England worthy winners of Cricket World Cup

England were worthy winners of the Cricket World Cup just completed at Lord’s in London.

New Zealand’s Black Caps were worthy runners up.

They won by the smallest of margins. The scores were tied after 50 overs, 241 runs to each side. The scores were tied again after a super over, 15 runs each. England won due to the higher number of boundaries scored – that’s the rules so there can be no complaints about that.

There are a number rof things that happened during the game that could have made the difference, could have swung the game one way or the other, but in the end that is all irrelevant. What matters is the final score and the final deciding factor, and England did what mattered.

England have been a top one day team over the last few years and were tournament favourites. They had some wobbles during pool play but won their semi-final easily against defending champions Australia, and won the final just over New Zealand.

This is the first time England have won the World Cup, so very good for them, and despite some disappointment at the result I actually feel as good a as a loser could for the winning team.

The Black Caps exceeded my expectations against Inndia in their semi-final, and exceeded my expectations in the final. I always hoped they could win, and they came so close to doing so, but my main thoughts coming into this game were hoping they would wouldn’t lose badly, and that they would lose with credit.

They couldn’t have come closer so couldn’t have come out of this tournament with more credit, short of winning.

This was one of the greatest games of cricket ever and was also worthy of a final. It will be very good for the game to have had such a hard fought, close game, played in extremely good spirit by England and New Zealand.

Kane Williamson (New Zealand  captain):

“Look, it certainly wasn’t just one extra run. So many small parts in that match that could have gone either way as we saw. Congratulations to England on a fantastic campaign.

It’s been challenging, the pitches have been a little different to what we expected. Lots of talk of 300-plus scores, but we haven’t seen many of those.

I’d like to thank the New Zealand team for the fight they showed to keep us in the tournament, and get us this far. A tie in the final. So many parts to it. The players are shattered at the moment. Obviously it’s devastating. They’ve performed at such a high level through the tournament.

We were weighing up the overheads versus the pitch, it was on the drier side. runs on the board, as it proved, was going to be challenging. We would have liked another 20, but in a World Cup final we’ll take 240-250. Both sides showed a lot of heart, a lot of fight. For it to go to the last ball, and the last ball of the next match, it was pretty hard. That [the Stokes deflection] was a bit of a shame, wasn’t it? You just hope it doesn’t happen in moments like that. You can nitpick, but perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be for us. It is perhaps tough to review the match, and such small margins.”

Eoin Morgan (England captain):

“There wasn’t a lot in that game, jeez. I’d like to commiserate with Kane. The fight, the spirit they showed. I thought it was a hard, hard game.

This has been a four-year journey, we’ve developed a lot over those years, particularly the last two. To get over the line today means the world to us. The guys in the middle keep us cool, the way they play, the experience. It’s calming at times. Not a lot between the teams. Just delighted we’re lifting the trophy today.

As long as he wasn’t too cooked [sending Stokes back out for the Super Over]. Full credit to those two boys and Jofra. Every time he plays, he improves. The world is really at his feet at the moment.”

A fascinating game of cricket

Today’s one day match between England has taken a few swings, and is heading for an exciting finish.

England’s innings started with a rush and the Black Caps struggled. It looked like England could get close to 400, but they had a major mid order collapse, and they got to 335 with a big last over.

The Black Caps had a terrible start to their innings, with both openers going for a duck.

Williamson and Taylor slowly got things in order and progressed well, albeit falling behind the required rate. Then Williamson was unlucky to be ruled out.

In came Latham, and he and Taylor gradually progressed to innings to keep the Black Caps in the match, and then accelerated.

A couple of hiccups, with Taylor injuring himself so he could only hobble, and then Latham holed out, but he had 71 runs, and helped Taylor to a record score of (currently) 155 not out with a game rescuing 187 run partnership.

de Grandhomme has joined Taylor and has started with a rush, currently 22 runs off 8 balls, putting the Black Caps in with a real chance now with 36runs required off 34 balls.

That was tense. Down to the last over, a six to Nicholls to seal a record run chase and a win to remain unbeaten at the Oval in Dunedin.

Taylor was the stand out performer, 181 not out.

Guptill v. South Africa

South Africa let loose in their last few overs to put up a challenging total of 279/8  in today’s one day game. Commentators called it a formidable total.

But Martin Guptill.

180 not out.

The fourth highest chasing score in a one day match ever, with the higher scores being 185, 183, 183.

A great innings, which ties the series with one game to go.

 

 

T20: New Zealand v England

The first of the World T20 semi finals is New Zealand versus England.

England won the toss and put the Black Caps in to bat.

The Black Caps started very well, getting to 89-1 at the half way mark,  but struggled to get runs in the second half of their innings  and lost wickets regularly scoring 64 for 7 wickets, so will be a bit disappointed with their total of 153 for 8.

England will fancy their chances chasing what looks like a modest total, but if the Black Caps found scoring difficult then especially if they get some wickets and apply pressure then England might find the going tough.

Commentators are saying that New Zealand are perhaps 20 runs short of a par total.

