My corner of the oval

… thoughts from a Kiwi cricket fan

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Operation Avocado stage 1: decided I would like to see if I can grow an avocado tree from a seed. It may or may not work, but it’ll be fun trying!

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A week is a long time in cricket!

So the New Zealand Black Caps are currently undertaking a 3-test series in the torrid environment of the West Indies, a country where New Zealand has only ever won a test series once, which was back in the 1999/2000 season.

And our players performed admirably in test one, winning the test in practically all aspects:  winning the toss and batting first; putting on batting partnerships to be proud of; the likes of Kane Williamson and James Neesham continuing their form and scoring centuries; back-up and batting partnership support from Tom Latham (who is still only starting out his test career), Ross Taylor and BJ Watling (who can always be relied upon to do their part for the team.

Tom Latham and Kane Williamson putting on a century stand

Tom Latham and Kane Williamson putting on a century stand

Then when it came to bowling, our top-10 ranked bowlers, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, once again performed with intensity and doggedness in order to bowl the West Indies batsmen out for a score less than they should be scoring in home conditions.  Not once, in fact, but in both innings, being able to put pressure on the opposition and enable the New Zealand team to win the match within four days!

Winners are grinners!

Winners are grinners!

So that was Kingston … and after a deserved extra day off, it was back to hard work again and on to Port of Spain for test two, where logically the opposition were going to be making changes to the pitch conditions, not to mention their team make-up, and would be coming out with much greater resolve and determination to not lose a test series on home soil …

So it really annoys me to read comments like “oh, here we go again” and “same old story, another collapse” and “our batsmen are so crap,” after the opposition bowlers have, to their credit, come back after a sloppy first session of the first day of the test, and bowled the right lines and lengths to put pressure on the New Zealand batsmen and dismiss them for a lot less than they would have liked.

Another Latham/Williamson century stand!

Another Latham/Williamson century stand!

I mean, isn’t that what we would want, anyway?  Do we really want to be un-tested in a TEST series throughout our team’s history?  What would be the point of that and how on earth can we expect our players to be able to learn and improve if every match went exactly according to the script and no one had any trouble and batsmen played chanceless innings and scored centuries every time …

I think I’d get bored!

Which is why we love test cricket … because that is the point of TEST cricket … to TEST the players’ abilities and skills and see if they can work through the lows and come out with the highs again!

Why can’t we get back to supporting our team, through the lows as well as the highs, of cricket matches and enjoy the daily challenges as they come up for the players, and encourage them to work through the testing times and build their experience to be better for the future?

I really get annoyed with everyone jumping up and down, singing our team’s praises one week, and then kicking them when they are down  after one or two bad days the next.  That’s not what fans do, in my opinion!

Anyway, I’m hoping Trent “Lightning” Boult rests up well overnight and gets rid of the illness that he played through determinedly on day two, and he and Tim Southee can do what they do in the morning of day three to swing this test match once again!  Who knows what the next three days are going to bring, but I’m not going to bring myself (and others) down by dwelling on the negative; this team is young and fresh but gaining in experience and game insights every day – let’s get behind them and help them to even greater heights in world cricket!

Scorecard: West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd test, Port of Spain, 16-20 June 2014

Match report: day two, test two, West Indies v New Zealand

Pictures courtesy of and

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