Guptill Not Disappointed Over IPL Snub

Martin Guptill wasn’t the only surprise to come out of the IPL Auction in 2016, he and other big names have all missed the cut.

Despite a double-century in ODI cricket and a century in T20 cricket, Guptill wasn’t brought by any franchise for this seasons Indian Premier League.

A low reserve of just $111,000 and a sublime last 12-months with the bat wasn’t enough to buy Guptill a ticket to his first IPL, and it makes Guptill the highest T20 run scorer to not have picked up a contract.

The Blackcaps have said they are baffled by Guptill’s omission but insist that he will forget about it quickly.

Guptill didn’t find out his IPL fate until after the Blackcaps loss to Australia in Wellington last night, but team members have said that Guptill showed no signs of disappointment.

Colin Munro was brought for $67,000 by Kolkata and Tim Southee went for $556,000 to Mumbai, double his original reserve.

Australia Destroyed At Eden Park… Again

Australia will be seething after pulling the Blackcaps back to a par total at Eden Park, only for the run chase to be over within the space of ten overs.

At 6/41, no side in world cricket could have brought it back after New Zealand dominated the opening hour of the run chase with sublime bowling.

Chasing 208 to win, key batsmen for Australia failed to fire, including captain Steve Smith who chopped the ball onto his stumps.

David Warner will rue his decision to listen to batting partner George Bailey and not refer his LBW decision when replays showed the ball was clearly going over the stumps.

Warner’s wicket was the turning point of the match.

Proven match-winners George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell also failed to fire with the bat, all being dismissed cheaply.

Trent Boult and Matt Henry shared three wickets a piece for New Zealand.

A record partnership for Australia against New Zealand between Matthew Wade and James Faulkner wasn’t enough to claw Australia back into the game.

Earlier in the day Martin Guptill was unlucky not to reach another ODI century after being run out for 90.

Young batsman Henry Nicholls went past 50 in another impressive performance.

Some calm bowling on a ground with short boundaries saw Australia slow the run rate when New Zealand were looking at posting a score of 400.

U-19’s Lose To Nepal For The Second Time

New Zealand’s loss to Nepal at the U-19 Cricket World Cup, and it wasn’t the first time.

The Junior Blackcaps botched a simple run chase to be bowled out for 206 in the opening match of the U-19 World Cup.

Despite opening batsman Glenn Phillips scoring a half century, the juniors lost too many wickets on frequent occasion.

It is the second time New Zealand has lost to Nepal at the U-19 level, the last time was back in 2006 and featured players like Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, and Tim Southee.

The Junior Blackcaps must now win against India and Ireland to progress.

BJ Watling is a far better limited overs cricketer in 2016

BJ Watling will make a rare appearance in coloured clothing for the Blackcaps against Pakistan.

Watling hasn’t played a One Day International for the Blackcaps in almost three years, and his performances last time, during a series against England, weren’t exactly headline grabbing either.

The Blackcaps experimented with Watling at the top of the order. That was an absolute failure, Watling is a batsman who can anchor and aggressively finish an innings with the bat, not begin one.

But Watling has come a long way since then in the shorter form of the game, just not on the international level.

Watling averages a tick under 40 for the Northern Knights in Ford Trophy Cricket with a highest score of 145 unbeaten.

Regular Blackcap wicketkeeper batsman Luke Ronchi has had a poor run of form this season and Watling is next cab off the rank.

Watling should, and will likely be given an opportunity in either the second or third One Day International against Pakistan.

If Watling impresses, he could well find that his days playing One-Day cricket for the Blackcaps won’t be as rare.

“Rubbish” West Indies slammed by cricket followers

The West Indies cricket team are coming under heavy fire following one of their worst Test performances, and rightly so.

Beaten by Australia to the tune of an innings and 212 runs in Hobart, West Indies Cricket have come under heavy criticism from the moment the series began last Thursday.

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell said that the current state of the West Indies side made him feel depressed and labelled the side a “load of rubbish” after a poor opening day to the first Test.

Prior to the Test beginning, a former West Indian Cricket Director said that the side may be disbanded by 2025.

The West Indies recently performed badly during the 2015 Cricket World Cup, and Chris Gayle has come under heavy fire for his lifestyle outside of the game, a story that continues to overshadow the national side.

The current run of form on the international stage makes a mockery of the once great cricketing nation that is the West Indies.

The great West Indian cricket legend Brian Lara has remained silent on the matter and perhaps this is the greatest example of all.

The sport of cricket on the islands of the Caribbean is in a state of complete decay. 20 years of under achievement may finally be coming home to roost.

Mitch Santner shows long-term quality in Blackcaps debut

Mitchell Santner will go down in history as the only cricketer to make his Test debut in the first ever day/night Test match.

It was the first time Test cricket, known as the “purest” form of the game, has taken place under lights. It is a new innovation for the game, TV ratings focused, and it took place on the same day as World Series cricket was first rolled out all those years ago.

In the background of all the hype was a young spin-bowling all-rounder by the name of Mitchell Santner, and he was about to become New Zealand’s newest debutant.

A lot of youngsters fresh out of college would crumble under the pressure of such an occasion, but Santner showed poise and talent with both bat and ball.

Santner’s quality as a cricketer is only going to improve.

Satner’s score of 31 proved he was one of New Zealand’s better batsmen of the day, even showing up his captain Brendon McCullum. One can’t help but wonder how many more runs Santner would have scored if not for being dismissed by a suburb delivery by Australian quick Mitch Starc.

Late in the day, Santner was New Zealand’s first spin change.

Tidy in the few overs he bowled, Satner has a very noticeable difference to a lot of spinners in his action, the right arm doesn’t do much, but the control of the ball out of the left arm is immaculate.

Santner has been in and around the Blackcaps picture for a season or so now and has repaid the faith of his selection with an impressive beginning to his Test debut.

Santner will be looked at to make the ball turn in the Adelaide sun on day two.

GPSS: Knights Bowlers Sink Wellington To NZ’s Lowest T20 Total

Superb bowling has seen the Knights cruise to a dominant victory over the Firebirds after the defending GPSS champions imploded and fell to New Zealand’s lowest total in T20 cricket chasing their target.

Ish Sodhi took three wickets in a dominant Knights bowling performance that had the Wellington batsmen heading back to the pavilion on regular occasion.

Anton Devcich was dominant with the bat, but Scott Kuggeleign and Ish Sodhi were big standouts with the ball, the two young Knights bowlers leaders taking five wickets between them.

Spinner Jono Boult also chipped in with the ball, snaring 2 wickets.

In one of his finest performances with the bat in T20 cricket, Anton Devcich batted with both aggression and poise on his way to 66-runs with the bat. At the beginning of his innings, Devcich played his typical style of hit out or get out, finding the boundaries on regular occasion.

When the run rate set, and with help from Dean Brownlie and Kevin O’Brien who both struck the ball crisply, Devcich was able to wait for the right deliveries.

Devcich notched his eighth domestic T20 half century on his way to 66, helping the Knights set the Firebirds a target of 185 in cold conditions.

The Firebirds ultimately never came close in their run chase, Devcich snared himself two wickets with his orthodox spin, and Scott Kuggeleign came within an inch of getting a hat trick after ripping through the Firebirds middle order in his second over.

But it was Ish Sodhi who starred for the Knights, taking three wickets to clean up the Firebirds lower order and hand his team a dominant 112-run victory.

The First Innings:

The Knights scored quick runs to start their innings, firstly through Daniel Flynn who hooked two shots for six. Anton Devcich continued to power on after Flynn was dismissed, finding the boundaries and the embankment with his typical hit out or get out approach.

Dean Brownlie followed suit, smashing two gigantic sixes off the spin bowling of Luke Woodcock, and the Knights were in a great position at 68/1 from their first seven overs.

Devcich and Brownlie batted their partnership past 50, giving the Knights the perfect platform to kick on in the last ten overs.

Jeeten Patel broke the partnership for the Firebirds, Brownlie departed for a well-rounded knock of 22. As the Knights brought up their century, Devcich was being troubled by Patel’s spin and was relieved when the spell came to an end.

Devcich brought up his eighth domestic T20 half century in the next over.

The Firebirds bowlers pulled the run rate back, forcing Irish import Kevin O’Brien to take risks and flirt with his own wicket, but it paid off with two big sixes in the space of an over.

O’Brien raced to 29 thanks to clearing the fence and finding the boundaries, Luke Woodcock again being the Firebirds bowler to leak runs. Woodcock ended his spell, going for a total of 51 runs.

O’Brien was slogging sixes with ease, forcing the Firebirds bowlers to bowl some erratic lines, including a shocking over by Brent Arnel that included three wide deliveries.

Devcich’s brilliant knock of 66 came to an end when he found the hands of the fielder on the ring, leaving Corey Anderson little over three overs to make an impact in his first match back since injury.

O’Brien’s aggressive knock was ended pre maturely when he also found the fielder as he looked to kick on.

The Knights ended their innings with a score of 184 for the loss of four wickets, Daryl Mitchell ending in style with a scoop six to leave the Firebirds a total of 185 to win.

