Okay. This weekend has had two things that kept me awake - The rugby and the F1.
Firstly, all best wishes to Felipe Massa, who is still in an induced coma after an operation on his fractured skull.
And... Rugby. We, well, sucked. I've seen few posts around blaming the referee for our poor performance, and while the constant whistling was annoying, (especially for those of us who like the new ELV's) and often a bit shit, we need to take responsibility for the fact that if Ruaan Pienaar didn't suck worse than our catching that would have been a complete rout.
Not sure how we're going to do next week, but hopefully we can do a wee bit better, and the boks persist in not picking Morne Steyn.
And to continue with the F1 - wow. Quaifying was a nightmare, though Fernando Alonso got pole. And then his team promptly fucked up the pitstop, didn't put the wheel on properly and it came off. Which, in current circumstances was probably not a wise plan. The FIA have banned them from the European GP for excessive fail. The European GP is in Spain. Which would mean Alonso not racing at home, unless he changes teams.
And which team could he go to? *cough* It's not as if there's a spare seat going... *cough cough*
Anyway, Lewis Hamilton won. Which is a nice change from Jenson Button.
Hello possums! Last weekend I went on an expedition to foreign climes, namely a hop across the ditch to Melbourne to watch a friend of mine get married. (And it did happen -- matrimony was definitely the winner on the day! I wish a long and happy life to Glasshopper and his new wife K.)
I love Melbourne and I'm rather fond of Australia, as it happens, on the grounds that it's just like New Zealand except for when it's really, really not.
One of the things I really love about Melbourne is that nobody follows rugby there -- everybody's into Australian Rules Football, aka "rules" or "footy".
How much are Melbournians into their footy? The first time I visited, I found myself with a bit of free time and had a look through a local paper. The page headed "Religion" held... the footy results.
Last Friday night I found myself in my hotel room with very little inclination to go out, and that Melbournian phenomenon, Friday Night Footy, on the TV. Collingwood vs Essendon, one of the great grudge matches between two famous teams. (Hell, even I've heard of them, and I'm a New Zealander.)
So I watched the game.
All of it.
All two hours of it.
Why, you ask?
Well, there are 22 reasons per team, each in superb physical shape, wearing singlet tops and tiny shorts. And doing a lot of running and jumping and kicking. Seriously, what's not to like.
And it's different enough from rugby that I was riveted for the whole time, trying to work out how the game play went. No, really. I watched for the game play. As well.
Interestingly, every single Australian I talked to about it said "That was a crap game!" I don't know enough about how the game works to know whether it was crap or not. It was entertaining, and I'd like to see more of it.
And not just for the singlet tops and tiny shorts.
I have a story to tell you. Settle in. You might want to get a cup of tea or something else nice and soothing. Gin is a good choice.
After the second test in Wellington, the one the Brat attended, some of the French rugby team went out on the town, as you do.
The next day, Mathieu Bastareaud appeared with stitches in his face and said he'd been attacked by five big brown guys. The police, aghast, started an investigation. Bastareaud went home to France. New Zealanders were horrified that something like this would happen here -- we love our rugby and we are as flag-wavy as the next guys about it (and consider that the next guys are Australia), but it's a bit beyond it to go attacking opposition players.
Now, I thought about posting something when this happened, but had this niggly feeling that there was a bit more to it, so decided to sit on it all for a while.
Fast-forward a few days. Bastareaud goes on holiday to the Caribbean. NZ police keep the investigation going. Then the manager of Bastareaud's club, Stade Francais, went to the media and told them that Bastareaud had told him that he'd lied about being attacked. Yep, that's right -- he lied, so he wouldn't be chucked off the French team for getting really, really pissed, doing a PFO and whacking his head on the bedside table, resulting in the stitches in his face.
So, a person could be forgiven for thinking that's enough WTF for one week, right?
This has turned into a clusterfuck of massive proportions. Rumours are going round France that it wasn't a bedside table Bastareaud hit his head on, but rather a fist belonging to another member of the French rugby team. The whole matter has been referred to the French rugby disciplinary board, and it's going to be interesting to see what comes out of the investigation.
