Saturday, May 24, 2003

Cricketing Update

New Zealand ended up winning the one day tournament in Sri Lanka. In the final against Pakistan, the Pakistanis scored 198 thanks to 70 not out from Younis Khan. This would not normally be a good score, but by the standards of this tournament it is okay. New Zealand appeared to be scoring the runs without the slightest difficulty when they were 2/151 with Fleming on 65 and Styris on 22, but both batsmen were suddenly out and Pakistan looked to once again have a chance. Wickets continued to fall as the match went on, but Pakistan couldn't quite take them fast enough. New Zealand won the match by scoring 6/200 off 45.2 overs, in the end a comfortable win, to take the tournament.

This is only the second time in their history that New Zealand have won a one day tournament of three sides or more. Part of the reason for this is that New Zealand tend not to hold such tournaments at home, which is not their faul, but it is also that they haven't always had the best cricket team in the world. My compliments on their effort in this tournament. They played good cricket against good opposition.

All around, this was a pretty good tour of Sri Lanka for New Zealand, although undoubtedly they would have preferred to get a result in the test series.

In the first test between Zimbabwe and England, England scored a perfectly fine 472 in their first innings, largely thanks to 137 to Mark Butcher and 69 to debutante Anthony McGrath, who looked absolutely delighted when interviewed after the innings. Zimbabwe were then bowled out for a deeply unimpressive 147. What was encouraging for England was the bowling. Hoggard bowled extremely well for 3/24 and Anderson took 5/73 on debut, including two wickets off successive balls (both bowled), and both bowlers were very accurate. Four of Anderson's five wickets were out bowled, and so far it's a very impressive debut. Following on in their second innings, Zimbabwe are doing better at 1/62, but it doesn't matter now. Unless there is a lot of rain (possible but not likely) the match is lost.

Finally, Australia are today playing the fourth one day international against the West Indies in Trinidad. Michael Clarke has been retained after his 75 in St Lucia the other day. Australia won the toss and batted, and are off to a great start. At present, Hayden has 40 and Gilchrist 26, and Australia are 0/72 off 16.2 overs.

Update: Australia won that one day international, thanks to another unbeaten half century from Michael Clarke. Just when we thought that Australia did have a chance of a clean sweep in the series after all, the West Indian batting came out firing the next day. Thanks to a fast 80 from Brian Lara and 79 from Wavell Hinds, the West Indies ended up with 5/290 off their 50 overs. This was too much for the Australians, who kept losing wickets, were never quite able to keep up with the runrate, despite an excellent 77 from Andrew Symonds (who seems a completely different player to the one he was before the World Cup). Australia ended up with 9/251 off their 50 overs and lost by 39 runs. The Australian winning streak ended, but at an still amazing 21 matches.

On the other hand, in the England v Zimbabwe test, Zimbabwe collapsed feebly soon after I wrote what I did, being bowled out for 233 in their second innings to lose by an innings and 92 runs. Butcher somehow took four wickets and McGrath three. Neither would be considered test standard bowlers by most people, so Zimbabwe were pretty pitiful. Still, credit to England, who did play quite well in this match.

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