A pleasant summer’s day for my first visit to the Basin this season. There were games on both days last weekend, but live T20 versus the Ashes on TV is no contest, and today’s match showed why.ND knocked up 200 in their 20 overs, with a spectacular 31-ball 66 from Peter McGlashan, including a reverse-pull which fell inches short of the mid-wicket boundary. McGlashan, a certainty for the New Zealand T20 team, should also be in the ODI team, badly in need of a confident presence after 11 successive defeats. For Wellington, Luke Woodcock was the best bowler, and should be considered if Daniel Vettori is not fit at the start of the ODI series in the New Year.
Jesse Ryder played for the first time since his most recent injury, but was out-of-touch, and holed out for four.
The result was certain when Ryder went in the third over, leaving Wellington already needing more than eleven an over. That’s the flaw with T20. If, as more often than not, a team batting second chasing a big total fails to make a swift start, that’s it. Even in the 50-over format a fightback is possible, but not in T20.
The Wellington team, sponsored by a well-known pizza company, are now known as the Hell Wellington Firebirds, which, when they perform as they did today, makes the sub-editor's headline writing easy.
A note on spectating etiquette. Just as Ronald Karataina bowled during the sixth over of the day, a late arrival (see previous post) pushed past me to get to a vacant seat. Wilson was out. “What happened there?” he asked.
“I don’t know, you were blocking my view” I replied. Another chance to make a lifelong friend disappears.
There was a time when it was generally recognised that it was inconsiderate to move to or from a seat except between overs, but, like having a fielder at third man in a Test match, it’s a nicety that has disappeared.