No matter which way it comes out, the person this has been hardest on is Bastareaud himself -- not only did he get injured (even if it's still not clear how), he lied to police in New Zealand about what happened, may be part of a coverup of appalling behaviour on other players' parts, and is currently in a psychiatric ward after apparently cracking up under the strain and attempting suicide.
The poor bastard. I genuinely wish him well and hope he feels better soon -- this is not a good state for anybody to be in.
But wait, there's more!
For an extra dose of WTF, the French government has apologised for Bastareaud's behaviour. Which is cool. Unutterably cool. Seriously, seriously cool. And marks a sea-change in the way the French government treats appalling acts of awfulness committed by its citizens in other countries.
As to why the All Blacks have been playing so dismally. (Aside from the fact the Hurricanes broke half the best players, whoops, our bad) And that theory is something that is missing from the pre-match routine, administered by the captain, Richie McCaw.
No, no hear me out. If you were being told, by Richie McCaw, that he'll spank you if you drop the ball all the damn time, you wouldn't drop the ball. Unless you like that sort of thing. Then all he would have to do is threaten to put a stop to the spankings. Voila, the AB's suck less.
(Im not saying which spanking group I fall into. Its embarrassing.)
So, we are playing the French in Wellington tomorrow night, and I will indeed be going. (and stalking the French but that's a whole 'nother story.)
But, following Madame Backslash's lead, I thought I would include some more useful French phrases.
Your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries. Votre mère était un hamster et vos odeurs de père des baies de sureau.
How much have you paid the referee? Combien avez-vous payé à l'arbitre ?
I recognise you from dieux du stade... That picture was hot. Je vous identifie de dieux du stade… Cette image était chaude.
You wear pink underwear. Vous utilisez les sous-vêtements roses.
In other, rugby related news,
While my workout was greatly enhanced by the chance to watch a dozen All Blacks get sweaty from my vantage point on the elliptical - Why was it on the day when I am wearing my sloppiest trackies and sweating like a pig?
P.S. At least we know they're doing something. P.P.S. Corey Jane up close... Delicious.
PLUS - There's only seven days left to join my plane, do it, you know you want to.
Air New Zealand are doing the whole "fill up a plane and we'll take you to the rugby" thing again this year. Which I think is cool. So I've started a team, and instead of spamming yous all with emails from Air NZ, I thought I would make this post and encourage those reading it to click this link and include themselves in the plane.
Well, it was a game of two halves and Fail was the winner on the day.
I didn't cry, impressively enough. Mostly because I had the entire game to get used to the fact we were going to lose.
Cos, y'know, We sucked.
Okay, so did the referee. Hard. And in the second half, so did France, a bit.
But we couldn't hold onto the ball, and in the first half, the French got every turnover that was going and several that weren't. They played the referee better than we did, and also actually seemed to know what the rules were.
So, basically, the French deserved to win.
They are also FUCKING HUGE O M G!!! I don't know quite what they eat in France, but those boys have certainly been eating a lot of it. This means that when they tackle something, it stays tackled. Which was something we didn't manage, which meant they scored, a lot.
Really, I don't know if we will be able to pull it back in just a week. Our second half was certainly better than our first, thanks to Graham Henry gave the boys a kick up the jacksie so hard they'll be tasting dubbin for days, but our inability to gel will probably take a bit longer to fix.
And you know whats even worse? I think they're better looking than we are... In a Eurotrash kind of way, of course.
Edit because a performance as bad as this one does not deserve it's own post,
Dear Slack Caps,
RE: Your Batting.
WHAT THE FUCK?
Why did you bat first at all? Why keep sweeping? How the fuck did you manage to get all out?
99... bloody hell.
No love for at least three days, Brat.
P.S Highlight of the match - Brendon McCullum taking out Marty Guptill. Honestly if the All Blacks had tackled like that they might have won.
