Big score, poor bowling
By Roger Childs
The T20 matches are the most exciting form of cricket. This is crash and bash stuff and not for the purists.
There is plenty of hit, miss and snick, and consequently runs aplenty. You haven’t got time to play yourself in and need to make the big hits for the team, preferably sixes.
If you get a big score batting first you need bowl with care and precision to secure the victory.
At Eden Park last night the Black Caps did the first but not the second.
Setting a big target
Martin Guptill loves the limited-over game. Cricket enthusiasts will recall his wonderful batting in the World Cup a few years ago.
He picks the ball up early and has superb timing which allows him to comfortably clear the fence at will.
Partnered by Colin Munro New Zealand had a rapid fire opening partnership of 132. Between them they hit 15 sixes and scored 105 and 76 respectively.
As often happens there was a mid-innings collapse, but Ross Taylor flogged a few boundaries late in the piece, to get the team though to a record equalling 243-6.
Aussies bat well against inconsistent bowling
It is inevitable that in a T20 slog there will luck and near misses. There are plenty of unorthodox strokes, snicks and French cuts. The bowlers can’t do anything about that and the fast men do not have the luxury of a slip cordon.
However, they can bowl line and length and it is stupid to bowl short pitched balls as they are always called a wide and if the keeper misses it, it’s four runs. Then there is a free hit which, if the batsmen belts over the fence, gives the team 10 runs from one “ball”.
Unfortunately, there a few of these in the Australian innings, which would not have pleased the Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson.
There is also a tendency for fast bowlers, after they are hit into the stand, to try and bowl faster. This often means a full toss or a half volley which quality batsmen are happy to dispatch to the boundary.
So the Australian batsmen, although they had their share of luck, exploited the inconsistent Black Caps’ bowling and cruised to victory with seven balls to spare.
They had a 121 opening partnership with David Warner scoring 59 and D’Arcy Short 76. After their dismissals, the middle order kicked on to reach a record total for a team batting second.
It was great entertainment for the large crowd with nearly 500 runs off 39 overs, but the home side will rue an opportunity lost to beat their trans-Tasman rivals.