The Second Innings:

The Firebirds run chase got off to the worst possible start when the Knights snared two early wickets; Anton Devcich continuing his good night when he managed to nab himself both wickets.

In all sorts of trouble at 11/2, the experienced pairing of Stephen Murdoch and Craig Cachopa needed to settle in and kick on. But they didn’t, Cachopa was deceived trying to cut the ball and found the thick edge, handing Scott Kuggeleijn a wicket.

Kuggeleijn struck on the very next delivery, clean bowling Tom Blundell, and very nearly got a hat trick, narrowly missing the stumps after bowling the near-perfect yorker.

Wellington required a further 170 runs to win, but were in deep trouble at 14/4.

Poor bowling from Aussie import Ben Laughlin saw the Firebirds put 21-runs on the board in one over, keeping the Firebirds within a sniff of forcing the issue through the middle of the innings.

Jono Boult saw the back of Murdoch, ripping the spin and rattling the stumps to give the Knights a crucial wicket just as the Firebirds comeback began to take shape.

Ish Sodhi took two wickets in a row, becoming the second Knights bowler to get on a hat trick, but like Kuggelign, couldn’t get the elusive third scalp. But the match was safe, Wellington were 62/8 and had no prayer of victory.

Sodhi took another wicket, his fourth of the night, and the game was over shortly after.

Key stories from the match:

  • Firebirds win toss and chose to bowl first.
  • Anton Devcich & Dean Brownlie partnership goes past 50.
  • Anton Devcich scores eighth domestic T20 half century.
  • Luke Woodcock goes for 51 runs in spell.
  • Anton Devcich and Kevin O’Brien partnership goes past 50.
  • Anton Devcich dismissed for 66.
  • Northern Knights finish of 154 from their 20 overs.
  • Firebirds lose 4 early wickets, Scott Kuggeleijn narrowly misses out on hat trick.
  • Anton Devcich takes 2 wickets.
  • Ben Laughlin goes for 21 runs in one over.
  • Ish Sodhi takes 4 wickets, narrowly misses out on hat trick.
  • Northern Knights win by 112 runs.

Jesse Ryder Kept Out Of Televised Matches Due To Side Strain

Few may have noticed, but Jesse Ryder has been missing from the last two Central Stags GPSS games.

Ryder hasn’t been seen in either of the two televised Stags games played at Yarrow Stadium (Saturday and Wednesday) but no official comment from the Stags has been made.

According to Ryder, this is due to a side strain injury.

Ryder said the injury was “not ideal” but gave no further comment. The injury was, presumably, suffered during the Stags opening round loss to the Otago Volts. There is currently no official time frame on Ryder’s return.

Corey Anderson Named For Knights Clash Against Firebirds

The Knights will get a Blackcaps injection tomorrow night with power hitter Corey Anderson named in the squad for the GPSS clash against the Firebirds.

Underwhelming performances with the bat on a good deck marred the Knights performance in the loss to Canterbury.

Anderson’s inclusion adds another option with both the bat and ball, the talented all rounder has been a match winner on the international stage before, and his experience alone will bolster the Knights in an important match against defending champions, the Wellington Firebirds.

Knights coach James Pamment says that Anderson has been in good form in the nets this week.

“He is whacking the ball back at the bowlers at quite a rate of knots and is looking in great touch,” Pamment said.

Apart from Anderson’s inclusion, the Knights squad remains unchanged.

Pressure on experienced Blackcaps duo

Australia are in the perfect position to snare victory in Brisbane today, but for a New Zealand perspective, a lot of pressure is on the current partnership of captain Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor – two of the most experienced heads in the squad.

A win is possible for the Blackcaps, but unlikely.

A lot will need to go Brendon McCullum’s way, including the weather potentially, but seeing out a day of cricket with seven wickets left in the shed has been done many times before, despite the general feeling that this Blackaps side isn’t up to the task.

It seems that a lot of the Blackcaps chances of holding on for a draw rest on the partnership between Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor.

Sure, Jimmy Neesham and BJ Watling can certainly bat long periods of time, but after them, the resistance in the batting order to an Australian bowling attack featuring the likes of Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson is fairly weak.

Many would say that Australia must take wickets early in the opening session to be confident of victory. This is potentially wrong, both Taylor and McCullum are batsmen who can get set and get out quickly in all forms of the game.

Quite simply, this match will go down to the wire until the last half hour of the day, and if New Zealand has wickets in the shed at that point, they will go a long way to securing the draw.

McCullum shouldn’t go out to the crease today with the mindset of winning, he has to reign himself in and bat time.