So, due to excessive MySky fail, I didn't see us have a wee wobble against Scotland, although I hear some of it was rather good. I also think having a game decided by seven overs of slog is retarded and indicative of the silliness that is twenty20 in the main. Although I am totally loving the upsets (well done the Windies!) I remain sceptical that this is the future of cricket.
And, for something completely different- Barbarians were funny and Luke McCalister seems to have eaten all the pies. Roger Federer is now the best tennis player evar and I'm going to have to listen to the Mothership rhapsodising over him for a long while. And, I'm over Jenson Button winning as the BBC commentators are becoming the most obnoxious things to ever grace the airwaves.
So, we've got some cricket back, and the real rugby is just about to start - And I'm mostly wondering why they all have one season, but there you go.
The All Blacks are failing already this season - Richard Kahui is broken and with Dan Carter and Richie McCaw out we are not sure who will be bringing the sexy back for the AB's this year. Lets hope we find someone, or the Springboks will take out the tri-nations pretty award.
And I would like it put on record that we have to stuff the French in no uncertain terms or I will cry.
Annnnnnnd, onto the cricket - and for your daily installment of WHAT THE FUCK? England lost the opening match. Against the Dutch. Yes, I did a double take too. There are only four professional cricketers in that team, and the English have squizillions at their disposal. I dont know what happened, so would someone like to fill me in?
NZ play Scotland tonight, and if we don't win, I suggest all test-playing nations should pack in this twenty20 bullshit and go play tests, lest we all be deeply embarrassed.
And from the "Are we sure they werent playing cricket?" files, The New Zealand juniors rugby side beat Uruguay 75-0. Hat-trick hero was one (cleanly shaven) Zac Gilford. Yay.
Annnnnd lastly, the Cheap Seats would like to bid a not-especially-fond farewell to Andrew Symonds, who after further behaving like a drunken monkey has been sent home with his contract in tatters. After what he (drunkenly) said about our Brendon McCullum on the radio, I can't say we're sad to see him go. Well, I could, but it would be a lie. Jesse, this is what happens when you don't get a clue. We're kinda glad to see you getting a clue, really.
Okay, I didn't actually watch the Super 14 final. Roland Garros was on, see, and my mum is in charge of the telly when it comes to all tennis related matters.
And, I didn't actually care that much...
But it seems the Chiefs got utterly and comprehensively pwned. Which is embarrassing, as they're supposed to be the best this country has to offer. Can we blame Suzie?
With Richie McCaw still a bit stuffed, and Scott Waldrom broken into three pieces, who the AB's openside will be is interesting. Whether Rodney So'oialo will get the nod as captain is also interesting. Who the frick we're going to put at lock will be furtherly interesting.
I think we should send a big "Get Well Soon" card to everyone who got broken by this years Super 14. Why are they expanding it again?
And in other, vaguely annoying news - Chelsea won the FA cup.
Both the Hurricanes and the Crusaders lost, meaning the final will be in Pretoria between the Bulls and the Chiefs.
This leads to a dilemma. The Chiefs are the Chiefs and the Bulls are South African, so it all comes down to which team we want to lose the least.
We at the Cheap Seats have this thing about supporting the underdog. The Bulls are going to be on their home turf, and it's the opinion of both the Brat and I that they are the stronger team, so here it is...
But having never been to Hamiltron, City of the Future, before, I am finding it to be pleasant, warm and the stadium to be entirely awsome in a way that is reminicent of Athletic Park.
The game rocked too. All of it was exciting, but I knew when that fog rolled in that we would come off second best (Christchurch, anyone?) Those 'Canes need to learn to play under pressure, and not drop the ball all the damn time. Perhaps it was because they shaved. We, the public, are glad they shaved, however. I was also very impressed with the refereeing, and just... it was oarsome. The whole thing. Except the losing.
Then there was drinking. And now I am in a state that is not hung over, just merely over.
And now Im going to yell at the Crusaders tonight, because, well... We cant have a final in Saffrica, can we?
Enter... Cricket. The hit-and-giggle World Cup is coming up (I know because Iain O'Brien said so in his blog) And I would like to take a vote on whether it actually really matters. I vote no, because our uniforms are so silly.
