New Zealand, To Its Eternal Credit, Exemplifies The Decency & Dignity I Ascribe To Cricket Playing Nations.
Cricket civilizes you. Plain and simple. Sportsmanship is paramount in cricket. Hence, the above expression: “It isn’t cricket”.
So, I, who watch cricket, on a large screen TV, nearly every day, and have been a fanatic all my life, strongly believe that cricket playing nations tend to be more decnet than those that don’t play cricket.
By ‘cricket playing nations’ I am referring to the 12 countries permitted to play 5-Day International Test Matches. Yes, cricket at the highest level, is played between countries and a match can last up to 5-days — and still end in a draw. That is the beauty & charm. That is what civilizes you. No crash, bangk, wallop. Very dignified.
Right now there are 11 countries that are Test nations: India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The ‘West Indies‘ also play Test cricket but they are a conglomeration of small states that come together to play cricket. 105-countries, worldwide, play cricket. But, I am talking just about the 11 Test playing countries — New Zealand one of them.
I am so proud of New Zealand. Way to go. Obviously, it would have been better if this unfortunate incident never happened, but NZ showed us how to rise above and prevail.
And their 38-year old Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. WOW. WOW. WOW. What class. What courage. She is exemplary.
I have thought about immigrating to New Zealand! I, however, have never been. Not even close. I also don’t have any NZ friends. Dealt with a fe, but I can’t say I interact with any Kiwanis right now. My loss.
One of my all time heroes, Edmund Hillary, is a New Zealander.
I know NZ from all the cricket I watch — and some rugby. I count Richard Hadlee, Glenn Turner, Bev Congdon, Ross Taylor et. al. among my favorites. Bev Congdon made my Summer of 1973!
So, I have always had an affinity with dear Ol’ New Zealand — a British Commonwealth member no less.
How they have behaved and prevailed over the last few days has been brilliant. So, inspirational.
Thank YOU, New Zealand.
Thank YOU, Jacinda Ardern.
This was ludicrous! It really was like shooting fish in a barrell. The poor Afghans were totally and utterly outclassed. It was cruel in the end.
The Afghans lasted a total of 65.9 overs across BOTH their innings. They are supposed to be ODI experts but they didn’t last 50 overs in either innings.
I hadn’t seen that much of Afghanistan in the past, but what I had seen, I had liked. They were exciting and their spinners were magical. And I also got to see Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the IPL. Rashid looked a million dollars in the IPL. In this match he looked pedestrian.
Having them play India in their first Test match was crazy — even if this was India B (without Virat Kohli). Maybe they should have cut their teeth against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or even Sri Lanka. But, based on their performance they would have struggled against any Test side. Yes, they will improve over time.
But, they have to start getting realistic. Shahzad is a really nice guy and his batting can be exhilarating. But, he really is too fat for Test cricket and his run out proved that. He needs to be put out to grass.
A Test Win By Sri Lanka On 70th Anniversary, Independence Day, February 4, 2018, Will Make Their DAY!
Having ‘just’ watched close-of-play, Day 4, on February 3, 2018 — I would have to say that Sri Lanka has a VERY GOOD chance of winning this 1st Test on Sunday, February 4 — Independence Day. With luck, they might even be able to get it done by mid-afternoon.
That would be VERY special for Sri Lanka.
An impressive Google Doodle and a Test Win. Doesn’t get much better than that.
South African Quinton de Kock’s 168* Against Bangladesh In The 1st ODI Was Brilliant. Scintillating.
I have been publicly raving about young Quinton de Kock for over 2-years now. From the first time I saw him, in an ODI, I recognized at once, that he was a rare talent — and it did not require any genius on my part to do so. This ‘boy’ exudes class, confidence and competence. He can bat and his wicket-keeping is pretty special too. South Africa is very lucky to have him.
His innings, with my other perennial South African favorite, Hashim Amla, was amazing. They both paced themselves so well. Quinton, one way or another, got most of the strike, 145 balls to Hashim’s 112. I don’t think Hashim minds. Now that he is getting older I get the feeling he is quite content to accumulate runs, slowly, and keep his end up.
Before we even got to the halfway mark of the South African innings I kind of felt that this was going to be a 10-wicket victory — as it was. But, they did drop Quinton, on the boundary, right at the end when they only needed like 6 more runs. That would have been sad. But, luck prevailed.
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A lot of cricket on Willow TV over the next few months — starting next week. Two Test Series BOTH of which should be good to watch: South Africa v Bangladesh & Pakistan v Sri Lanka. Starting September 28, 2017 I will have a backlog of cricket to watch — which might take me all the way into 2018! I will only watch the highlights BUT if there are two Test matches at the same time, that is 2 hours of cricket/day for 3 – 5 days (and NOTE how I did say 3-days!). I can, at best, only watch 1-hour/day so I will be in catch-up. Not complaining.
So, you have a heads-up. Go for it.
Willow TV is getting better. Sling not as much.
The Roku Rocks.
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I do enjoy watching the Indians and have watched the all 11 of their last games; 9 against Sri Lanka and 2 against Australia. They won them ALL, and three of those were Tests. That is pretty damn impressive. They have now beaten Australia twice on the trot, though the first ODI was rain-affected and based on Duckworth-Lewis. I really expected the Aussies to have fought back with vigor as they did against Bangladesh.
The 2nd ODI was exciting. Lost of drama. Pandya getting hit on the head and then getting run-out off a no-ball. Exciting stuff.
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What a ‘gripping’ match, so to speak — the whole match turning on grip the spinners, from both sides, were able to exert on the batsman, despite three big scores.
Day 3 & 4 riveting. I had to watch the highlights of both days, back-to-back, though I was pressed for time. I had to know who won. For much of the time it could have gone either way. Early on in Day 4 I thought Bangladesh and thrown away their chances. There were some dropped catches — though, to be fair, they were all hard chances.
Very impressed how they stuck to their task. When the target went below 30 I thought Australia would claw it back. Not to be.
Good Test match. Enjoyed all of it — albeit, in highlight form.
Who would have thought that Australia would be this vulnerable. It was quite the bowler’s pitch. That made it exciting. We should have more pitches like that. Makes for more riveting cricket.
Thank YOU Bangladesh. Well done and kudos. But, I suspect Australia will come screaming back on the 2nd Test, starting September 4, 2017.
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