I’m sure when I changed my working week to a 4 day one I imagined I might do the odd bit of housework on a Friday, maybe catch up with some washing?  But, ooh no!  Not when there was an International 50 Over game on!  England v New Zealand just had to be done!

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With a rather silly 2 test series drawn there was a 5 game limited overs series to be played.  England surprised – well – just about everyone!  Scoring 408 in the first game, Joe Root and Jos Buttler contributing centuries .  Root scored his 104 in 78 minutes, Buttler 129 in 77 minutes – oh to have been there!

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New Zealand were bowled out in a little over 31 overs for 198 – dropping very short of their target! Naturally I was hoping for a repeat from this young and exciting team.

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I confess I was also hoping to see some fine Black Caps batting, I’m funny like that  love to see the best excel and New Zealand have some of the top players in the white ball game!

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The game had a late ‘kick off’ meaning I had time to get my article about the wonderful Dallaglio Foundation published on In The Loose before I headed into London.

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I gave myself plenty of time, choosing to drive to Shenfield as usual, but having to park in the rather scary (in the dark) car park – not good at the end of the evening.

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A smooth journey to The Oval via Liverpool Street and Moorgate got me to the ground in plenty of time, I met 3 cricket fans from Ipswich on the way, having some pre-match banter which was great!

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On arrival I went in search of my seat in the Bedser Stand, I had a good view but not quite my preferred view behind the bowlers arm.  I got some good photos hopefully in spite of that.

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I’m not going to do my usual thing of repeating the scorecard when I write about cricket here – but here’s s link if you fancy!  http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-new-zealand-2015/engine/match/743945.html  So, lots of photos, maybe not so many words – yet I may well ramble!

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New Zealand won the toss and decided to set the pace and open the batting, it has to be said we were indeed treated to a wonderful batting display.

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Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill were first to show their style – both are very hard hitting batsmen and both put on a great show!  McCullum put on 39 before he was out.

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Kane Williamson took his place, out staying Guptill who hit an entertaining 50.  Ross Taylor took his place.

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Williamson and Taylor were both superb, piling on the runs for New Zealand!  Williamson was dismissed for 93 – he really deserved to make his century but that wasn’t to be – he scored 93 from 88 balls.

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Taylor on the other hand did make his tonne and in style – he was hitting those runs against my team, but wow I enjoyed watching him!  He hit 119 from 96 balls including ten 4’s and four 6’s

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Grant Elliot and Luke Ronchi scored 32 and 33 respectively and Mitchell Santner’s 15 plus extras gave England a target of 399 to win!

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It has to be said the England bowlers struggled at times, without wanting to pick on him it has to be said Chris Jordan had a miserable time with figures of 1 for 97 from his 9 overs.  Not good reading!

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Now that was a huge total to chase! And this England team had a good go at the job in hand! Again I’m not going to go mad on listing who did what , but with the exception of Joe Root who was out for 6 and Sam Billings who made 12 the rest of the batsmen put on runs.

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A quick mention – Jason Roy hit 39 on his home ground, Alex Hales a good 54, Eoin Morgan a true captain’s innings with 88!  It was interesting to see him with a bare head for spells, admittedly facing spinners, but still unusual!

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Ben Stokes added 28 and Jos Buttler 41 – it was great to see so many get a decent score on the board.

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It looked possible that England would get at the very least close, especially when Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett went about earning the All Rounder tag.  They were going long well when the rain we’d been promised all day materialised.

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When they left for rain England needed around 9 runs an over from 6.1 – when they returned it had become 34 runs from 2.1 overs!  As England fans we weren’t loving Duckworth Lewis!

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Plunkett scored a valiant 44 before he was out, Rashid 34, adding good runs to the England total.

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Chris Jordan and Steve Finn just didn’t have enough time to have an effect on the result.  England finished on 365 for 9 – losing by 13 runs under that D/L method.

A disappointing end to what really was a great game of cricket!   Both teams can be very proud – certainly of their batting display.  I forgot to mention that England’s fielding was at times poor, New Zealand’s much better.

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I also have to comment that – goodness the Black Caps are small in stature – not all of them but a good number!  Unusual that!

I thoroughly enjoyed my day – the journey home was quick and smooth, as always the train from Liverpool Street had more than a few very drunk people, one of which seemed keen to pick  fight!  The joys of alcohol!

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Which reminds me – I do wish the Oval/Surrey would go the pay a deposit for your beer ‘cup’ way – it’d stop the stupid beer snake thing!

One fact

  • Cost of Ticket – £75.00

A footnote – the walk back to the dark car park was as scary as I thought it would be!

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