My corner of the oval

… thoughts from a Kiwi cricket fan

Something was missing!

on November 4, 2013

Well, New Zealand finished their One-Day series with Bangladesh … in Bangladesh … last night, and despite another valiant effort, in what must be horrible conditions for playing cricket to 100% of your ability, the Bangladeshis were victorious again, taking the series 3-0.

Although, you have to say they deserved to win, after chasing down 307 runs to win the final match!

I mean, as a New Zealand fan, you could be forgiven for thinking Anton Devcich (note the extra C in his surname, commentators!) and Tom Latham batted exceedingly well to put on 46 and 43 runs respectively each, to get the team score started nicely 🙂

Tom Latham took his opportunity!

Tom Latham took his opportunity!

And then Ross Taylor came in and played a masterful innings, scoring 107 runs off 149 deliveries, which included 9 boundary fours and 3 sixes hit as only Ross Taylor can hit them!

Fabulous batting Ross!

Fabulous batting Ross!

He was more than ably assisted in his quest for runs by Colin Munro, who himself scored a stunning 85 runs (which included 7 fours and 2 sixes of his own!) and the pair put on a century partnership to take the team total to such a formidable target.

One thought, anyway …

Who would have guessed that the Bangladeshi batsmen would come out and bat so fearlessly and belligerently to totally dominate the New Zealand opening bowlers, Kyle Mills and Adam Milne (the latter being shown up for his inexperience at times, but in my opinion, this can only make him a better bowler for the future).

It was quite sad really that Shamsur Rahman got himself out four runs short of what would have been his maiden One-Day century!

But the likes of Naeem Islam (63) and Nasir Hossain (44) made sure his efforts weren’t in vain as they seemingly easily guided their team to the final total.  Although, I do wish Nasir could change his name – ha ha!  I found myself wondering every time his name was mentioned, hang on, isn’t he retired already, my brain only being able to think of the English captain for so many years, Nasser Hussain!

For all that this final match was fantastic to watch, from a cricketing perspective, I still felt there was something missing!

And then I realised it, as I watched Nathan McCullum dive across at short cover to field a delivery and stop a single in his usual energetic and acrobatic fashion … this was the first match in a very, very long time in which Nathan was the only McCullum on the field!  I don’t know the exact statistics but how long as it been since Brendon McCullum was not able to take the field for his country, who he loves playing for so dearly and doing his best for?!

Brendon had already withdrawn from this final match of the series, having to return home to get urgent treatment for his ongoing back injury.  It made me quite sad to read Paul Close, the team physio, quoted in a Cricinfo article:

Brendon’s back needs careful management – it’s flared up and is giving him significant pain. The best course of action is getting him home for rehabilitation as soon as possible.

The fact that this man has been playing and doing so well, as a Captain if not with his batting skills, for his team for so long and he has been in such pain, makes me quite sad that critics and ‘part-time’ fans can ridicule and harass him as much as they do.  Behind his back, of course, through things like social media and radio talkback (I wonder if these same people would ever dare to say what they say through these means face-to-face with Brendon?!)

Do these critics really think that it doesn’t hurt Brendon every time his batting gets worked out by opposition bowlers and he is dismissed for a low score and he can’t contribute to helping his team to win?  For that matter, do these critics think it doesn’t hurt ANY of the New Zealand players each time they come so close and don’t quite get the victory?

Is there really any point to constant bickering and moaning and whinging?  How is this encouraging or uplifting to anyone, let alone a national sports team who is trying and doing their utmost in the sport they love to try and improve and win games?

I already miss Brendon McCullum not being available to join his team in their quest for winning ways, and I can’t wait till he gets his back issues sorted out and can be back in black for New Zealand!  Get well soon, Brendon!

And just to prove that this tour has not been a wasted effort from our boys, a few highlights include:

  • Kane Williamson’s 114 and 74, and BJ Watling’s 103 in the first test
  • Doug Bracewell’s 3/96 in the first test
  • Half centuries from Peter Fulton (59) and Ross Taylor (54) in the first test
  • Neil Wagner’s 5/64 in the second test
  • Corey Anderson’s maiden test century (116) in the second test
  • BJ Watling scoring 70, Kane Williamson scoring 62, Ross Taylor scoring 53 and Ish Sodhi 58 in the second test!
  • Tim Southee coming back into the team with 3/34 in the first One-Day International
  • Although he was overshadowed by Jimmy Neesham’s 4/42 in the same match!
  • Grant Elliott scoring 71 and Corey Anderson 46 in the first ODI
  • Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham picking up 4 wickets apiece in the second ODI!
  • Ross Taylor showing us the start of things to come, with 45 in the second ODI
  • Anton Devcich (46), Tom Latham (43), Colin Munro (85) and Ross Taylor (107*) in the third ODI
Love this team!

Love this team!

I hope the guys can have a little fun in the T20 coming up on Wednesday … and then build positively on the above as they head to Sri Lanka – with the support of the true fans back home in New Zealand willing them on to winning ways again 🙂

Third ODI between Bangladesh and New Zealand – scorecard

Brendon McCullum heads home with back trouble – article

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2 responses to “Something was missing!

  1. callindobhair says:

    When I saw the title for this I thought you were referring to the lack of atmosphere the fans created.

    Brendon is an inspirational player but that’s why people love putting him down, it makes them feel better-poor,jealous people that they are.

    Once the injuries are sorted I’m sure the all blacks will be back to winning ways. 😉

    • Jess says:

      I don’t like to correct you, but I’m sure you mean Black Caps in that last sentence, don’t you? 😉
      And actually, as regards the “fans” at the ground yesterday, there was definitely some sportsmanship missing from them 😦
      I have never seen or heard a crowd of fans so UN interested in anything the opposition team does! I mean, we all like to support our team and see them win, but you still have to recognise if the opposition does something well or achieves a milestone; when Colin Munro and Ross Taylor reached 50 runs each yesterday, there was absolutely deathly silence to congratulate them 😦 Quite sad really, if we get to the stage where we can’t even acknowledge other’s achievements cause we want “ourselves” to succeed too much more!

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