ICC World Cup 2015 – Day 1: Co-hosts on fire

Lunch break  in the cricket at the Pomborneit Recreation Reserve, Saturday 14th February.  Thirty odd people in the room. Just in time for the start of the Australia v England World Cup encounter at the ‘G. We haven’t been getting along with our rivals on the field. But the two teams are united in our joy as we see “Finchy”, who hails from 30 minutes down the road, dropped at square leg by Woakes. No national team unites Australians more than our national cricket team.

With my oldest son’s Saturday morning Little Athletics called off due to the overnight rain, we catch the start of the opening game of the World Cup between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum tees off, immediately giving the Blackcaps World Cup momentum right from the start. McCullum’s 65 off 49 balls sets up a New Zealand total of 6/331. Martin Guptill supports well as McCullum’s fellow opener, making 49 off 62 balls. Kane Williamson, equal to Steve Smith as the best young batsman in the world, makes a crisp half century. Corey Anderson smashes 75 off 46 balls to help the home team to their imposing total.

I’m playing in my club’s 2nd XI. I’m unavailable for the second week of the Division 1 game that started today due to a work commitment with my recent new job next Saturday. In 21 years of senior cricket I’ve missed 5 games. One was my step-sister’s wedding. The other four were due to a back/sciatica injury in 2010/11. Routinely have missed wedding ceremonies to play cricket, and just turn up for the reception. So feeling some guilt.

We bat first and I’m at first drop. 1/34 and I’m in. Feeling good, race to 12 before a big inside edge into my pads. The umpire has his finger up before the half-hearted appeal. In the magoos there is no official umpire. It was a teammate who gave me out. I’m furious but give no indication of that. As you shouldn’t. I trudge off. The batsman at the other end, the captain of the 2’s, gives him a spray. The umpire/teammate apologies later. We make a disappointing 120 all out.

While we are playing Sri Lanka are all out for 233 in reply to New Zealand’s 6/331. Opener Thirimanne (65), skipper Mathews (46) and the legendary Sangakkara (39) contribute but not enough. The Kiwis pace trio of Boult, Southee and Milne are impressive. Two wickets each. But it’s the great man Daniel Vettori, who takes 2/34 off his 10 overs, that is the standout. All the Blackcaps matches will be in New Zealand. They’ll be hard to beat.

In the two’s I’ve been given the new ball. Well the second over at least. I’m bowling to the opener who hasn’t faced a ball. He gave us (and me) plenty of lip while we were batting. His off-stump is knocked out first ball. I’m no sledger on the field, I leave that to those with more ability than me. But it feels good. We bowl them out for 65. 2/15 off my alotted 8 overs in this 40 over game.

The same blokes who seemed like assholes on the field were cracking blokes off it. A few cold ones together while watching the Aussie’s belt the Poms in the final overs of Australia’s innings. Leading the recovery from 3/70, Finch and Bailey were the stars of the show. But the finish of Maxwell, M.Marsh and Haddin made Australia extremely hard to beat.

Home with my sons to watch the England innings. Apart from a simple catch dropped by Finch, the Australian fielding was elite. Pleased to see Mitch Marsh turn it on with the ball. Apart from Taylor’s unbeaten 98 and a typically sumptuous 36 from Ian Bell, England looked out of their depth. But while Starc, Johnson and M.Marsh got the job done, questions surround the World Cup winning suitability of Hazelwood, Watto and the bowling of Maxwell and Smith.

The next game, against Bangladesh at the Gabba, offers more questions than answers. Clarke will play. Will Bailey, or Watto?? Is Faulkner ready? Will Doherty get a run?

A cracking start to the World Cup. Great to see Australia back in Australian Gold. Both co-hosts will have gained plenty of confidence from the opening day.

 

New Zealand 6/331 (C.Anderson 75, B.McCullum 65, M.Guptill 49, Mendis 2/5, Lakmal 2/62) def.

Sri Lanka 233 (Thiraminne 65, Mathews 46, Sangakkara 39, Anderson 2/18, Vettori 2/34, Southee 2/43)

 

Australia 9/342 (Finch 135, Maxwell 66, Bailey 55, Finn 5/71) def.

England 231 (Taylor 98*, Woakes 37, Bell 36, M.Marsh 5/33, Johnson 2/36, Starc 2/47)

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134

Comments

  1. There’s a winning day. Luke.
    Not too smooth to be given out l.b.w. by a teammate. Every now and then we would be without an umpire, too (casting my mind back now). There was one guy I played with who was a renowned trigger-finger.
    During our innings he was kept well away from the centre. Usually ended up with the scorebook.

  2. Sacrificing cricket for a work event?? I think that the LBW decision was the Gods (cricketing ones of course) telling you to return to the one true faith of only turning up for the cake and the beer.
    Well played Luke.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers Dave. Happy (as you can be) to be given out LBW when I haven’t hit it!

    Thanks Peter. The cricket Gods are hard to please. But easily upset.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Luke I hope you made your teammate buy you refreshments all night
    Totally agree with you missing games for weddings a punishable offence . Will let you off re new job ohh and thanks for the write up of those other 2 games

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