Let’s see if I can lay out the whole Zimbabwean series:
|test, Napier||test, Napier||test, Napier||test, Napier|
|test, Napier||ODI 1, Dunedin|
|ODI 2, Whangarei||ODI 3, Napier||T20I 1, Auckland|
|T20I 2, Hamilton|
For the more visually inclined, here is a map:
So, the NZ home international season has now started, with the NZ XI–Zim warm-up match completed.
You’d like to think that a warm-up match – particularly one with most of the home test squad playing – might tell you a bit about the players’ current form and how they might play against each other in the upcoming matches. Unfortunately, a match where 4/5 batsmen in an innings retire and the other team lose loads of their wickets to a player who doesn’t even qualify to be in the test team, is not going to have great predictive potential.
Instead, let’s compare the two squads.
Here’s the squad most of whom played in a team good enough to beat Australia:
- Ross Taylor (c) – 20th ranked batsmen
- Trent Boult – 3/26 in bowling Aus out for 136
- Doug Bracewell – already fulfilling his big destiny in first season
- Dean Brownlie – scores a 50 in every test (admittedly, only 3 so far)
- Martin Guptill – ranked within the top 50 (Don’t think that is impressive? Check out the Zimbabwean squad)
- Brendon McCullum – hitting and missing as an opener
- Chris Martin – 210 test wickets (the Zimbabwean squad has 145 between them)
- Tim Southee – slowly approaching higher mediocrity
- Kruger van Wyk (wk) – not quite good enough for SA, good enough for us?
- Daniel Vettori – fricken’ awesome
- BJ Watling – battling for a gap in the team rather than on his own merits
- Sam Wells – who knows?
- Kane Williamson – not exactly setting the world alight at this level so far
And the team that came close to beating New Zealand:
- Brendan Taylor (c) – Wellington’s only Twenty20 centurion (I think)
- Regis Chakabva – 1 test to his name, against us
- Elton Chigumbura – 1449 Facebook likes
- Graeme Cremer – a rhino!
- Kyle Jarvis – a quick with an SR of <50
- Hamilton Masakadza – holder of 2/5ths of the squad’s centuries, i.e. 2
- Shingi Masakadza – test virgin
- Stuart Matsikenyeri – opener of thoroughly modest ability
- Tino Mawoyo – 66th ranked batsman, second only to Brendan Taylor
- Keegan Meth – test virgin and a struggler in ODIs
- Forster Mutizwa – test virgin, not too shabby in ODIs
- Ray Price – 63rd ranked bowler, second only to Kyle Jarvis in the squad with Mpofu injured
- Tatenda Taibu – a genuine keeper/batsman, and a relative veteran with 27 tests
- Prosper Utseya – 1 test, nearly 8 years ago
- Brian Vitori – 88th ranked bowler after 2 tests, but 56th after 1
- Malcolm Waller – hit the winning runs against us at Bulawayo
Looking at those two lists, NZ clearly have the wood over Zimbabwe. That Zimbabwe squad is looking very shabby and full of holes, even compared to a NZ squad with more mediocrity than class.
Still, this is the 8th ranked team playing against the de facto 9th ranked team. It isn’t an even contest, but it would hardly be an upset if Zimbabwe made it competitive.
Wow! W-h-h-how! New Zealand’s most important cricket world cup victory to date?
Hi there you stupid fucking Sheep Shaggers.
SA vs NZ
I can tell you something thats messy.
Players coming up to a new batsman mouthing off at him , getting in his face after his fellow team mate has been run out.
Daniel Vettori you dont let your men do that and most of all dont do it yourself.
Cricket is supposed to be a gentlemans game not a game played by a country that would rather shag a sheep.
THOSE EARTHQUAKES HAVE REALLY HAD AN EFFECT ON YOU???
You know you’re winning when someone calls you a sheep shagger.
Here’s the incident that ForeverProteas is talking about:
“You’ve just run out the World Cup.” Great to see the Black Caps showing some mongrel.
