Before we get to the cricket I have news!
My luggage has been spending a few days resting and enjoying the fresh air in Auckland and was getting fed up/missing me and would be joining me in Tauranga in the next 24/36 hours.
On the down side – with a lack of any contact – I’d spent another £100 or so this morning on more clothes! Decision to be made before I move on is what to donate to local charities. An investment in AirTags seems sensible.
Meanwhile it’s dress up day here and I can’t join in! ☹️
And on the pitch – Broad goes quickly, Pope follows a short while later. Root and Brook each go for very fast 50s which means that just after break one, England are 242/6 – lead of 261…probably another 100 needed before inserting NZ under lights later for the lottery.
Going back to Root for a moment; it’s clear from his approach that he’s struggling psychologically with this ‘free’ approach. Richie used to say the game’s in the mind and so it is. Joe wants to be part of the new gang but he’s also clinging to the comfy blanket of the ‘old ways’. He wants to please his old self but also be part of the new kids on the street.
What, dear reader, do you think?
The second session ends with England 348/9 – lead of 367. In overall terms the match pace is fast with 7 sessions to go. Foakes builds a fine 50; Stokes 31 tries to force the pace a bit but it’s another false shot sees him depart. One thing for sure, he doesn’t play for his average!
One aspect of the match I need to stress is that the fielders don’t always seem to be able to track the ball (remember it’s orange/pick).
It’s also worth noting that the ground is crammers – the open banks are heaving and there’s not another space for another deck chair or blanket!
The downside is that about 1/3rd of the crowd are not that interested in the match and even just strolling around is mayhem.
They plod on after tea for 20 minutes extending the lead to 393 before Leach fell at the last. Root 57 was the top score but the overall team effort was good.
NZ stuck to their task as well as they could but I suspect we’ve seen the end of Wagner (unless there’s other injuries) as he went for over 100 runs in just 12 overs. He didn’t expect that when he got up today!
Two hours or 30 overs of the evening lottery suggests that England have got the timing about right. Early breakthroughs (19/3 by the 8th over) suggest an end sooner rather than later.
As more fall, it’s clear that a) the pink ball moves more under lights, b) even more under cloud and c) I’m not convinced bats are picking up the line that easily and they rarely play this type of test; hardly a fair contest?
Whilst day/night tests as a concept should work, the lottery aspect is not encouraging nor is the fact that for it to work, the transport infrastructure needs to sufficiently efficient and effective to move large numbers of people competently at night.
The day closes with NZ on 61/5 – excellent bowling by Broad only outshone by the world class time wasting by NZ towards the end. Broad de facto world leader in time wasting passed on his compliments to NZ! Another 7 overs lost today – but no one cares, so why count?
Enough of this Meldrew approach, here’s a few of the dressing up I came across today.