On to game three
We’ve got a bit of a wait until the next episode, which will be next Wednesday in Wellington. Then Friday and Sunday.
The break is because New Zealand’s women are playing England women here tomorrow in an ODI, but again a couple of days after that. They’ve got six games in the time that the men have five.
That one got the heart rate pumping. Time to go and run around the block, or shout at the sky, or do some dancing. See you soon.
New Zealand win by 4 runs
That match had no right to be a thriller. None at all. The Aussies were 113 for 6 after 13 overs chasing 220. They needed 107 from 42 balls. And they ended up getting 102 of them. Stoinis and Sams put on 92 of them in six overs. What a remarkable effort. In the end it was the experience of Boult that was decisive, getting NZ a cheap over when they needed one. There were just enough deliveries that the two batsmen on fire couldn’t get away, those full tosses that found the field. Can’t blame them though, they’re the two who made an impossible win briefly possible.
Put the result down to Guptill and Williamson and Neesham, too, who got NZ enough runs to begin with on a small and fast-scoring ground where a big score was needed. A brilliant day’s entertainment in the end, and a good crowd in for it. The Australian concerns about a captain out of confidence and a middle order made of wet cardboard will persist.
20th over: Australia 215-8 (J. Richardson 4, K. Richardson 0) Only one ball remaining with nine runs to win when the Richardsons combine, and Jhye drives it square for four.
Neesham does the tough job! Conceded 10 from the final over but got both the batsmen who were worrying New Zealand.
WICKET! Stoinis c Southee b Neesham 78 (37), Australia 211-8
More important than the wicket of Sams was the dot ball. Leaves them needing 15 off 5. The batsmen cross. Stoinis is on strike. He gets one down the leg side and it’s not called a wide! Umpire says he moved across, which he did. Would it still have been wide if he didn’t? Then Stoinis finds the field and refuses the single.
Three balls left, 15 to win. He hits the first for six. Huge over the leg side. Gorgeous shot. Length ball swung away.
Nine from two balls. And that’s when he falls. Length ball, swings across it a bit rather than hitting straight or trying a cross-bat shot, and it goes an absolute mile up in the air but can’t clear long-on!
WICKET! Sams c Phillips b Neesham 41 (15), Australia 205-7
Ohhhhhh wicket first ball! Jimmy Neesham has not bowled today. He’s been asked to come on for his first over and defend 15 to win the game. He’s rusty. It doesn’t work. He bowls a shin-high full toss. Sams gets plenty of it, high over the leg side, but not enough! It’s caught on the rope!
19th over: Australia 205-6 (Stoinis 72, Sams 41) Southee with two overs to go. Gets wided outside off stump. That wasn’t a wide if the ones in the first innings weren’t wide. Stoinis standing on off stump or outside. Southee bowls well to start, conceding a couple of singles by bowling width, then goes straighter thinking of leg stump perhaps, and Stoinis is good enough to flick it for four! The field was up back there and he beats it.
Slower ball, dug into the track, and Stoinis pounds it for six! Gets back, pull shot, has time to line this up as he has done so often in the BBL, and sends it into the pavilion.
Eight balls to come. 17 to win. Stoinis shanks the full toss again! Straight into the covers, one runs, misses out. Last ball of the 19th. Sams on strike. He’s got 40 from 13! But he can’t get hold of a blockhole ball, and only gets one!
They need 15 from the last over.
18th over: Australia 190-6 (Stoinis 60, Sams 39) Tension mounting here. Stoinis desperate to get a boundary away. He absolutely smokes one to deep point, but to the field. Single. Sams gets one, Stoinis nails another but straight to cover in the ring! Dot ball! Then Stoinis slips turning for a second run and they can’t get back.
Boult is the bowler. Hitting the blockhole now. Hard to get under. Sams drills him straight.
And hits the umpire!
Not in a way that will injure him, it clips the leg of Chris Gaffaney and he’s ok, but he deflects it to long-on where there’s a fielder! It was going dead straight, it might have gone for four. Though probably the fielder down the ground might have cut that off anyway. But it was a chance to go for four.
Only six from the Boult over. Australia need 30 from 12.
Half-century! Stoinis 51 from 22 balls
17th over: Australia 184-6 (Stoinis 57, Sams 37) Kyle Jamieson back on. This is a big call, but Williamson doesn’t want to risk asking him to bowl at the end. It could still cost NZ now. Stoinis, drives him through cover for four!
Second ball, big drive, outside edge for four!
Third ball is a shocker, hit-me, full toss, and Stoinis only drags it for one. Again he groans his frustration. But again, Sams makes the best of it, flicking over backward square for six! Four sixes in five balls for Sams! He’s batting like Neesham! Drags away a single and there’s almost an overthrow, then Stoinis again can’t take toll of the full toss. So 17 from the over but it could have been 20+ for the third over in a row.
Suddenly they need 36 in 18!
