Wednesday, 7 February 2007

We blew it

Stephen Fleming finally found his form. Shane Bond finally got his swing back. And we still blew it. I stayed up to the bitter end last night, and really wish I hadn't. From Taylor's run-out onwards it was like watching a train wreck happening in slow motion. Peter Roebuck has summed it up better than I can:

New Zealand looked the stronger side and had the winning of the match. But Fleming's team has mislaid its killer instinct. It is not enough to play good cricket. A bit of mongrel is required.

Sigh. I guess if we want some excuses to make ourselves feel better we could start with the toss. It was a poor one to lose because Brisbane day/nighters have always suited batting first - and yesterday afternoon was a particularly hot time to be in the field. But we can't excuse the fielding. Jonthan Millmow wonders in this morning's Dominion-Post whether having a specialist fielding coach means the New Zealanders are thinking too much about fielding techinque, and not enough about just catching the damn ball. He might have a point.

So the side returns home from Australia to lick their wounds for a week. We might have avoided a tough best of three finals series against Australia, but we haven't avoided the Aussies altogether just yet. The Chappell-Hadlee series starts next week.


deano said...

Fleming cost us the match actually. He pissed around so much from 80 onwards- his strike rate got slower and slower- he didn't move his feet after he had scored thirty, and he ran out Ross Taylor.

He was unwilling to take any risks as he approached his century, and spent 4 balls on 99, when NZ needed over 8 an over.

The hitters Franklin, Vettori and Oram could have done it, if we needed only a few less off the last few overs.

Suhas said...

sad end to the campaign, given the side was consistently close to beating the really was the fielding, normally the side's strongest suit, which probably cost NZ a place in the final. well at least everyone's in some sort of form before the world cup.

Karel said...

Okay so lets really face a few facts here. Despite all the assertions that NZ was on the right tracks and the (tongue in cheek?) apologies from Boock, this team is still in a state of disrepair. People (myself included) were optimistic about our chances of reaching the finals and possibly matching the Aussies. But lets take a moment and reflect on reality:
We didnt beat the Aussies once. And after a while "pushing them close" just doesnt cut it. Secondly, we went 50/50 with an English side who are, quite frankly, awful. Really, they are a an awful side who were crushed after the ashes and still managed to beat us twice. Pathetic. (their win against a team ill refer to as Australia A was just 'one of those games' and the Aussies looked disinterested).
Positives from tour: Vincents tour de force at top of the order. He looks and feels like a new man, maybe its the birth of his daughter giving him perspective. Gillespie looks the goods and lets face it, these pitches have been incredibly batter friendly. (thus Bond and Vettori havent marred their reps any, both turning in good performances economy wise).
And of course, taylor. Now, the bad stuff. Flemings form (apart from last night) and for the record, Fleming didnt cost us the game - the dramatic colapse of our middle order did. end of story.
Fulton isnt good enough. I cant stress how many times ive made that clear and i still think we needed to blood Ryder. Too late.
I dunno, disillusioned at the moemnt. As it stands, i dont think we have a chance in hell of winning the cup. But as always ill be 100% behind the boys.

Raj Dutta said...

commiserations all, karen especially.
if the mongrel's gone out of the kiwi game, whats left?
here are the positives from my end:
ok, maybe not too many.

i just wish you had some players like harris and latham and co. for the world cup. on these carib pitches, i still remember being up all night to watch justin vaughan's dobblers put lara into a mess.

deano said...

Check out Fleming's strike rate at Cricinfo Karel (71 by memory).

Then also factor in that his first 30 were scored at virtually a run a ball.

The middle order didn't collapse dramatically- they (Styris, Oram, McCullum, Vettori) got out because they had to force a near-impossible pace of 8, 9, 10 an over.

Yeah I will always support the boys too, but it was snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, yet again.

Karl said...

karel - did you see the photo of Jesse Ryder in the state shield semifinal? That man needs to lose a LOT of weight and gain some fitness before he can be considered for international cricket.

Another plus - Jacob Oram's batting.

I'll pick Oram's bowling to improve at the world cup - the pitches will suit him better than in Aus. McMillan will be useful in that respect, also.