Semi-Final - Second
Semi-final - Preliminary
132 defeated New Zealand 68
Another display of consistent batting by Australia, with skins
of 34, 34, 36 and 28. Australia had scored just one "3"
and one "4" up until the fourth ball of the 15th over
(at which point Wilson smacked a six), yet their score to that
point was 121.
New Zealand's run chase got off to a bad start when Gladigau opened
up with a minus over (minus 4). New Zealand fought back immediately,
taking 13 runs off the usually economical Panecasio, but Holmfrey
(4) and Manion (-1) kept the pressure on for a Kiwi opening partnership
of just 11.
Mark Cini and Tim Baker then took the fight right up to Australia--despite
suffering two consecutive runouts in the 7th over, Tim and Mark
left the court with a gutsy, hard-fought 33 runs under their belt.
Bruce Reid bowled the 9th over, for minus one run. Then Tony Panecasio,
having gone for 13 in his first over, hit back with a minus one
over and New Zealand suddenly needed 90 runs off the remaining
That's 15 an over--virtually 2 every ball, and no wickets. That
was far too difficult a target, and Australia ran out comfortable
winners and earned themselves a place in tomorrow's Grand Final.
New Zealand prepared to play the winner of the Second Semi-Final.
133 defeated South Africa 95
Winning the toss and batting first, South Africa were away to
a flying start: Steve Morris, in reportedly his last representative
match for South Africa, shared in a 33 run opening partnership.
Not to be outdone, Quintin Steinhobel and Tommy De Wit also put
on 33. South Africa looked to be on the way to a score well in
excess of 100.
England however fought back hard, keeping the 3rd pair of Anton
Conradie and Tony Arnold to just 17. Even so, when the last pair
(Duncan Gardiner and Ensten Steyn) took 10 off their first over,
South Africa were 93 with 3 overs remaining. At that point, South
Africa were averaging 7 an over for the game. Maintaining that
rate would have given them a competitive 115.
The 14th over, bowled by Andy Walton, put paid to such speculation.
One Bowled and two runouts, for a total of minus 11 for the over,
left South Africa struggling to reach 95.
England began their chase with an opening partnership of 35. That
man Andy Walton popped up again in the second partnership--he
and Tony Rock stormed to a partnership of 43, leaving their team
just 17 runs behind with 8 over remaining.
South Africa fought back bravely, keeping the third pair to just
12 runs, but that still meant the scores were level with 4 overs
still to go. Under those circumstances, South Africa were unable
to maintain the pressure: England's last pair of Naheem Sajjad
and Mike Barnatt scored 43 to guide their team to a comfortable
South Africa then are the first team to drop out of the competition.
They did so bravely, and with grace. They played every game with
passion, with spirit, and with sportsmanship. They are no doubt
disappointed, but they should not be disheartened. The players
new to international competition will benefit greatly from this
tournament, and should the indoor cricket powers-that-be deign
to repeat this competition in the future, South Africa will field
stronger teams as a result.
109 defeated New Zealand 81
Batting first, England batted steadily to post 109. Partnerships
of 23, 29, 32 and 25 highlight the evenness of the pairs. Adrian
Smith and Ian Lindsey, after struggling to a meagre 12 against
South Africa in the earlier game, turned things around markedly:
they scored 32, the highest partnership of the game.
Whilst solid, 109 is not a huge score, and New Zealand would have
been confident of beating it.
Phil Harris and Gavin Roake got off to a trying start--two wickets
in the first over left them at minus 3 after one. But they fought
back hard, taking 29 runs of the next 3 overs, for a partnership
Tim Baker and Roger Kinsella then put on 29, and New Zealand were
almost half way there after half the overs.
Dave Erikson and Alistair Jolley batted steadily, and New Zealand's
position was looking stronger as each over passed. By the second
last ball of the 11th over, New Zealand had reached 69. They need
40 runs off 41 balls--a slightly higher rate than they were managing
in this game up to then, but certainly not outside the run-chasing
skills they have displayed this week. However . . .
. . . England effected a runout on the last ball of the 11th over,
and the 12 th over added only 4 to their score. The equation was
getting more difficult, but it was still definitely within New
Zealand's capacity (42 runs from 4 overs)--especially with Mark
Cini and Tony Petter batting. Both men have shown they are capable
of attacking most bowling.
Then up stepped Harjeet Bhambra, Mike Barnatt and Andy Walton.
Tony had just struck a lofted on-drive -- it came down just at
the limits of Harjeet Bhambra's reach. Harjeet deflected it slightly
with his fingertips as it sped toward the ground. Mike Barnatt
threw himself full stretch, horizontally, and took a screamer
of a catch in one hand, an inch above the turf. Andy was the bowler.
Next ball, Mark was runout. England were on a roll. Two balls
later, another catch, and New Zealand were in trouble. Minus 9
from the over, New Zealand needing 51 from 3 overs.
The batsmen went for it, but fairly accurate line-and-length bowling
from England prevented more than a few back net scores, and New
Zealand fell over 20 runs short.
New Zealand become the second team to drop out of the competition.
As they moved onto the court to congratulate England, I observed
Manager Barry Dickey telling all the New Zealand players "keep
your heads up." And he was absolutely correct--New Zealand
were not one of the fancied teams before the competition began
(probably more "unknown" than "unfancied"),
and they have every reason to proud of their record in this tournament:
They finished the preliminary games in second place, having a
final points advantage over third-placed England of 11 points.
They scored more runs than either England or South Africa ( 752,
741, 734 ); had less runs scored against them than either South
Africa or England ( 846, 1163, 957 ), and they easily scored more
skins than either England or South Africa ( 18, 13, 10 ).
They play the game as hard as the umpires will allow, and are
definitely not intimidated by the more experienced players or
teams. Individual stars are not the backbone to their side either--intense
team spirit, a determined and irreverant fighting spirit, and
an even spread of skill are the key to their successs, and they
will never again be "unfancied" in such competition.
If the rest of New Zealand indoor cricket is similar to this New
Zealand team, teams participating in next year's World Cup in
New Zealand would do well to treat New Zealand teams with a healthy
respect . . . the indoor cricket Masters world now does . . .
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