16th over: Australia 167-6 (Stoinis 47, Sams 30) Southee is back, mixing up his pace. Stoinis steps across and lifts a length ball over backward square for four. He can’t get hold of a wider slow ball and you can hear his shout of frustration through the stump mic as it goes for one run to point. But that brings Sams on strike, who sends Southee up into the camera deck on top of the stand! Huge shot, full ball, at the stumps, a clean swing through it sends it soaring. He slices two runs away behind point to follow, then hits the next one for six over cover! Full, outside off, plenty of room, and beautifully hit. Southee pulls back his length, aims at the body, and Sams pulls him for six more! Slower ball, waits for it, rocks back and destroys it. 25 from the over, and they need 53 from 24 balls.
15th over: Australia 142-6 (Stoinis 42, Sams 10) Stoinis is still there, and there’s only one recipe for him: hit sixes. So he does, twice in the over against Sodhi, pulling the ball powerfully over wide long-on! The second of them goes up into the pavilion! Those are very hard shots to get the power into from a spinner bowling slowly, but Stoinis has the power. Sams ices it with four over cover, the over nets them 20 runs, and they need 78 from 30 balls.
14th over: Australia 122-6 (Stoinis 28, Sams 5) Boult is back, and the only boundary from the over comes from Jamieson misfielding at third man. He’s had two shockers in a row. But so have the Australians. They need 98 in 36 balls.
13th over: Australia 113-6 (Stoinis 24) A collapse of three wickets for one run there from the Aussies. They need 107 in 42 balls.
WICKET! Marsh c Seifert b Santner 0 (1), Australia 112-6
Three in the over! Not often as a bowler that you inflict two golden ducks following another wicket and that doesn’t equal a hat-trick. But three in four balls for Santner as Marsh tries to nudge a wide that was going down the leg side, and nicks it to the keeper. Santner won’t get a chance at a hat-trick because this is his last over, but it’s a triumph.
WICKET! Agar c Conway b Santner 0 (1), Australia 112-5
Stoinis takes a single after the batsmen cross, then Agar goes first ball! The left-hander sent up the order to go for broke, and he does, but pulls a ball into the midwicket sweeper’s hands, Conway with a second.
WICKET! Philippe c Conway b Santner 45 (32), Australia 112-4
Gone! Wicket for Santner as Philippe tries to go over cover and slices it to the man in the deep.
12th over: Australia 107-3 (Philippe 45, Stoinis 18) Here comes Marcus Stoinis! He’s got the power, when he gets the timing. A swat-drive down the ground along the turf, a full toss drilled through cover, then a short one that lets Stoinis just play a short-arm jab that clears the rope at long-on for six! The over costs 15.
11th over: Australia 92-3 (Philippe 45, Stoinis 3) Santner finishes the over well, singles from each ball after a wicket from the first. The required rate keeps ascending. Australia need 128 from 54 balls.
WICKET! Maxwell c Sodhi b Santner 3 (5), Australia 87-3
The big wicket falls! Maxwell played that one-knee reverse sweep so well against India earlier this summer, scoring with it prolifically. This time he’s just a foot shy on the elevation. Sodhi is in the circle at short third, Maxwell aims to clear him, it’s over Sodhi’s head but he manages to get up and cling onto a pearler. New Zealand right on top!
10th over: Australia 87-2 (Philippe 43, Maxwell 3) Jamieson back to bowl to Maxwell. Teams think that he doesn’t like short bowling. He hits a lot of it for six though. Finds point first ball, then digs out a single. Philippe can’t score off the next. Too many dot balls stacking up for Australia. Philippe goes over backward point, hustles back for two, and crashes into keeper Tim Seifert as the throw comes in from Sodhi. Philippe goes again, another miscue down the ground, but mid-off is in the circle for him and Williamson running back can’t get there for the catch, or reel in the boundary.
9th over: Australia 79-2 (Philippe 36, Maxwell 2) Right then! They need more than 12 an over, Maxwell is at the crease, and the spinners are on. Philippe is up and running too, taking Santner down the ground for four with a bit of a hoick. Maxwell has a look, takes a couple of singles. Philippe gets wided while appealing for a caught behind with Philippe driving extravagantly, then Philippe tries to hit the seats down at long-off but miscues into space over the bowler’s head. Not much out of the middle.
WICKET! Finch c Phillips b Sodhi 12 (14), Australia 70-2
8th over: Australia 70-2 (Philippe 30) Ish Sodhi on to bowl, the skiddy leg-spinner who picked up four wickets when Australia were on the rack the other night. Philippe cuts away a couple of runs through a diving Santner at backward point. Turns over the strike and Finch cuts a brace to deep cover. Everything is going off side thanks to Sodhi’s line thus far, happy to stay wide outside off. He gets pinged by the umpire for going too far across, then Finch leaves the next ball. He’s deep into the 8th over and has only 12 runs to his name, how often would that have happened? So from the last ball of the over he goes back and tries to pull over the leg side. Really heaves at it. No timing. And it ends up in the hands of deep midwicket.
