Two - nil; who’d a thought. I can honestly say that going into this T20, two match series, that I didn’t think it’d be like that. I had a chat to Dan last night after the match, “Dan, how cool is this? Two nil, you thought we could win it two nil?” Even he thought it’d probably be a ‘one all’ series draw. We sat back and enjoyed the great feeling around the changing room.
We spoke about how often that NZ teams get into winning positions in matches and series and let it slip, last night was the chance to fix that, maybe we’re not the best team on show out there, but we got it done, ugly, pretty, gutsy, whatever, we got it done.
Dan won the toss, again... I just cut and pasted that from my last entry! I keep it on the clipboard to cut and paste in as it seems to be so frequent. We were going to bowl on a deck that looked like it had a little bit in it. There was a match before us on the deck, NZCPA Masters vs the ACPA Masters, and I got to watch a little of it on the TV before we headed down to the ground; the pitch did a little but towards the end it flattened out alright. We expected it to do just little so bowling first was always the best option.
Tim bowled a great first over and I had the second. For some reason I was a whole lot more nervous at the time that I had been for a long time; a home crowd, a big crowd, a noisy crowd and two destructive batters was the recipe that made my heart beat crazily! I tried to make a joke with Jake, to maybe lighten the moment, standing 15 meters away, he couldn’t hear me it was so noisy out there, so that didn’t help. Right then, relax; remember the plan; see the delivery; smooth bouncy run up; feel the rhythm; relax the shoulders; jump strong; hold the front arm; release the back shoulder; feel it off the fingertips and hope it don’t go for six..... It didn’t, just a single but ball three and 5 did race to the fence of Sehwag’s blade for fours. I couldn’t find the lengths I wanted to bowl, that over just didn’t go where it was supposed to go. My next over was better, one run and one wicket from it, and the wicket was Sehwag. I had a quick chat to Baz before this ball, he had come running down with a piece of advice, something we’re asking the senior players to do more of, and, well, the result was handy; not quite the execution I wanted with the delivery but Sehwag was gone and we’re a happy bunch of boys!
My third over of this spell wasn’t quite right either, good bouncer first up to Yuvraj was followed up with a straight half volley, not the best from me, and he, as he should have, deposited me back over my head for a four. Damn, come on
My last over, the 13th of the innings and Yuvraj is still in and being dangerous. I snuck a dot ball in to start, the next one though went a long way, in fact it only just missed my parents in the crowd; honestly missed them by two rows sailing just over their heads! Another dot ball and then what we were after, not the best delivery of mine but with Jake out on the cover fence he wasn’t going to turn that catch down a metre or so inside the rope. There was just one more run of the over and I finish with 2 for 30 off my four. I’m ‘kinda’ pleased with the figures but not with how I bowled overall. I’ll bowl better and can guarantee you that I’ll go for more; I still have so things to work on, but I know what they are and have the opportunity to do so over the next few days.
Dan was very good again and Jesse bowled his four overs for just 18, these two combined meant that we held
Baz, again, was just so special. Jesse and Baz put on 53 for the first wicket in real quick time; Jesse’s six of the first ball of the innings really set the tone for the early chase. When these two boys combine it is one of the most awesome things to watch and with us all watching from the ‘dug out’ we were constantly up and down off our seats in awe and excitement.
Rossco, again (I love using the word ‘again’ in this way, repeating quality performances is one of the big things in our team) was special. Twenty seven off 25 balls in a well paced innings with only two boundaries. He’s showing great skills as a dangerous boundary hitter and in innings’ like this one, the ability to turn over the scoreboard with singles and twos.
Ifran’s second to last over, the 18th, was as good as it gets at this stage of a game. Five runs and two big wickets turned the game right around on its head. Up until then we were going along very nicely and then all of a sudden things started to get a bit tense in the ‘dug out’.
There were then 12 left to win from the last over and Ifran to bowl his fourth; if it’s anything like his last over then we are in trouble. The brothers are out there, Nath on strike, single off the first. Single off the second with Baz on strike; really could have done with a boundary there to calm our nerves. Another single followed off the third ball leaves nine needed from three balls and Baz on strike; we’re not out of it yet! Bang, Baz goes through midwicket, four, we’re all off our seats shouting and clapping. Five off two now and bang, Baz goes to the boundary again, beats the straight fielders to the sight screen boundary; amazing! One off one, field is up and as if to add tension to the moment Baz swings hard and only just, and I mean only just, clear mid off for the winning single. Benches cleared, we’re all out of the ‘dug out’ celebrating, the noise inside the ground was amazing and the noise that we were making was almost as loud.
Last night was the longest time I have ever spent in a changing room, longer than we spent at
Up and off to the gym this morning, a little bit tough to drag myself out of bed, but it had to be done and I feel pretty good for it. We have the rest of the day off before training tomorrow morning here in
I support the New Zealand Foundation of the Blind as a charity; I’ve got two auctions going from now that the Foundation will prosper from, so please bid and bid large. One is my signed shirt from this T20 series and the other auction is Bendon McCullum’s Man of the Match medal from last night’s match winning knock. Brendon will sign the back of it before I send it and I will send a photo with it of McCullum signing it as proof of authenticity.
New Zealand T20 Playing Shirt -Iain O'Brien - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&item=200315119560
Brendon McCullum's MoM Signed Medal - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&item=200315120905
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