Annnnnnd Because it's tangentially related to Twenty20 cricket (he does play it after all) here's Aiden Blizzard.
See, if he had been in that calendar, I woulda bought it.
So it's Super 14 semi-finals weekend. The Brat has gone to Hamiltron, City of the Future, for the Chiefs vs Hurricanes game, where she reports she has found a bar with free bubbly for girls and a free bus to the game. (She always lands on her feet, does the Brat.)
The Cheap Seats' pick for this match is the Hurricanes, for two reasons:
1. They're the Brat's home team.
2. If they lose it means the Chiefs are in the final, and well, come on.
The other semi-final is in Pretoria tomorrow, between the Bulls and the Crusaders. Our pick for this match is the Crusaders, also for two reasons:
1. They're my home team (yeah yeah I've lived in Otago for 20 years, but they're still my home team, okay?).
2. If they lose it means the Bulls are in the final. And we just can't have that, can we?
Brat and I have a mutual support agreement in place for this set of fixtures -- I'll support the Hurricanes for the first semi and she'll support the Crusaders for the second.
So, sports fans, I've been ill. Really ill actually, which is sucky.
BUT! I have been using the time when I am sprawled on my couch to do things like watch rugby and IPL and bad football movies.
So, how about that Super14. How awesome are the Hurricanes? Yes, the answer is "really really awesome." Although Stirling Mortlock was not hit by a meteor, he did get owned by Corey Jane, and his team got completely owned by the 'Canes. Eight tries. It was glorious to watch. It was glorious to be at (and I don't just say that because I get a kick out of being allowed to leave the house). Only bad point was the morons who sat behind me, giving the three people in Petone who aren't bogans a bad name. Bring on the Blues!
Though, note to said awesome Hurricanes, Shave. For the love of all that is holy, shave. Corey, this is especially relevant for you. That thing growing on your face is nastay.
Also mad props to the New Zealand Army team, who stuffed the Australian Army team 26-0 in the curtain raiser.
I really don't have much of an opinion on the rest of the Super14, except to say that I have watched the highlanders and can only come to one conclusion. Jimmy Cowan is a moron. (Seriously, who the hell picks a fight with AJVenter?)
Oh, and the Crusaders lost to the Cheetahs. Hahahaahaaaaa...
And I watched some of the IPL, and really, just when you thought the uniforms couldn't get any more ridiculous, the Indians prove us wrong. What's happened to Brendon McCullum anyways? Did he forget to take his batting ability to the Republic?
So it turns out all the hoo-ha about whether the diffuser on the Brawn GP etc cars is legal doesn't make the blindest bit of difference when there's so much water on the track that the cars are aquaplaning.
Good on ya Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull for taking out the China GP in such appalling conditions.
Things that amuse me. (aside from the phrase "cheese on a stick")
1. The Blues. Man, they suck. They got beat something like a zillion to half a zillion by the Chiefs. The game was a bit pants, but good in a watching-on-prime-on-sunday-avo kind of way.
2. Team Kiwi. Not just cos theyre racing V8's. But cos theyre doing it in a hire car.
3. The Warriors. What's this winning all about then? And has Stacey Jones actually aged at all in the time he's been away from the game, or has he found the same fountain of youth that the Briscoes lady has been drinking from?
First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was affected by the terror attacks in Lahore a few hours ago. It is reassuring to hear that the players are all out safely.
Okay, I'm back.
I have a room with no furniture, and it appears I also can has autumn. I miss summer already. The Cheap Seats have a hub, but no bar, thanks to the demise of the grand and glorious Bowler (Which Madame and I sent off in style...)
The twenty20's have been rife, with the Black caps making up for the utter fail of their run chase in Sydney by stuttering their way to two victories. Brendon McCullum was amazing, despite not going for the gigantic fucking slog everyone seemed to think he had to carry out. Instead he, gasp, steered both our inning's in a fashion that was both entertaining and intelligent. If he keeps that up I might have to stop considering twenty20 the red-haired stepchild of real cricket.
