Now, I don’t mind days of Test cricket like those.
We got to Napier on Monday and trained on Tuesday. I had a look at the pitch on Tuesday morning and then, still two days out from the Test match, I was pretty keen for a bat on it. It’s always a road up here; it’s as close to Adelaide as you going to find in NZ. I had another look at the track on Wednesday and I still wanted to bat; so it was no surprise when Dan won the toss this morning and chose to bat first.
We were a little surprised when Sehwag was at the toss with Dan, MS wasn’t to be playing; quick laugh at an overheard joke that he wasn’t playing because Craig McMillan (ICL) was in the commentary box.
We were twenty one without loss after seven overs, not a bad start, and then it all went wrong for three overs. Sharma hit his lengths immaculately from ball one and picked up the first wicket. Mac might have been a touch unlucky, given out caught behind; replays suggesting he didn’t get a touch on it. How, then, a little late on one, chopped it back onto his stumps and next ball from Khan, a short ball, and Guppy’s fended it to gully of his glove. Twenty three for 3 in the 11th, what a difference a couple of overs make and I can tell you that there was that uncomfortable feeling around the shed at the time.
Jesse joined Rossco out there and they did some special things together. They rewrote the record books with a partnership of 271 in 59.2 overs. That was the highest partnership for all wickets vs India and also the highest 4th wicket partnership vs all teams. Amazing that Rossco and Jesse, in their 16th and 8th Tests respectively, could carve out something so special in a situation that desperately needed a partnership, of note, to turn our day right around. It was 294 when Rossco departed with one of his trademark slog sweeps; we hadn’t seen it this innings till now, a top edge and a great catch right in front of where we were sitting ended his innings. Their partnership really gave us the chance to make it our day.
Jesse and Franky saw us through to stumps although the later may have been a little lucky with one decision towards the end; you take the luck when you get it because it sure bites you in the bum at other times. There was one nervous Baz sitting next to me towards the end, “just get through it Frank” we kept hearing.
So my day was spent on the couches in the viewing area, trying to stay warm as in the shade with the little breeze that was around it was pretty cold; helping out with the crosswords that were being done, where I could; having a couple of coffees; eating sandwiches; just basically doing as little as possible so that I’ll be as fresh as possible for our turn out in the field.
Hopefully by the morning, my morning, someone will tick over the 1,000,000th view of this blog in my 69th entry. That’s a pretty scary number. Thank you all for reading and commenting!
A mate of mine has a couple of auctions running at the moment; proceeds will go towards the New Zealand Softball Team. Check it out; your hero’s captured on a cricket ball. http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/twi14_W0QQ_nkwZQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZQQ_mdoZ