I had never been here before, been to Melbourne a couple of time in the past but I had never even visited. Training this week was hard; we came from a great last ball win in Perth and had to work hard on staying honest with our training as the heat and tiredness from the last game had taken its toll, on me at least. Heading out to fielding training in the middle was pretty special. The Great Southern Stand, not looking so 'Great' anymore as the new stand is a whole lot bigger, it is still so impressive; we could do with something like this in NZ, obviously not as big, but certainly as intimidating . The near vertical seating looms so high above you and you know they have a great view no matter how high they are up.
We won the toss and bowled again. We're playing on a used wicket, as we did in Perth; this suits us as we don't bowl as quick as the Australians and we have two of the best spinners in One Day cricket world; we're playing on decks perfectly suited to our current style.
Millsy was amazing, his first six overs went for 12 runs and picked up the heavy hitting Warner in that spell for just two runs off 11 balls. He is bowling really well at the moment and is leading the attack with the experience he has, questioning our plans and deliveries regularly, making myself a better player. This was the start we needed, it kept them in check and it showed us the lengths and variations we needed to bowl to be successful. Timmy picked up Hadden and we were right on top. Haddin's welcome to the 'G' was one I won't forget. He's had a tough week after the Broom dismissal in Perth, and lets clear one thing up right here, Dan never called him a 'cheat.' OK! Haddin, an Australian was 'booed' onto the ground. I never ever thought I'd have ever heard that; sure there might have been a few Kiwis in the crowd, but not all of 'Bay 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15' could be Kiwis! Interesting to see how the Aussie public viewed the whole drama.
I came on to bowl in the 12th over, still with the field up and started pretty well. I had been bowling well in the nets, hitting areas I had been asking of myself and had taken a lot of confidence into this match. I was bowling to my fields and then had a bit of a meltdown, it didn't cost me much, but it could have. We have plans to certain batters and I know these pretty well and have studied them and revised them plenty going into this series. All of a sudden I started bowling to Clarke not to plan. This meant the field was wrong for my areas and I leaked a three and a four in an area that wasn't patrolled as strongly as where I he should have been hitting. Don't ask me why, I can't tell you, but I owned up to it this morning in the review, and quite rightly, got a good stern telling off from Millsy. I'm learning, and fast!
I came back for the batters power play for the two overs from one end and was really happy with how I bowled in this 'scary' time. No wickets for me this time, but no boundaries either and we we're getting the feeling that we were well in front of this one.
Dan, again, was inexpensive and together with Jeets we stayed on top of them by bowling good areas and fielding well.
I was back for the 'death', three overs into the light wind that was cooling things down out there for us. Hussy and Clarke still out there and we needed a couple of wickets so we could, hopefully, drag back the score that was attainable by them. Guppy, out in the deep, pulled off a great piece of fielding from a Hussy hit off me. A slower ball which was hit high to Guppy at long on, it was touch and go as to it making the fence and him catching it, in the end, both happened. Gups caught it and with the momentum he had ended up over the rope, but flicked the ball back in before he touched the ground, turning a six into just a two. Genius! Next ball, I had Hussy, another slower ball, a real gamble, and Dan took a good catch at mid wicket.
Next over I picked up Clarke on 98, bowled him off his pads. I had hit him square on the toe the previous ball, and he had some time to recover from that, they hurt, a lot. Next ball he charged me to the leg side a little and I just bowled it as fast as I could into him, took his pad and into the top of middle. I was pretty happy with this one especially as it's never nice having hundreds scored against you. In my ten overs I only went to the boundary once; pretty happy about that too.
We then went out and put together a really strong and disciplined chase. Baz, at the top, was 'bloody minded' and stayed out there and gave us a great base to work from. Rossco, again, was brilliant, his runs were match winning. Elliott was amazing; his new One Day high score in a great chase at the MCG. The pace of his innings and the control he showed was what has been brewing in him for a while. And happy for him too as he has just started up a 'bat' company and this was the first time he got to use it, all stickered up out there in a One Dayer.
Another great feel when the winning runs were hit over the boundary. Elliott and Broom out there hugged and celebrated us on the side line hugged and celebrated. We're two nil up in a five match series. Who'd a thought! What a great feeling. A couple of quiets in the changing room, but not too many as we have to travel the next day and play in Sydney the day after that. Quick turnaround is required and we can't afford to take the foot off the gas. We'd love to win the series here in Sydney and celebrate it in style!
And to my club mates at home, nice job this weekend Petone Riverside, great win boys!
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