Now, it should be noted that these games were played in February, which is still (though not in Dunedin) late summer. On the first day of Autumn there was another twenty20 game. Madame Backslash has already discussed the rain which ruined that one. The efforts of the ground staff were herculean, the Canterbury boys stealing Aaron Redmond's rugby ball was highlarious but watching Otago win by default... Uninspiring.
And just to top it off for the first ODI it is raining. In Napier. Napier is the place I gave myself first degree sunburns. It never rains in Napier. At least not in summer.
Although as I wrote this post I got to watch a replay of the game that I gave myself such horrible sunburn at, last time India played in Napier. I even wrote about it in my diary. The entry was emo, but that game was a good one.
And now for another episode of, The More You Know... *cue theme music*
They actually played CricketMAX internationals! (for those of you who don't know, if twenty20 is the red-haired stepchild of real cricket, then cricketMAX was the partial-birth abortion. It was like a forty over test match, one side batted ten overs, then the other, then the first side again, and the second. There was also the opportunity to get extra runs by hitting the ball into certain areas of the ground. It was terrible, and also entirely Martin Crowe's fault.) But apparently they played six international cricketMAX games, the last of which was NZ vs India in 2002. I got to watch the replay, and it was just as awful as I remember. Note - 20 year old Brendon McCullum did in that game exactly what he did in the recent twenty20's. The boy has always been a class act.
As a nice slide from cricket to rugby, the Otago Highlanders came to play cricket against some students at Otago Uni today. They were good at batting, good at bowling but shit at catching. Which may go some way to explaining their current position on the Super 14 ladder. Jimmy Cowan especially seemed afraid of the ball. Which was yellow. And plastic.
Actually, given how bad the kiwi teams have been performing I don't think I'll talk about rugby, except to say that the Highlanders playing against the Crusaders as the warm up act for Shihad is O for Oarsome. Oh, and big ups to the Hurricanes for beating the Crusaders. I'm going to be rubbing it in to Madame backslash for, oh, at least the next six months.
The Sri Lankan cricket team, which is currently touring Pakistan, was attacked on their way to the test in Lahore. At time of writing, eight players are listed as injured (two seriously) and five Pakistani police officers are dead. The rest of the tour has been cancelled.
To the perpetrators, I'd just like to say WTF, people??!? Whatever you're pissed off with the Sri Lankan government about (if anything), it's pretty unlikely the cricket team had anything to do with it. And even so, what the hell is wrong with placards, a strongly-worded letter to the Editor or, if you're really riled, chaining yourself to something?
The Cheap Seats is appalled by these events, and wish a swift, safe recovery to the injured players and condolences to the families of the officers who died in the line of duty.
So the Brat, the Weasel and I duly trundled off to the University Oval for the Twenty20 match, staking out our claim in the "family" (ie "munter-free") section of the ground. Where we sat and drank beer (out of cans, blech) (except for the Weasel, who is underage, who had fizzy drink instead), ate chips and watched as they brought in a helicopter (aka "giant fan") to dry out the pitch and outfield.
Pitch duly dried and giant fan flown away... it started to drizzle. And the drizzle got heavier and heavier, until it was actual rain. The drizzle started at 4pm, and the match wasn't actually called off until 5pm, by which time the Weasel and I (who are clearly not as waterproof as the Brat) had bailed and called for extraction.
So it was an interesting experience, but it would've been nice to actually have, y'know, _seen some cricket_.
It's common wisdom that February and March are the best, most settled weather for the pursuit of such outdoor activities as cricket and its close cousin Twenty20.
I only have one thing to say to that: Bollocks.
The State Twenty20 final is due to start at 2.30 today. It rained buckets overnight, to the point where I got soaked to the skin during a ten-minute walk out in it. And it was still raining when I dragged my hungover self out of bed at 9.30 this morning.
So, because it's not actually raining _right now_, they've decided to take some time to figure out whether to proceed. The decision will be made at... 2.30. When the Brat, the Weasel and I will already be at the Oval either getting wet or trying to find a place to put our blanket down where it won't be soaked through in five seconds flat.
