Wednesday, December 26, 2012

At the wicket with Anna Peterson

Teapots - this?
Anna Peterson is living the dream – a lifestyle many of us imagined as young children hitting a taped-up tennis ball in the backyard. She may not be the Malcolm Marshall or Martin Crowe figures we had “dibs” on as we wiled away long into the summer sun, but she lives and breathes cricket – at work, play and recreation.

To have debuted wearing the hallowed silver fern of your country would suffice for most, but “Wolfy” is working hard to add to her international caps. She is carving out a strong record for herself as part of the Northern Spirit, juggling her time between a congested domestic season and her operational role with Waikato Valley Cricket. Anna has also found time to edit a magazine for her association – spreading the word on our great game in her local community.
Or this?

Anna talks to a cricketing Buddha about what she needs to do to regain her spot in the White Ferns, her work with young girls wanting to give cricket a go, and ascension of a woman to the coach’s job (that plug should help with the first point…) . She also enlightens us about her love of teapots - there’s far more to the young Hamiltonian than just cricket.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Six quick singles – plenty of gifts for everyone

This week’s Plunket Shield round-up is a little later than normal – my apologies. Unfortunately, my “real” job has got in the way of my passion, as it so often does at the tail end of one year and the start of the next.

The final pre-Christmas round involved all six sides and there were more highlights than Willie Watson bowling to a young Sachin Tendulkar. Records tumbled, as did wickets, and the ball was despatched to, and over, the fence on a regular basis. Players with international experience, whether local or foreign, shone through in every match. The Plunket Shield now takes a break for a month to allow for the HRV Cup to dominate the holiday period – for those who complain, think for a minute where the money comes from to finance our domestic game.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A very Wisden Christmas

Courtesy of
'twas the night before Christmas 
Children smiled as they slept
Except in New Zealand
Rangi wailed and he wept.

For he feared that from Santa
His sack would be missin'
An old and well-read
Wisden early edition.

Monday, December 17, 2012

At the wicket with Morna Nielsen

22 year old Morna Nielsen’s game has undergone a major transformation. Entering New Zealand’s domestic game as a wide-eyed 17 year old medium pacer, she is now carving out a niche as one of New Zealand’s premier limited overs’ bowlers – as a left arm spinner. 
(Courtesy of

In her third year in the White Ferns, Nielsen has been a shining light with the ball in the two opening matches of the Rose Bowl series against Australia – some of the game’s most destructive batters struggling with her guile and accuracy. Though she battled against the power of Meg Lanning in the third match, her returns in the fourth match will likely have a large influence on the final series result.

Leading her Northern Spirit side from the front, Nielsen has a long future in our domestic game. New Zealand cricket fans need to all cross their fingers that her cricketing future isn’t cut short by a “real” career or the draw of a family, as is the case with so many of our promising female cricketers.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Six quick singles – the night watchman delivers

It was going to take a Herculean feat from Central Districts to recover from a poor first day – it never came. Will Young’s maiden century was lost in a heavy defeat, surpassed by a nonchalant innings from the talismanic Jesse Ryder and a maiden ton from Scott Kuggeleijn.  Cricket matches aren’t won or lost by the individual feats of one man, though CD management must be tempted to touch base with Tonya Harding’s husband, and bodyguard, prior to the sides’ next meeting.

Central Districts 260 (W Young 121, M Gillespie 3/56, S Kuggeleijn 3/53; 59.1 overs) and 389 (J How 51, J Raval 74, C Cachopa 90, P Trego 59, J Franklin 4/71, J Patel 3/66; 116.4 overs) lost to Wellington 403 (M Papps 117, J Ryder 162, A Lamb 3/76, A Patel 3/62; 98 overs) and 248/3 (M Papps 77*, S Kuggeleijn 142*; 66.4 overs) by 7 wickets at Karori Park, Wellington

Friday, December 7, 2012

The captaincy debacle - ascension, demotion and absence

New Zealand won a test in Sri Lanka less than fortnight ago. Victory after a 14 year hiatus should stick in the mind and help a despondent New Zealand cricketing public forget Hobart - it won't.  The captain was at the forefront with the blade and his seamers continued to hunt as a pack - and succeeded. Regardless of the media source, I've seen no coverage this week - instead the headlines have had no positive spin – on the contrary. That a comprehensive victory is pushed to the background so quickly highlights the ineptitude of cricket administration in this country - a game that is struggling for a public profile cannot afford to bypass an opportunity to put it in the spotlight for the right reasons.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Six quick singles – a rose amongst thorns

After a run-filled November, December has been a return to the “bad old days” of domestic cricket – inclement weather, cavalier batting and totals that would raise the wrath of club coaches. Colin Munro continued his dominance in Kingsland but Otago’s Dr Jekyll won out over Mr Hyde. Northern Districts’ James Marshall showed loyalty is a virtue, but his female contemporary Nicola Browne took the early honours, setting a new benchmark in the women’s game.

Northern Districts 200 (G Andrew 3/46, R McCone 4/48; 73.5 overs) and 410/5 decl. (J Yovich 128, J Marshall 61, D Mitchell 73, BJ Watling 68*, C Anderson 69*; 122.0 overs) drew with Canterbury 186 (G Andrew 89, B Arnel 3/48, G Aldridge 5/45; 45.3 overs) and 112/2 (P Fulton 68*; 33.5 overs) at Seddon Park, Hamilton

Auckland 196 (C Munro 59, I Butler 5/57; 51.2 overs) and 274 (C Munro 118, I Butler 4/61; 56.4 overs) lost to Otago 253 (A Redmond 98, H Rutherford 70, D Bartlett 5/53; 97.0 overs) and 223/7 (N McCullum 77, C Martin 3/62, M McClenaghan 3/48; 60.3 overs) by 3 wickets at Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland