds a bit of spice against the Aussies. Go well at the G.

Admin said...

great work iain, if you or anyone would like to relive this ODI, here are the highlights: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/thecrickethighlights/~3/529416204/1st-odi-australia-v-new-zealand-at.html

yeh it was tense. After Ross Taylor got out, I was a bit nervy on your prospects of winning. But then 'Dan the Man' was perfect with the bat to secure the win. Imagine if you guys beat the aussies 5 -0 in this series, would you move to 2nd or even 1st in the ODI rankings?

Anonymous said...

While Iain might be staying well out of it, I definitely am not.

Haddin is a cheat. He sure as hell knew he had dislodged those bails and should have called Broom back.

Bowl him a bouncer Iain and get him between the eyes! FIRE UP!!!

Great win mate, awesome to watch. Hopefully you boys can really stick it to them in Melbourne.

Anonymous said...

Iain, i know you can't say anything about the "haddin" situation but i can say plenty [and so can the rest of New Zealand].

Haddin cheated. Pure and simple. He bumped the bails off before the ball flew into his gloves. There is no way on earth he could not have known he had dislodged them himself.

So heres what we need you to do. When he gets on strike next. Beam the little wanker

btw well bowled the other day. You look right at home with the coloured stripes on :)

Anonymous said...

well played Iain!!! And yes Brad Haddin is a CHEAT!!!

David Barry said...

Hahaha, I will take your silence to mean that you think that Haddin is a cheat. And an unrepentant one, based on his denials the next day.

Beerman said...

Awesome performance mate. I miss you and want your babies when you come home.

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain,

I'm an Aussie who enjoys your blog and also has no affection for my countries cricket team!! I was disappointed with the Aussies again in their handling of the Haddin situation.

The look on his face after it happened said it all, and then to have the nerve to whinge about what Dan Vettori said.

Come on Kiwis for a 5-0 win to put them in their place.

Also congrats on getting back in the ODI team and bowling well. Here's to 10 or more wickets for the series for you!

Brat said...

They caught some of the man-love on camera... Looked like fun ;)

Anonymous said...

Nice blog, Iain, always a good read. From another Aussie on here, yeah the Haddin incident was bloody dodgy.

Anyway, congratulations on the win, best of luck in the series (but, well maybe not too much luck).

matt b said...

Iain, two things. First, getting the inside word on what its like in the heat of international cricket is bloody fascinating. I played a lot of rep cricket in my younger days but never made it to senior rep cricket - getting some insight into what its like at the top level is golden.

Second, I agree with other commenters here. Who the hell does Ponting think he is? YES, the character of your wicketkeeper is being questioned. He cheated. The whole world knows it. This moral high ground horse sh*t simply doesn't work when 9 different replays show Haddin breaking the stumps with his hands and then realising his mistake as he runs past the departing batsman.

I don't begrudge Haddin at all. I'd do the same thing. I'd be there to win. Period. Especially if I was as ordinary at cricket as Haddin is and couldn't seriously expect to last more than a few more games for my country. But this "we are beyond question" bs from Ponting is out of line.

Ricky Ponting said...

Interesting to read your point of view mate. Don't worry - we have the rest of the series already planned out.

You guys now have the longest tail in world cricket.

TopesZZ said...

Hiya Iain,

Keying in from India!
Was hoping to get an insider's perspective to that Haddin thingie...alas!!

Psst - Diplomacy - or saving the insider view for a rainier day when it has all died down....

Anyway, great writing. Amazing temperament for a fast bowler to have the patience to graphically describe the happenings in such detail.

TopesZZ said...

Oooopps is it the Ricky Ponting here??

Has the series planned out ??
By sittting it out?? !!!


Hari said...

Re: the so-called Haddin controversy. Settle down everyone!

Was McCullum cheating when he appealed for a dubious leg-side catch off David Hussey? NO. He thought it might have been out, and he appealed. Umpire made the decision. Done. Move on.

Same with Haddin ... highly dubious if he was out (replays showed it wasn't out)... players not sure ... they appealed. Umpire ruled it out. That's the umpires job. That's cricket.

I'm not sure how egging Iain on to 'beam the little wanker' is going to help. He seems to play his best when he's calm and bowling to a plan anyway.

MrKistic said...

Hari, the problem with Haddin is not that he had a go on the field but when he got off the field and saw the replays, he didn't admit he was wrong. To start with, it should have been a no-ball and nobody should have been out. Then Haddin attempted to re-write the laws of Physics by claiming that even though his gloves were in front of the stumps, the ball still came of the bails into his gloves. Sorry, how exactly Brad? By going backwards?

So even among all of this rubbish, both he and Ponting then get their tails up because Vettori suggested it was a bit of a stuff up and Brad should have known. How can they possibly have a go at Dan when Haddin is clearly in the wrong.

Problem is he's done this sort of thing before, he threw a glove at the ball in India. It's just not acceptable at Test level to be doing such stupid things. Sorry, but Brad is just a bit of a knob.

Anyway Iain, well done on your ODI come back, keep up the good work on the field and on the keyboard.

Randominanity said...


Loving it, every sweet victorious moment of it.

Keep it up and make it three zip in Sydney.

Jon said...

Have just been reading the SMH about the most recent game. O'Brien you're clearly a meance!

Adding to Australia's pain, stand-in captain Michael Clarke earlier copped a nasty blow on the toe from NZ paceman Iain O'Brien, shortly before being bowled for 98.

Nice work!...you'd better grab that next win quick and turn the rest of the series into a dead & oh-so-enjoyable rubber.

Jon said...

Oops...meanace = menace :o)

Anonymous said...

Well done Ian - You are bowling excellently - Nice transition from tests to ODIs!
Go Black Caps - Let your cool black heads prevail!

Mr Buckland said...

I agree with what Hari said about McCullum appealing - do you really think he 'knew' if it hit the bat or not? Of course you're going to appeal.

As for the Haddin case, there was no appeal. He never looks at the umpire and 'asks the question' - he runs off to his mates to celebrate.

I do think it is plain to see that Broom should not have been out, but we are now 2-0 up, and the Broom incident will probably die a death, as it should. I've vented through various means - let's move on.

Great work Iain, with both ball and keyboard. It must be such a great feeling to beat the Aussies and to be in such a positive environment. Long may it continue!