So. One would think, from the lack of updates, That the cheap seats were done and I had watched none of the rugby.
But you would be wrong. I watched ALL of the rugby. All the teams I barracked for lost. And I watched the twenty20. And Vic beating NSW in the Sheffield shield. And I have been on an MCG tour.
But, being fatigued, exhausted and emotionally drained (not to mention having made a GIGANTIC arse of myself - sober - in front of Iain O'Brien) I'm not going to update about any of that. Instead I am going to pose this question
What is the correct response to the lyrics
I can tell you, my love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone?
a) But untill they leave I'll keep hooking into this cute Irish guy. b)And at least as theyre leaving they still have their shirts off. c) The reason they're gone is because Tori picked them all up last night. or d) And your mum?
I headed off to the cricket at 10am, cos I am a freak like that and I was meeting a friend in a pub at 10:30 before the gates opened. And of course, it was pissing down with rain. So we sat in this pub, well past the appointed start time of the cricket, and figured it would be cancelled, stuff would be a draw, and all would be sucky.
I waited until 4:30 when I could see no sign of improvement and hopped on a bus to go back to the hostel and watch the Highlanders snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as is their usual custom.
Then I went next door to the net cafe and had a heart attack when I realised that yes, there was gonna be some cricket, holy shit. One mad dash and taxi ride and madder dash later, I'm in someone else's seat yelling and screaming and loving my cricket, even if it had turned into a twenty20.
Then the rain returned, i stood in it, for it was beautiful and soft and heavy and tropical and all kinds of gorgeous, so I ended up soaked to the skin and being snogged by random Australian who had never thought of the beauty of his own town's rain before.
And somehow, despite more than 3/4ths of the game being played, and us being ahead on the D/L par score, they abandoned a match we should have won. Martin Guptill was utterly amazing. Fults was good, Tayor needs a spanking every time he tries to play on the leg side, and Daimante (who is much older than he looks) was very cool. We should have won. Moral frigging victory to us my friends.
I'm heading off to Melbourne tomorrow, whereby I return to the deep south as a homeless person until I can find a flat. I'm not going to the actual twenty20 in Sydney, as it would have cost an arm, leg and my future firstborn to buy the tickets. I'll watch it on telly in Melbourne.
If you don't think the cheap seats are a place for sappiness, turn away now... Because of the way NZC have scheduled no tests in the South Island and only one ODI, I will probably not see my boys in the flesh again this summer. I am feeling quite melancholy about that, (aided by the huge amount of alcohol Ive been drinking) and I would just like to say to any of them who might be reading, and any of my readers who actually care, that I just love seeing live cricket, I've loved it, it's been awesome, and win, lose or draw, they're my absolute heroes.
Further news from Sydney, Australia. (But my flight to Brisbane leaves tonight)
Firstly - Something serious. The fires in Queensland, devastating, deliberate utterly utterly awful... And now things need to be done. If you're in Australia reading this, go to your local blood bank and donate blood. Next week when I return to Melbourne I will see if being a kiwi means I can donate blood too. If you're not in Australia, send money. Really. Call your local Red Cross, they're setting up that sorta thing.
Now for the cricket... Tobias the German has been educated as to the differences between cricket and golf (which are of course many and varied, cricket actually being a sport and golf well... not.) And the Aussies have recalled everyone they thought they would beat us without and have started beating us. But not by much! Its setting up to be a real tough one in Brisbane on Friday (The 13th, Black Friday, think that might help us any?) I'll try not to cry if we lose this time.
And guess what also happens on Friday? The super 14 starts. may I be the first to ask Why are we playing rugby in summer again? Fortunately my Hurricanes are playing on Saturday so I won't have any "oh no what should I watch" dilemmas. Tobias, who has decided he likes this Brat enough to follow her to Brisbane, may get disappointed when he figures out that yes, all I do is watch sport and drink. Really.
