Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Well done to the Black Caps

Supporting the New Zealand cricket team is one of the hardest gigs in world sport. But when they do something extraordinary, all the frustrations are momentarily forgotten.

And they've just gone where no New Zealand cricket team has ever gone before; winning a series in South Africa. Following up from the unexpected win in Paarl on Saturday, the Black Caps have done it again, and beaten the Proteas by 27 runs at Kimberley to take an unbeatable two-nil lead in the three match series.

Kane Williamson was the batting hero, with a magnificent 145 not out off 136 balls to lead the Black Caps to 279 for eight from their 50 overs. In reply, South Africa was cruising at 167 for one before Graeme Smith was run out, becoming the first of five Saffer batsmen to perish in that fashion.

Given the capitulations in the test series, this is a fantastic result for New Zealand. But let's not pretend that all is sweetness and light.

Still, it's a moment to celebrate, and we congratulate Brendon McCullum and his team on a gutsy, fighting victory. All we ask of the Black Caps is that the team shows some bottle, and they have done that in this series in spades. We'll have more to say when our heart rate has slowed a little, but in the meantime, well done New Zealand!


Quintin Hogg said...

Picking myself off the floor after the shock of this win.

The saffas self destructed but it seems some dot ball presure was applied which lead to run-outs.

Well done the black caps.

Siena said...

Agree heartily with the congratulations. But it was Williamson's victory almost alone - 145n.o. off 138 balls was a huge contribution, with only one other batsman exceeding 20.

McCullum wore the gloves, it seems - and I'm pleased that he sees that as part of his role - but was dismissed playing another glory shot.

Let's now win the third match, and make it a memorable whitewash. I think that the SAs might field a stronger side next time. There has been something of an experimental look about the present SA combination, but who can blame them for that given NZ's recent form.

awbraae said...

The South African team contained 4, maybe 5 first string players, so we shouldn't get too excited by this. However, it does show that happily the Black Caps aren't without a pulse. An annual test win and maybe a one day series to boot might be all we can hope for over the next few years, but at least they will win occasionally.

Keeping Stock said...

That's true awbraae, but the New Zealand side was far from full strength either; no Taylor, Ryder, Southee or Bracewell. Nicol was injured in training, and Guptill is out of nick. So that makes it a pretty average New Zealand side as well.

@ Siena - winning the series to nil would be a terrific result. It would also boost our stocks in the ICC rankings. We've already vaulted from ninth to fifth on the strength of two wins, as well as having knocked the Proteas off #1.