Posted by: tootingtrumpet | June 26, 2013

England vs New Zealand First T20I – The Final Over of the New Zealand Innings

Bye Boyd. Bye Will.

Bye Boyd. Bye Will.

Ball One – Once an Irishman, always an Irishman.

It’s an old saw, but it’s worth raising it again. I have no problem with anyone qualified to play for England playing for England. Them’s the rules. But I don’t care for players switching national teams – once an Irishman, always an Irishman. And the same should apply for all nations. Good luck to Boyd Rankin, but what a shame not to see him in the green of Ireland’s band of brothers.

Ball Two – Jos Buttler is more than a stopper

Being second choice to Craig Kieswetter at Somerset is hardly a ringing endorsement of wicketkeeping skills and such was Jos Buttler’s fate at the start of the season. With Kieswetter injured and England’s selectors already favouring the younger man, Buttler has worn the gloves in more matches this season that he expected. He’s rather more than a stopper, as his impressive catch to give Boyd Rankin his first international England wicket showed. If he improves as much as Matt Prior did after his 22nd birthday, England will have a very decent player.

Ball Three – Chris Woakes may not be playing in his best format

God knows I love a Number 8, and Chris Woakes is a classic 8 – in the side as a bowler, but good enough to make fifties in all formats of the game. The problem for Woakes – as his first over showed, disappearing for 19 – is that he’s so often “in the slot” for top order bats. Ironically, that’s exactly the line and length that might trouble batsmen in the red ball game – but he’s a long way away from a Test slot, so he’ll need to develop some variations if he wants to play regularly for England.

Ball Four – Bats may need to be reined in

Advances in sports equipment technology has led to extended golf courses and the heavy, fluffy balls at Wimbledon that have turned grass court into hard court tennis because the old balls just traveled too fast. Trampoline bats have caused plenty of murmurs about whether things have gone too far in cricket, but there’s no real thirst for restrictions on batmaking processes. Brendon McCullum may have hastened such discussions becoming more prominent by top-edging a six over the keeper’s head and up on to the second tier of The Oval Pavilion. Now that’s a very big hit indeed. Of course, who doesn’t like a six? But baseball – which likes a home run just as much – outlawed cork bats and an unpressed cricket bat appears to be much the same thing

Ball Five – Hamish Rutherford nails a monster

At the halfway mark, New Zealand have 104 up with barely a Dilscoop, reverse sweep or lap from either McCullum or Rutherford. Hamish, son of Ken, has been particularly impressive, lifting James Tredwell over long on with clean hits played from directly below the eyes. – more classical strokes, or strokes more pleasing on the eye, one could not wish to see.

Ball Six – No boring middle overs

Nobody told New Zealand that the middle overs of T20 matches in England are reserved for the poke and the prod as both sides settle for six singles and the occasional boundary. McCullum and Rutherford have ignored the fielders and simply smashed pretty much every ball, trusting a bit to luck and a bit to the difficulty of catching a ball moving at that kind of speed. It’s built a great platform for the Kiwis and, perhaps more importantly in front of a capacity crowd, been tremendously entertaining.

You can tweet me at @garynaylor999


  1. Heh. What about the utter ineptitude of the inexperienced England bowlers? Apart from Bopara only the tested ones seem to have survived – Wright, Rankin… (And please don’t mention Jade. “Jade’s dead, baby. Jade’s dead.”)

    • Neither side bowled well Ravi, but that was partly due to some pretty impressive batting (and bats). Good pitch for a T20 too.

  2. I’m starting to get the impression that there are only 20 families in New Zealand who play cricket. A skill set handed down the generations.

    Re ball 1.
    What’s the difference between the Irish Cricket team and the Australian Cricket team?
    Ireland have 2 players good enough to play for England.

    As an Australian living in Ireland for more than a decade I feel more than entitled to shout out the Irish cricket message to anyone who will listed. The growth in cricket over here in that time has been a proper natural progression of building credibility and respect. Not based on being cool or sexy. A real enjoyable story so far.

    With the likes of Stirling, Porterfield, Joyce and Dockrell to add to Morgan and Rankin, Ireland would have a first 11 to match at least half the current test nations in a 5 day game.

    If you ever end up in Dublin on a summer holiday, one of the city’s hidden gems is escaping the hustle of the shops and tourist spots, to the pavilion in Trinity College. At least one day a week there would be a game going on, but even if there isn’t, it’s a great spot for a relaxed beer while the rest of the city goes mad on the wrong side of the fence.

  3. Dublin’s a bit expensive these days, but that’s a great tip.

    Good zinger about the two Irish lads!

    • They still haven’t forgotten their roots in the Pavilion. In with the flash new beers, they will still serve you a cold Dutch Gold can for a euro!

      • One euro wouldn’t have bought the froth on the top of a Guinness last time I was in Temple Bar!

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