Ive been to two games... In Australia. of course the first at the MCG was really brilliant, we won, I watched ostrich boy and Neil Broom (Broom, really?) win it for us. Elliott should have got man of the match, but having no hands, he couldn't accept a large cheque, so they gave it to pup. I was never worried about our state of the game, so long as we keep the Aussies batting boring, we would be fine.
They batted exciting today in Sydney. it was great. It was hot, (I have very bad bikini sunburn) and we bowled badly. Really really badly. Tim Southee was asked to sign Maddy's autograph book, whereby the crowd decided he should sign her boobs. Timmeee, next time you're presented with opportunity to sign a nice pair of tits, take it mate.
I though I couldn't love and respect BazMcCullum more than I did... I do now. So full of painkillers he could barely stand up, a face the colour of milk, sweating like it was the heat of the day in India... And he still smashes sixes. What a fucking hero.
Still 2-1 up.
Quote of the night comes from Tobias, the German in my room - "So cricket, that is kind of like golf?"
No Toby, no it is not.
Off thefield my wallet has been stolen, I have no money, and am very sunburned. Bad, bad times.
Guptill fan club now has five members. Tomorrow I'll put it on facebook.
I was planning on writing about both games I've been lucky enough to attend in Perth - the final game of the SA/OZ ODI series followed by NZ's frist crack at the vulnerable Aussies.
Screw that. It's not every day we travel to Australia - the far end of it at that, and win.
My seats for both games weren't cheap - so let's ignore the title of this blog while we give thanks for shade on a 38 degree Perth day. The view from the top of the Prindiville stand is one of the best in the ground.
NZ supporters were few and far between and I was not about to throw on my ODI shirt when surrounded by yellow clad aussies. Yes, call me a wimp and I'll just agree with you.
There is nothing threatening about our bowling attack, and given the groundsman's prediction of a belter, I was surprised at how tightly we bowled. Add to that a typically tidy fielding performance and at one stage it was looking like Oz would be bowled for around 150. I felt a little less comfortable with things as they edged over the 180 mark. We could well struggle, and as it turned out, we didn't make easy work of it at all.
I guess the Broom dismissal has to be mentioned. To me, the TV evidence doesn't lie, and that's really all I can say about that. There's no shame in admitting a genuine mistake is there Mr Haddin? I can only assume that Australia are looking at a different set of footage than the rest of us.
Given that we are experts in the art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I wasn't too surprised at how things turned out. As wickets fell towards the end, I sunk further into my seat and kicked my ODI shirt further out of sight.
The final overs went on for an eternity. What was it you had to talk to Nathan Bracken about after every single ball, Ricky? Finally, the last six balls arrived, and I would have happily taken a draw at this point. What had looked simple four overs ago now looked like it would all go horribly wrong. Enter Danny. How he struck that four is still a mystery, but thank God he did.
Much screaming and jumping followed, and not just from angry Aussies. We'd won. The feeling was indescribable. It still is. There's nothing quite like getting one over on the old foe.
Special mention to the beer snake of doom and the streaker who went all the way.
Now it's off to Melbourne. Who knows? Maybe we'll win again.
So... Having been fired downsized, I suppose I should update more often. And I have been doing some sport watching. The Australian Open is on, and while I'm not really one for tennis [Edit by someone "nameless" - Yeah right, the Brat is into anything with balls] I've been quite enjoying it. I like Nadal, The Mothership likes Federer, so we have some good arguments about who is better. When neither of these people are playing we use a system to decide who to support. If it is a women's game, we support the woman with the dress we think is the nicest. If it's men's, we support the one we think is the best looking.
It, quite naturally, scares me when we agree.
I was very disappointed the other day when Federer came back from two sets down against Tomas Berdych, a tall, blonde Czech with cheekbones you could cut yourself on. The game from both players was a fantastic example of the psychology of tennis, and who had the mind game to win. I fully expect one Ken Hodge to be using the game as an example in his lectures next year. Great game to watch for more normal people too.
The Australian Open website www.australianopen.com is well designed with all the info you will ever need, so go check it out.