Chirpy music to go with my mood:
So the 42-game, month-long qualifying round is finally over and we’re getting into the depths of the knock-out stage. As intended, due to the careful managing of the format, the top eight teams have made it through to the quarter-finals and the minnows have been eliminated. One wonders why the minnows were invited at all considering the odds were so stacked against them having any impact.
They did form part of that crucial qualifying round however, where the teams destined to qualify fought it out for prime positions on the points table. The month-long qualifying round was worth it for that wasn’t it?
Well, not really.
Heading into the quarter finals we have the following standings:
Now, I’m not sure what the seeding for the tournament was, but if you check out the current official rankings of the teams, you would predict the following standings:
I’ve highlighted the difference, which is essentially that Pakistan and Australia have swapped places, which can be put down to a single match in the qualifiers.
For this we played out 42 qualifying matches. We could have started at the quarters using seedings taken from the official rankings and been spared a whole month of nothing much.
This world cup has in some sections been labelled the best ever. Those sections are the organisers – go figure – and the English. In fact it is true that the English have had a great cup. Every game they have played has been a cracker, but most importantly, they actually had to fight to qualify, bucking the ultra-friendly format. That’s what the qualifiers needed for all teams – a bit of danger, something to really play for.
Going down badly against Sri Lanka after expectations had been raised is so thoroughly typical of the Black Caps that I am almost not bothered by that last pool match. Almost. What actually makes the game bearable is having the poor sportsmanship and umpiring around N McCullum catch to bitch about. Nothing makes a bitter loss more palatable than a good spoonful of indignation.
Here’s the video of the catch:
View it and review it all you want. I have already. It is clear that he scooped up the ball a fraction from the ground. If you see anything else, you’re just really wanted to disbelieve it. Also – it was a fuckin’ awesome catch!
The fact that it was not given out is a tragedy for cricket. It was a true example of athleticism that deserves to be rewarded. But it is the awesomeness of it, the fact that he was able to grab it so close from the ground, that allowed the 3rd umpire, Amiesh Saheba, to question it. Such is the way with the modern world; excellence is swamped under persnicketiness.
What really bothers me about all this is that despite the fact that everyone knows it was out (I would like to believe that Saheba realises that on the balance of probabilities it was out, even if he gave Jayawardene the benefit of the doubt), Jayawardene no less than anyone else, no one really seems to be prepared to admit that. A fair catch wasn’t given – we can accept that, it happens all the time in cricket. A batsman refuses to walk and instead gambles the umpire will make a mistake. Fair enough really; it’s what I’d do in the circumstances. But let’s please tell it like it is.
I don’t think much of Ricky Ponting, but I can fully respect his statement after the Aus match against Pakistan: “There were no doubts about the nick, I knew I hit it, but as always I wait for the umpire to give me out. That’s the way I’ve always played the game.”
Had a go watching last night’s match against Pakistan on live internet stream. It was not a great experience – the video seemed to quite consistently cut out when the ball was mid-pitch. All the ads came through okay though. And one of the attractions of watching coverage from overseas is getting to see inside foreign cultures through watching their advertisements. I think I was watching some British coverage last night and one ad stood out. It was an ad for Cadbury Creme Eggs and it culminating in an egg rupturing and spraying its gooey filling all over the place in some bukkake frenzy. It’s almost enough to put you off Easter.
I gave up following the game after an hour or so, so it wasn’t until the morning that I discovered the mess that Ross Taylor had made of Pakistan. Taylor hadn’t scored a century for over two years and had become swollen and distended with all the runs backing up inside him. Last night, the pressure had built up too much and he burst and gooed all over Pakistan.
Taken by Trees:
Shit! New Zealand are playing Zimbabwe in the World Cup in 15 minutess! I’d forgotten about the World Cup. I don’t think I’ve paid any attention for a whole week. How many of New Zealand’s games have I missed?