In T20 one batting performance can make the difference. Can someone step up for England? Or will the New Zealand bowlers succeed again in protecting a total that looks a bit short of what they would have wanted.

Not looking good for New Zealand. Jason Roy has got England’s innings off to a flyer scoring a quick 50 within 6 overs with his team 67-0. The tournament looks as good as over for the Black Caps.

Roy out for 78, bowled Sodhi, but he has probably won the game for England.

A couple of wickets off a couple of balls but then England coast to a comfortable victory. They bowled well in the final overs of the New Zealand innings, batted extremely well at the start of their own innings and made it look easy.

A deserved win for England and the tournament is over for New Zealand, some credit to them for their pool matches but not good enough when they got to the sudden death semis.

Two T20 triumphs

Both New Zealand teams won their final World t20 pool matches overnight and both have topped their pools in impressive style.

The New Zealand women’s team restricted South Africa to 99. Devine and Kasperek each took 3 wickets.

They then easily reached 100 in 14 and a half overs with the loss of only 3 wickets. Bates (29), Priest (28) and Devine (27 not out) all contributed.

Their semi final opponent won’t be decided until other pool matches are played.

And the Black Caps outplayed Bangladesh to complete a clean sweep of their pool. They batted well on a slow pitch to reach 145 for the loss of 8, with Williamson top scoring with 42. Munro also adapted to the conditions well to score 35.

They then restricted Bangladesh to a record low score of 70. Elliot and Sodhi each took three wickets.

England have just beaten Sri Lanki in the other men’s pool to secure second slot so will be the Black Cap’s opponent in the semi finals. South Africa have missed the cut with a game yet to play.

West Indies won Group 1. They will play the winner of India versus Australia.

 

Black Caps 3 from 3

The Black Caps have now beaten their top three pool opponents with what turned out to be a comfortable World T20 win against Pakistan this morning (NZ time).

Winning the toss and batting first the Blacks Caps got off to a great start thanks to Martin Guptill (80 runs), but Pakistan fought back to restrict them to 180 runs for the losst of 5 wickets.

Pakistan got off to a flyer with Sharjeel Khan racing to 47 off 26 balls but the rest of their batsmen couldn’t keep the momentum going and they ended up struggling to get to 158, failing to score a boundary in their last five overs.

So the Black Caps are guaranteed a place in the semi finals with India, Australia and Pakistan fighting for the second spot from the pool. Pakistan and India are still to play Australia.

The Black Caps have a final pool game against Bangladesh, in which they will have to be careful not to take too easily or they could fall over when they need to be building on their good form.

T20: first India, now Australia

Any thoughts that the Black Caps might struggle after Brendan McCullum’s retirement have been dispelled (for the meantime) after their second win at the World T20 tournament in India.

Batsmen have struggled for runs but both times the Black cap bowlers have prevented their opposition from overtaking modest targets. This time Mtchell McClenaghan helped the spinners, getting 3 wickets for 17.

  • New Zealand: 142 for 8
  • Australia: 134 for 9

Two from two with Pakistan and Bangladesh to go in pool play, a perfect and smart start.

The top two teams from each pool progress to the semifinals.

In the other overnight game England chased down a massive South African total of 229 for 4.

Cricinfo scoreboard

 

Great start to World T20

The Black Caps have made a great start to the World T20, beating the hosts India on a turning track.

New Zealand made a modest 126 for the loss of 7 wickets.

I just caught the last few overs where India struggled against massive Black Cap spin and were all out for 79 in 18 overs.

Spinners Santner (4), Sodhi (3) and Nathan McCullum (2) took a total of 9 wickets, with Milne picking up the final scalp.

Best of our batsmen were Anderson (34), Ronchi (21) and Santner (18) who picked up man of the match.

A great start in a tough pool for the Black Caps, in which they will also play Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, with the top two getting through to the semi finals.

Black Caps versus Baggy Greens 2nd test

It’s been an interesting first day in the second test against Australia.

It was very slow going initially, and looking ominous for the Black Caps who were put in to bat.

  • 3-33
  • 4-74

Then Brendon McCullum came in to bat in his 101st and last test.

McCullum101tests1

It wasn’t long before he hit his 101st six to break the world record for test career sixes. And he hit five more plus a flurry of other runs to score the record fastest century in test history and on to 145 with a great captain’s knock.

McCullum101tests2

  • 5-274

Cory Anderson and BJ Watling also had good knocks to get the total to 370, in well under a day’s play.

New Zealand scored at the fastest rate ever in a test match after being sent in to bat.

This is despite some at times great bowling by Australia, and a few fantastic catches.

Hoping that there’s enough in the pitch and in the air to put the Aussie batsmen under pressure. There’s plenty of time to get some wickets today, if our bowlers are good enough.

From beginnings to nearly great

Jarrod Kimber at Cricinfo writes about the course of Black Caps’s efforts at the just completed world cup interspersed with a history of New Zealand international cricket. Well worth a read for anyone interested in cricket.

Led by their fearless captain, New Zealand threw themselves at this World Cup and came as close as they ever have done to greatness

New Zealand’s greatest almost