And in completely different balls, South Africa have beaten Australia. And of course here in New Zealand it's being talked about how this will be the perfect time to take them down, to win the Chappell-Hadlee and make them Aussies humiliation complete. I suggest the people who say things like that should have a good hard look at the way we have been playing recently. Because really. They'rebeing a bit silly.
So Brendon McCullum is being borrowed by NSW for the KFC T20 final. I'm a little conflicted on this myself, personally I wouldn't mind borrowing young Baz for a game or two, but cricket would not be one of the games. I think it's a little unfair to the regular player who will be missing out tonight, and to the Vics who didn't get to pull in one of the best T20 players in the world at the last minute, and as a Melbournian that we didn't get to him first.
But un-australian Mr Symmonds?
Not on your life, "borrowing" something great from the kiwis is as Australian as Pharlap, or Neil Finn, or Russell Crowe (when he's winning shit, and not throwing phones at people).
Proving that she doesn't just blog about sport, but play it too, The Brat and my friend George headed out to do some pre-season football training. Partly to increase the chances of George making the A squad again, partly to get my new boots, which were cheap but may be the wankiest looking boots on earth dusty.
As we practiced our crosses, a sweaty man came over and in a very "Bend it like Beckham" moment asked if we played for any side. I responded in the negative, and he asked why, as we both looked as if we had talent. I called George over and she told him she played for Wellington United. I didn't mention I hadn't played for two years due to my body falling apart in undignified ways.
Sweaty man turned out to be Michael Utting, former All White goalie and someone who had the misfortune of playing for both the knights and the kingz. We shook hands, he wished us luck, and we said we would be about a bit so we might bump into him again.
We then grinned for the rest of the day.
It's quite a training motivator, meeting an old hero.
Sunshine - good. But not good enough. The Windies lost by 9 runs via Mr Duckworth and Mr Lewis.
Chris Gayle - good. But not good enough. His middle order sucked gigantic penis.
Man hit in face by six - funny for us, not so much for him I'd imagine.
Ross Taylor in the field - good. Took 2 stunners, one while running along the boundary. Infact the Black Caps fielding as a whole was good.
Batting wickets - nice for a change.
Scott Styris giving away team secrets - funny.
CONSTANT duck quacking noises from the stands - really fucking BAD. WTF?? YOU WANT ME TO GET MY SHOTGUN? DON'T THINK I WON'T!!
Simon Doulls hair - receding and greasy.
The crux of it all was we won the (serious rain interupted) series 2-1. Pity they didn't hold all the matches here in Nelson. We haven't had rain since Christmas and our ground is so small everyone could have had hundreds. Live and learn New Zealand cricket, live and learn.
Basin Brat has asked me to make some comments on the 4th ODI in Auckland this afternoon as she is tied up in the lions den with a hot boy.
It was a great pity that the game didn't get to be played until the end, if only for Martin Guptill's sake (side note: having never seen Guptill play before I was expecting him to look more Jeetan Patel, less Sean Pollock). His 122 not out on debut was the highlight of the match and to see him salute his home crowd was pretty damn special.
The Windies were just getting underway after the first rain delay, chasing a revised target when the covers came on again. We were treated to The Coolest Man in Cricket hitting it all over the show as he does and Chattergoon just getting into this stride. Alas the fickle January weather came in and ballsed up another game. You'd think this was England the way this series has gone.
Sky did make up for it by showing highlights of a match from the Teal Era. Back when Nash had hair and Parore was our angry little man. Chris Cairns was doing a fine job impersonating Burt Reynolds with his porny 'tache and Scott Styris was thinner. Back when we could beat a substandard outfit 4 matches on the trot and look damed stylish while doing it. Back when I knew the players in the team. Who the hell is Neil Broom?? I'm going to go and sit in my rocking chair on the porch and bemoan the youth of today because Sky has managed to make me feel old.
One other thing I'd like to say. How many more chances does Jesse Ryder get? Seriously, the boy needs a good smack. Who is he screwing to have kept his job this long? And same goes for Skippy Sinclair. Send him back to CD and throw away the key.
See you in Napier on Tuesday, don't forget the brolly, Lucy