7th over: Australia 64-1 (Finch 10, Philippe 27) Santner on to bowl his left-arm spin, and Philippe drives him over cover for six! Top shot, calmly struck. The Kiwis go upstairs for a DRS when Philippe misses a sweep shot while kneeling. That ball probably hit his glove, hit him outside the line, and was going over the stumps. Aside from that, great review. Philippe sweeps again, this time getting a top edge over a vacant slip for a couple of runs. Then forces a single to keep strike, 11 from the over.
6th over: Australia 53-1 (Finch 9, Philippe 17) Great over from Boult to finish off the Powerplay, only three singles from it. Jamieson is really keeping Australia in the match at the moment. They still need 12 per over from here.
An earlier note from Ben Macintyre. “On Guptill – for a player who’d been so out of form this is one hell of a statement innings. No need to perform domestically when you can take it to the Aussies I guess. Conway who?”
5th over: Australia 50-1 (Finch 8, Philippe 15) Still no fun for Kyle Jamieson. Six, witha. stroke of fortune, as Philippe pulls high off the top edge over the keeper. Six more with fortune playing no part at all, as Philippe picks up a fuller ball beautifully off his pads over deep square! He didn’t make runs on debut but his next chance is going much better. There’s 50 up, going at 10 per over, broadly up with the required rate.
4th over: Australia 35-1 (Finch 7, Philippe 1) A very good over for Southee, two runs from it and the wicket.
Royce Hart, not his real name I suspect, writes in. “Surely this was a game for Wade to sit out, he seemed to add nothing with bat, gloves or brain in Game 1, and Phillipe can take the gloves. Maxi to VC. Turner could have batted for Wade so we have a strong tonking middle order, making it safer for the top 7 to all go hard at it.”
“More significantly, make sure you make heaps of Flying Nun references today, in honour of Dunedin’s finest. You can have obvious ones like ‘the Bats’ and Maxwell giving you ‘the Chills’, or Finch getting (the) Clean bowled. But it’s up to you how you work Straitjacket Fits into it, or the Verlaines. Personally, a Look Blue go Purple reference would lift a few hearts. Maybe Maxi has a Minisnap today, not a full snap?”
I think Wade showed his value only a couple of games ago, those two big fifties opening the batting against India in this format. And he’s done the business in the Big Bash for a long time. He has more of a claim to a T20 spot than a Test spot, certainly. Getting Turner in the middle is enticing though.
As for the Flying Nun, I’m sorry to say that’s a fair way before my cultural cognisance. But I’m glad you’re having fun.
WICKET! Wade c Williamson b Southee 24 (15), Australia 34-1
It’s a day for wicketkeepers to get out like that. Wade falls in exactly the way that Seifert did, trying to bash what was almost a cut shot over the off-side field, not getting enough of it, and finding mid-off. Josh Philippe to the crease early.
3rd over: Australia 33-0 (Wade 24, Finch 6) Kyle Jamieson to bowl, the six-foot-eight monster. He was pretty erratic the other night but he can swing the ball and he gets serious bounce. Bowls short first ball, and Wade steps across and lifts it over the keeper! Premeditated the length of that ball, I fancy. But it works this time. And Jamieson has bowled a no-ball! Overstepped by a long way. Then follows that up with a wide, so he has to rebowl it. Finally hits his spot, steepling bounce, and Wade swishes underneath that ball. So, only the two extras, could have been worse.
It gets worse. Wade steps across again and lifts him for six! Same shot, that sort of deflection pull shot, getting under the ball after getting inside the line of it. Then threads him through cover when Jamieson bowls fuller, nearly getting four but it’s well saved on the rope. Eight-ball over, 16 runs from it.
“Jamieson on the rocks early,” says Isa Guha. Very good.
2nd over: Australia 17-0 (Wade 11, Finch 5) No deep square leg for Trent Boult bowling, so his short ball gets pulled by Wade for four. Easy enough. One slip in position, Guptill fairly wide at about second. Boult tries a bouncer but gets wided, then bowls another halfway short delivery and gets pulled for four more! It’s not usually Boult’s length, a strange start for him. Hits a standard length at last and it nearly brings Finch undone racing to the striker’s end, with Neesham’s underarm hitting the stumps after Wade drops the ball to point. A dozen from the over with three singles and the wide plus the two boundaries.
1st over: Australia 5-0 (Wade 1, Finch 4) Tim Southee to start off with the ball, and he holds up Wade for a couple of deliveries before drawing a pull shot to a well placed deep square fielder. Finch charges first ball and is hit on the pad, but is able to get bat on the sixth ball of the over and glance it fairly square rather than fine for four. Off the mark with a boundary, that might help.
Australia must chase 220 to win
What a performance from New Zealand. Guptill was in Destructo-Mode, Williamson backed him up perfectly, and then Neesham at the end – 45 runs from 16 balls, a Laxman-respecting strike rate of 281, or by another metric he was scoring at 16.86 per over. He hit six sixes in that 45, including three in his first three balls.
The bright side for Australia? They can just clear their minds and hit.