Now we should first recognise that this is just a warm up match. It could well be that India just weren’t trying as hard as they might. Despite playing 12 players (to NZ’s 11 – Bloom and McGlashan, listed on the NZ scorecard, didn’t get onto the field), India chose to rest Virendar Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan.
Still, NZ’s score of 170 was a good one against a slightly weakened India, and defending that when India were on track to win right up to the end of the 16th over was a massive effort. It was over 17th over, bowled by Vettori which went for 2, and the 18th over, Oram going for 3, that won NZ the game. It was such a surprising turn around given how comfortably in control the Indians were, you could almost conclude that they lost on purpose, just for practice, so they know what not to do in a real game.
I was very impressed by Oram’s bowling. I had been composing a post about the oddity of Oram’s fine ODI record, but poorer records for the versions of the game on either side of the ODI code. I mean, if he’s better in ODIs than in tests, he should be better in 20-20s than in ODIs. But he’s made that post redundant by showing that he’s actually a good 20-20 bowler. Someone else I reckon would have been good in 20-20s is Chris Cairns, as an intelligent bowler and a big hitter. But James Franklin (27 off 10 across the last four overs) seems to be filling that role quite nicely.
You can see a few highlights here. (At least you can in New Zealand; I don’t know about the rest of the world.) It’s a nice little clip, showing Vettori’s wickets, and an odder set of three wickets you’re not likely to see.
So that’s three wins from three against India (though I don’t think this one counts as an official game, given that both teams were given the option of playing as many as 13 players). If I understand the tournament schedule properly, NZ and India won’t be playing each other until at least the semi-finals.
Flight of the Conchords: