New Zealand v England – 1st Test, Day 1

Your hard working writers have been working bloody hard recently, and so the articles on here are a little thin on the ground. We have always said we won’t post for posting sake, and that we know you understand this. A lot has got my interest recently, and even today there is barely concealed anger over the ICC Qualifiers for the World Cup. We’ve had the tiresome nonsense between two groups of adults acting like children in South Africa. We’ve had the KP retirement and the reaction (and lack of in some quarters). There was the schmozzle in Sri Lanka, there are the frequent laments over county cricket. If the game has nothing to moan about, then it can generate something in a heartbeat. Sadly, despite all these subjects we’ve just been crushed by our day jobs. So sorry, but that’s life. It’s especially tough when we see some of the stuff being put out there at the moment.

But we have some actual cricket tonight. I was going to say proper cricket, but I’m not sold on this pink ball stuff, but according to all and sundry I am supposed to be the one to get into line. This is a sad tour for me. New Zealand are attractive opponents, playing an exciting type of cricket, with some good bowlers, and we will be tested. So let’s just play two test matches, bunged on to the end of an extraordinarily long winter tour, which to the public at large is going to be as an invisible tour, straight out of the HG Wells novel. You can tell how important it is for all and sundry – no-one appears to give a toss that Ben Stokes is playing. It’s an interesting sub-plot rendered meaningless by it being so low key. Stokes is making a comeback in the country of his birth. Such courage, as Andrew Strauss said. Let’s play a game. Let’s see if it’s New Zealand-born Ben Stokes on the scale of South African-born Kevin Pietersen in days of yore.

The first test is being played at the world’s most Mickey Mouse playing area, with some primary school boundaries in play at Eden Park. It’s also being played under lights (you’ve said that already), and it’s a two test series. One wonders if the ECB don’t take this series seriously, why the hell should supporters? As I’ve said many times, England lost an Ashes series 4-0 and no-one really gave a shit. So why should we care about what happens in New Zealand?

We do need to start winning away test matches. It may not be something the ECB cares too much about, but there is a worrying trend of England folding when there are distances to travel. This is a big series for a lot of players coming off an underwhelming Ashes. Stoneman has a place to play for, and even then, I’d be dubious of his test longevity. Malan came out of the Ashes with rep enhanced, but it’s a fragile place to be, and he may end the winter being chucked in at number 3. Joe Root has a number of critics to placate, because he keeps making 50s but not 100s. Moeen Ali had a chastening Ashes, but he’s not allowed one bad series, while some of his teammates survive three or four. Alastair Cook thought about quitting, but then didn’t think about, made one massive knock amid the slim pickings, but he’s not under pressure. Why should he be? Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes also need to recover some of their mojo. Well, not Jimmy. He’s in the sainthood with Alastair. But both could do with good series to bring England a victory, if possible.

New Zealand are going to be formidable, one would think. Neil Wagner is particularly interesting, having run through the West Indies before Christmas. Boult and Southee need no introduction. Kane Williamson is a class act, and the fear is after the ODI series is that we have a red hot Ross Taylor to contend with. It’s got plenty to commend it, this match.

We also have Act Three in the Children’s Party in South Africa. Who will call each other the worst rude word? Who will come up with the unfunniest quip? Who will ask another player out for a fight after play has finished? Which team will be more cheeky to teacher (umpire or match ref)? Which player will actually shut up and play cricket? England as a team are no angels, that I know. But this series has seen some tense cricket, good performances and exciting periods of play. Hell, AB De Villiers has shrugged off his fatigue to be fabulous. They don’t need this needle, and for grown adults to say they do, they should grow up. I can’t say I perform better in work if my manager tells me to fuck off every five minutes, or it gets me going if I threaten HR every now and again. They don’t have the monopoly on tense working environments, so pack it in, you tedious bores.

Comments on both matches below. We’ll try to get day reports up as and when. No promises.


79 thoughts on “New Zealand v England – 1st Test, Day 1

  1. Silk Mar 21, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    I predict that Mason Crane will never play another Test.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Mar 21, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      8/10 for that prediction.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rooto Mar 21, 2018 / 7:48 pm

      I’m not even sure he’ll play another FC match for Hants. Certainly not many last year.


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 21, 2018 / 10:45 pm

      Wait until the new national selector is appointed before making that prediction.


  2. quebecer Mar 21, 2018 / 7:44 pm

    I wonder if the Kiwi attack will be able to target Stoneman in the way the Aussies did? Wagner has a nasty bouncer but they don’t have quite the pace the Aussies did.

    I would have thought Malan will continue as is, and the question will be whether Stoneman can just get himself over the hump of hinting he might be good enough to actually being good enough.

    Also, can I just suggest that people calling for Livingston by definition haven’t seen him bat?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sri.grins Mar 22, 2018 / 12:58 am

      England to win 2-0 Q? ☺


    • Sri.Grins Mar 22, 2018 / 1:52 am

      Now that is an optimistic start . Sheesh . 18/6


  3. "IronBalls" McGinty Mar 21, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    Redemption for Whitaker????


    • oreston Mar 21, 2018 / 10:41 pm

      A little bit late for that, isn’t it?


      • LordCanisLupus Mar 21, 2018 / 10:42 pm

        On Balance, to balance the middle order, with balanced selection now is the time to recall Gary Ballance.


        • oreston Mar 21, 2018 / 10:55 pm



  4. jennyah46 Mar 21, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    I can’t be doing with this pink ball stuff. It’s not proper cricket as it was in days of yore. It’s a whole different dimension. Cricket should be played on green fields in the summer sun. I will probably get used to it in time and hopefully catch up with the modern world. Bleh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Mar 22, 2018 / 8:23 am

      Oh how magnanimous.

      I guess this is what they meant by “feting him properly…”


  5. man in a barrel Mar 21, 2018 / 11:26 pm

    My level of interest can probably be inferred from the fact that I do not know whether Stokes has been selected.


    • quebecer Mar 22, 2018 / 12:44 am

      And batting at 5 (so you can give the impression you’re still in the know, even while being cool and aloof, which is really quite Brando)


  6. quebecer Mar 22, 2018 / 1:22 am

    Cook gone early. Wasn’t particularly well played, i have to say.

    One more wicket, and I reckon they’re through us.


    • dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 1:27 am

      Even I could tell his foot work was terrible. The ball is swinging quite a bit – might be really interesting later on when the light are on. And Root goes for a duck……


  7. oreston Mar 22, 2018 / 1:34 am

    So KP’s been retired five minutes and suddenly out of the blue Root is persuaded to relinquish the number 4 spot. Hmmm…

    Root going to 3 does means no James Vince. If they’ve now belatedly decided he’s unselectable, why is he even there?

    No debut for Leach. (If Crane hadn’t injured himself would he playing, or is that lunatic experiment over now as well? You have to wonder.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. quebecer Mar 22, 2018 / 1:38 am

    Root gone, obviously. See, this is what happens when our good friend from Bengaluru leaves me on my own and I get all predictive in a properly morose manner.

    Malan is too high at 4.

    Kiwis bowling as expected, Boult looking the best of them.

    And it’s Stoneman and Malan again. Fingers fucking crossed.

    Optimism was more fun.


  9. oreston Mar 22, 2018 / 1:38 am

    No matter how they reshuffle the pack the outcome remains remarkably predictable. 16-3. England’s new number 4 Dawid Malan gone too.

    Sod this, I’m going to bed…


  10. quebecer Mar 22, 2018 / 1:41 am

    See? SEE? Malan gone. I shouldn’t be allowed here without Sri when the game is on.


  11. Miami Dad's 6 Mar 22, 2018 / 1:46 am




  12. Pontiac Mar 22, 2018 / 1:47 am

    Wonder if they’ll get to 60.


    • dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 1:51 am

      You wouldn’t put money on it.


  13. dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 1:47 am

    4 for 18. Despite Woakes coming in at number 8, we look a batsmen short. Kiwi’s bowling full and the batsmen aren’t moving their feet. I hope out bowlers are watching.


  14. dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 1:48 am

    For fuck sakes – Stokes gone for a duck and it’s 5 for 15


    • quebecer Mar 22, 2018 / 1:53 am

      Stokes at 5 given the loads of match practice he’s had over the last 6 months was so reasonable a decision though.


  15. quebecer Mar 22, 2018 / 1:51 am

    Really not a great shot from Root either. You don’t play that drive to that ball at that point! FFS.

    Our batting coach is stealing his salary. It’s still Ramps, yes? Well I grew up playing with Mark Ramprakash and he was always a dick.

    I remember him saying, “Do you know who I am?” when he was 15.

    Liked by 2 people

    • northernlight71 Mar 22, 2018 / 7:50 am

      I assume you gave him the best possible version of “No?” that you could muster?


  16. dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 1:52 am

    Well, at least we won’t have to face the Kiwi’s under lights.


  17. quebecer Mar 22, 2018 / 1:57 am

    21 for 6 and it’s my fault. Sorry. I’m going now. I need to be where people and cricket are not.


  18. Benny Mar 22, 2018 / 2:00 am

    OK I’m aging and my memory isn’t what it was but I don’t recall ever seeing an England innings this bad.

    23 for 7

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pontiac Mar 22, 2018 / 2:04 am



        • dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 2:07 am

          Run downstairs or you’ll miss it.,


      • LordCanisLupus Mar 22, 2018 / 2:10 am

        It’s brilliant to watch says idiot Bumble. They are a joke.


  19. dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 2:08 am

    Seriously – has anyone moved their fucking feet?????


  20. dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 2:11 am

    Woo Hoo – 27!


  21. dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 2:13 am

    Great catch by Williamson and another duck.


  22. Sri.Grins Mar 22, 2018 / 2:13 am

    on the positive side, jimmy, anderson and hopefully woakes should do well.


      • dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 2:25 am

        On the positive side, maybe we should try Overton at number 3


      • Sri.Grins Mar 22, 2018 / 1:31 pm

        Thought given Jimmy’s current form and the fact that he is genuinely good, he would also run through NZ. Either the movement atmospherics changed or NZ know how to bat in such conditions better than England.

        So not trolling. 🙂


  23. Pontiac Mar 22, 2018 / 2:25 am

    Pretty effective cowlashing now.


  24. Mark Mar 22, 2018 / 2:31 am

    I fell asleep, and when I woke up through blurred vision I saw what was either 278 (in which case I’d slept right through the whole days play) or as it turned out 27/8. Which by the time I got up to switch off the tv became 27/9.

    What a methaor for modern English cricket.

    Pink balls
    Central contracts.
    2 day test matches

    Good night!


      • Mark Mar 22, 2018 / 2:42 am

        When you were watching the ashes in 2005 did you ever think a sport could so so completely destroy itself in only just over ten years?

        We have three versions of cricket, and three different colours of balls. We have different times of the day we start off. We have warm up games where we have 15 on each side. We have lunch, tea and dinner. Not always in the same match. And we have the most idiotic salaries of players, coaches, and administrators.

        England will probably win this match by a hundred runs and it will be held up as why we need city cricket.

        Liked by 2 people

        • LordCanisLupus Mar 22, 2018 / 2:44 am

          Sky in ECBTV mode. When are they going to get angry? “Rusty”. As if there’s nothing that a bit more practice would do. As if there was nothing we could do about that.

          Key trying to get angry….


  25. dlpthomas Mar 22, 2018 / 2:33 am

    A soft but appropriate final dismissal.


  26. Pontiac Mar 22, 2018 / 2:38 am

    But not enough to make 60.


  27. Zephirine Mar 22, 2018 / 2:45 am

    Deary deary me.

    Is it French cricket where you’re not allowed to move your feet? Or am I thinking of petanque? England seem to be inventing a new sport here. Trouble is, it’s one that doesn’t blend very well with Test cricket, which NZ are playing..

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Benny Mar 22, 2018 / 2:46 am

    So England batsmen can’t play spin, quick or seam bowling.

    The Sky experts are claiming the batsmen are rusty. Clearly it’s not down to being tired from too much cricket (this time)

    Good few minutes telly though


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 22, 2018 / 3:18 am

      The commenters who have been asleep are going to love this when they wake up.

      It’s almost rotten fruit at the airport stage. Is someone going to get mad in the ECB hierarchy?


      • d'Arthez Mar 22, 2018 / 3:58 am

        Yes. If only because that someone made the decision to sack Whitaker BEFORE this.


  29. ArushaTZ Mar 22, 2018 / 4:49 am

    Extraordinary chat between innings from Messers Knight, Key & Franklin. Apparently the England batting performance wasn’t horrendous, it was just great bowling.
    27/9. 58 all out. And the batting wasn’t so bad.

    Ball not swinging for the England bowlers. This match is over already. I’ll run down Whitehall naked if New Zealand don’t win this.


  30. Rooto Mar 22, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Woke up at 10 to 6 (10 to 5), Cricinfo loaded the NZ score first, so I thought there’d been rain…
    Hiding the sport away behind a Sky-wall starting to look like a far-sighted strategy to cope with the embarrassment.


  31. Rooto Mar 22, 2018 / 6:08 am

    Agnew to Etheridge: “After all this time you must know never to believe what comes out of the England camp!”
    Ho, ho, ho.
    Sadly they were talking about Broad opening the bowling, rather than KP’s sacking, Prior’s injury, Flower’s influence, Cook’s captaincy, Franchise cricket, the future of tests, etc ad nauseam.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Mar 22, 2018 / 8:19 am

      Yea, doesn’t matter if it comes out publicly or is leaked by the England camp, hey John!

      For our younger readers…….”The ECB doesn’t leak.” Etheridge will have change his line to……

      “The ECB doesn’t lie…….”


  32. Rooto Mar 22, 2018 / 6:13 am

    Broad gets a wicket (well done on getting 400!), and he’s sharing the bowling at the beginning of this (suddenly slightly less) crucial evening session with Ander…,
    No, it’s Chris Woakes. WTF?


  33. Miami Dad's 6 Mar 22, 2018 / 7:56 am

    Its really funny, really deserved, and really resounding. I hope for two comprehensive thumpings. I expect they’d only drop Stoneman for the home Test summer if that were the case.


    • Ab Mar 22, 2018 / 9:07 am

      I would imagine after 58 all out, they will drop at least two bowlers

      Liked by 1 person

  34. nonoxcol Mar 22, 2018 / 8:00 am

    Only just seen this.


    No I’m not sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. nonoxcol Mar 22, 2018 / 8:36 am

    Anyone fucking surprised?

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Mar 22, 2018 / 8:46 am

      He was on the pitch at Melbourne on Boxing Day 2010. What do you honestly think he would have made of someone like Ian Healy saying it was “just one of those days” for Australia?

      Literally the joint-worst pundit in any sport, ever.


    • Mark Mar 22, 2018 / 8:56 am

      It isn’t hard to understand Mr Ronay if you have been paying attention for the last few years.

      On a related note, let’s examine The BBC’s obsession of employing ex players as pundits. Particularly ex players who have been team mates, and friends with some of the senior players. And it’s not just cricket, but most sports. Football, Atheletics, are the worst examples.

      The BBCs determination to give us the “inside picture” has blinded them to the crime of cheerleading.

      Yes I know Sky do it, but where did the BBCs much vaunted impartiality go? Same place as the weapons of mass destruction I guess.

      Liked by 3 people

      • nonoxcol Mar 22, 2018 / 9:14 am

        One of my pet hates about BBC Sport, that. Particularly under the toxic dumpster fire that is Barbara Slater.

        It’s all the more obvious because in the 80s and 90s (and before my time) their coverage was driven almost entirely by actual sports journalists.

        Now they just use one or two journalists (one in particular, who also happens to be a relative of some well-connected people in horse racing) and expect people to fawn all over them (especially her) when they do nothing more than demonstrate the basic competence we took for granted for decades.

        And as for the shameless jingoism of their Olympics coverage and SPOTY, don’t get me started…


        • Mark Mar 22, 2018 / 9:41 am

          Yup, it’s very insidious and matey. Lots of insider jokes, Match of the day is unwatchable for its smugness, and nudge nudge wink wink innuendo. It’s about as fake as the pyramid in Las Vegas. And if you notice it’s never the players fault. Always the managers, and particularly the fans are the ones to blame. The arrogance of ex players to tell paying fans how they should behave and think is jaw dropping.

          Only the special ex players with special knowledge should be allowed to tell us what to think. And they get paid a small fortune for this bullshit. Not so much in cricket I guess, but have you seen the salaries of the MOTD presenters?


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 22, 2018 / 9:31 am

      How can you take seriously someone who has just watched England teeter on the brink of the lowest score EVER in test cricket (23 for 8 chasing 26) and call it one of those days and keep his job as an “expert” summariser.

      Fed up with people too cosy with the players, who can’t give honest opinions. Yes, shit happens. But it’s not as if England have been banging out the centuries or the big totals.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Ab Mar 22, 2018 / 9:09 am

    I would imagine after 58 all out, they will drop at least two bowlers

    Liked by 1 person

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