It’s been a while, right... Well, here it is, here’s the last two of the five match One Day Series.
Hamilton’s weather was like the rest of the country when the NZ cricket team arrives; showery! The rain has plagued us the whole summer but mostly in the One Day series’.
We batted first and looked pretty good by getting through to 270 in 47. Another couple of good innings from Baz and Jesse at the top gave us a great start and we probably shoud have scored more from there, although it was a handy score and one we could defend; if we bowl well, that is, which is what we didn’t do again. Millsy was accurate and his figures in the storm that was Sehwag and Gambhir stood out at the top of the innings. My figures took a hammering, again. I still feel like I getting through my bowling pretty well, I’m just not quite getting the accuracy that was needed in this situation. The rain played a big part in the second innings. It cut down the Indians chase, not that they needed it cutting down. With the rate of scoring these two were going at they could have chased down our total in just over 30 overs; it was a bit of carnage out there. In any case, we didn’t do ourselves any favours in the field, a couple of half chances that on another day may have stuck, didn’t. Another amazing display of hitting from Sehwag and good rotation of the strike by Gambgir gave us a 10 wicket loss. That hurt, no one likes loosing, but to get a hiding is a different story.
We moved on to Auckland for the final match in the series and guess what, the rain followed us. Thankfully it stayed away once the match got underway.
We were out for warm ups at normal time but the drizzle came in, the covers went on and we went off. The stands were already virtually full by this point, it was a sell out up here, and it looked like the whole of the Indian community had come to watch the match. With the amazing attendance and noise, you just have to give a big well done the Auckland Indian community. The previous night Rossco and I had gone out to Syliva Park Mall to do a signing at the Canterbury store, our clothing brand. Two thirds of the signatures were for Indian supporters, it is amazing the support they have given to cricket since ‘their’ team has been in town. We were even lucky enough to be offered a curry from the owner of the Spice Trader food court restaurants; he had popped in while we were signing autographs. Very generous man, and a very good curry, thanks! Oh and thanks to the guys at Canterbury, I’m loving my new Warriors shirt!
I had sent Dan a txt in the morning, before we meet up for our team meeting, that I wanted to open the bowling. I really wanted to take the attack to the openers. I had a plan and thought that the earlier I bowl the better it might go. It worked, kinda; wasn’t quite rewarded with the wicket(s) I was after but I did cause some problems, that was till my fourth over; which went for 19. I had the ball swinging back into the Sehwag and was trying to swing it away from Gambhir. For some reason I just couldn’t get my lines right to the ‘lefty’ and bowled to many wides (well, one is too many). My fourth over I was still trying to be aggressive with my lines and lengths, Sehwag came hard back and got the better of me in that over. I then had to retreat to the boundary to, again, lick my wounds and put in every effort in the field. Jake and Jesse came on to bowl and changed the game. Jake took two wickets early in his spell and then Jesse picked up three through the middle order. The game had changed and we were finally in front in a One Dayer; it had been a while. I came back on towards the end and picked up a couple of wickets quite cheaply to finish off the innings. I’ll take the wickets but really it was like painting over rust, made my figures look ok, but there is still some work to do underneath, and I’ll get that work done and I’m looking forward to the next bout of limited over cricket that I get to play!
A chase of 152 and the mood is pretty buoyant in the shed. Baz was bowled early but that didn’t stop Jesse and Guppy taking the attack fully to the Indian bowlers. Jesse was special today, everything just came out of the middle and he looked the class player we know he is; no slogging, just amazing cricket shots. Guppy got into the act too hitting, again, clean cricket shots, some with just beautiful timing. Rossco finished the job with Guppy once Sharma got his man. Jesse and Sharma had had a little run in on the field; nothing to write about, but it was exciting viewing seeing two good players, go hard at each other for a period of time. One player was dominating the other and then, in time, the other getting his own back.
It felt good getting one game back in the series, sure it was a little hollow wining a ‘dead rubber’, but they still need wining. A couple of beers and wines in the changing room, I got one of Sharma’s shirts signed up for an auction for the NZ Foundation of the Blind which will go up in a couple of days and then back to the hotel for a couple more reds.
I meet up with Mikee and Nick from Autozamm (these two wonderful guys had passed on some signed Autozamm albums for me to pass onto the guys, and we’re enjoying them, thanks heaps) a bit later in a bar and meet some of their wonderful friends. I had a great time catching up with these two and meeting the others. I was amazed at how many people I meet had either read or heard of my blog, it’s still a little weird that so many people read it. So, hi to Charlotte (C4), Tamara, Brian (about every good NZ band) and Juliet (Satellite), thanks for a great night! And to you Bridges (Z, C4... etc....), yes I know you’re reading.....
We’re now in back in Hamilton, the rain has stayed away, preparing for the three test series. I’m really excited about this upcoming series. But you’ll hear enough about that over the next few weeks!
I will apologise for not getting this out earlier, it’s been a pretty tough schedule with play, travel and getting enough recovery time to sit and basically just let the brain rest has been hard. It’s not harder to sit down and do these when we lose, quite the opposite really. But I can assure you I’d rather go down the harder route and write about wins......