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.

GPSS: Munro and Guptill shine for Aces

Some average bowling by the Northern Knights saw Auckland Aces batsmen Colin Munro and Martin Guptill run riot in Hamilton tonight.

Electing to bat first, the Auckland Aces set their Northern rivals a target of 192 that proved to be sufficient for a crucial win that sealed a place in the finals.

Colin Munro smashed the ball to all parts, scoring 82 after Martin Guptill had earlier set the Aces well on their way with an impressive knock of 63 in partnership.

A defiant knock of 39 by Anderson was entertaining for the crowd, but the Northern Knights fell well short of their target and were beaten easily by Auckland at a margin of 38 runs.

The full story:

The Knights batsmen were immediately under the pump in their chase, with a RRPO of nine runs per over at a time, and it claimed the early wicket of Anton Devcich and captain Daniel Flynn who both couldn’t make a decent dent in the runs deficit.

Three sixes in one over saw a sudden partnership between Corey Anderson and Irish import Kevin O’Brien burst past 50 runs. With the RRPO now over 10, the slight window of hope for the Knights rested on the two power hitters.

A brilliant catch in the outfield by Lockie Fergusson dismissed O’Brien, the Knights batsman who had looked most at ease.

A potential broken toe for Corey Anderson didn’t help the Knights struggle in a chase that was always looking out of reach, but the injury didn’t stop Anderson finding the other side of the fence to entertain the home crowd.

Martin Guptill, one of the few Blackcaps opting to play domestic cricket prior to the Sri Lankan tour, got the ball rolling early for the Aces earlier in the night.

Guptill struck three big sixes to get himself going before strategically working himself to his 26th First Class T20 half century with controlled aggression and hitting gaps in the field.

Guptill was eventually dismissed for 63 in one of the Blackcaps openers’ better performances in the Aces uniform.

Rob Nicol pitched in with his typical well-timed stroke play for 29.

Some woeful bowling allowed Colin Munro to find Seddon Parks’ embankment with ease. A lacklustre bowling style with no variation fed into the batting strength of Munro resulting in a huge leakage of runs.

Munro reached 50 quickly, his eighth in First Class T20 cricket, and by the time the Knights bowlers tightened their lines, Munro had bolted and was finding the fence on almost every ball faced.

Munro was eventually dismissed for 82 off 39 balls.

At a glance:

Auckland Aces 191/4 (Colin Munro 82, Martin Guptill 63)

Northern Knights 154 (Corey Anderson 39, Kevin O’Brien 23)

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.

GPSS: Nicholls and Ellis help Canterbury Kings to easy victory

A solid knock by Henry Nicholls has seen the Canterbury Kings cruise to an easy 7-wicket win over the Northern Knights in Hamilton this evening.

Chasing 154 to win, Nicholls kept his sides’ chase secure and took the game away from the Knights through controlled aggression with the bat.

Peter Fulton dug in to form a match-winning partnership of 87 alongside Nicholls, setting the Kings well on their way to victory in a run chase that was never in doubt.

Andrew Ellis took five wickets in his spell, ripping through the Knights batting order and keeping the runs to better than the minimum, ending with figures of 5-9.

Ronnie Hira and Todd Astle also helped out with three wickets between them.

Barring an aggressive opening by Anton Devcich and a solid innings by captain Daniel Flynn, the rest of the Knights batsmen fell like a deck of cards before youngster Tim Seifert showed signs of his potential to help his side to a modest total.

The Knights had decided to bat first in what appeared to be perfect batting conditions, and despite being a few key players down due to Blackcaps commitments, there was still more than enough fire power to assist the top order.

The Knights couldn’t take advantage the perfect platform set by Devcich to kick on or utilise the talent of overseas import Kevin O’Brien in the middle order when a total or near 200 looked likely early in the innings.

Canterbury cruised to an easy victory by 7-wickets, thanks large in part to Henry Nicholls and Peter Fulton’s partnership.

Key stories from the match:

  • Northern Knights win toss & chose to bat first
  • 50-run opening partnership for the Knights inside first 4 overs
  • Anton Devcich scores powers the Knights off to a good start – scoring 43 runs before being dismissed
  • Ronnie Hira & Todd Astle take wickets to stifle Knights momentum
  • Daniel Flynn scores 44 before being dismissed
  • Andrew Ellis takes 5 wickets with figures of 5-9
  • Northern Knights bowled out for 153 in the final over
  • Canterbury Kings require 154 for victory
  • Ronnie Hira blasts 2 sixes in opening over of run chase and gets Kings off to a flyer – eventually dismissed for 24 at a S/R of 200
  • Peter Fulton and Harry Nicholls bring up 50-run partnership
  • Harry Nicholls brings up half century
  • Canterbury Kings win by 7-wickets

Viewing for disabled at Seddon Park makes a step in the right direction

With the Cricket World Cup looming, Seddon Park and Northern Districts Cricket are making good steps towards managing disabled patrons.

The newly built disabled area is good, though its location was a source of some concern last year after the disability viewing section was moved from the small area on the grass embankment near gate B, to down directly in front of the food stalls and next to the bar.

Much of the concern amongst patrons this blog talked to last January was due to the incident involving a drunk spectator.

The incident occurred when a the spectator verbally abused a disabled patron after the elderly gentleman asked the man to not stand directly in front of him, because it was making his view of the game seriously impaired.

During the winter Seddon Park has undergone a serious overhaul, and the disability section is included in that.

While it was a surprise to many this Monday that it is still in the same location, the section has been redone to include 3 different level platforms allowing for wheelchair bound patrons to watch the action.

A concrete path allows access to the platform viewing area via the left side, but where wheelchair bound patrons actually go is grass, and very newly laid grass at that. The angle that the grass takes from the concrete path isn’t exactly ideal, especially at the top level, and with the newly laid grass, ground isn’t very stable for wheelchairs either.

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But with that said, the section is certainly a good step in the right direction.

While the idea of being directly in front of the food area is very smart, some disabled be may have an issue with the sections location.

Having a disabled section directly next to the bar is an issue.

Some patrons may become quite intoxicated after a long days drinking, having the disabled section right next to the bar is a very poor decision that could potentially harm some disabled patrons in the eyes of some in the disability sector. The incident back in January was as a result of an intoxicated patron, and while security did fix the situation by ejecting the man involved, it did put a rather sour old feeling for the rest of the day for the elderly gentleman who had been abused.

From a locational standpoint, it is hard for Northern Districts Cricket and event management to place it anywhere else. With the Cricket World Cup, it is likely the entire grass embankment outside gate B will be all for corporate hospitality.

Although some may scoff at the suggestion, some people that this blog talked to believe that one of the best places for this disabled section is out in front of the main pavilion, directly next to the players area out on the little grass area.

But that is not to say ND Cricket and event management shouldn’t be praised for seriously improving what was on offer earlier in the year.

It is an improvement without a doubt.

While the new design of the disabled viewing area is good, and has all the hallmarks of something better in the future, the biggest change that needs to be made is to concrete the whole thing. If this can be done, it will be brilliant.

Keep the levels 1,2,3 like they are, and add concrete. Make gate 3 a gate only for disabled entry, and have parking just outside gate 3 on the street.

If Seddon Park can tick these boxes, they will have a winner.

This blog will attempt to try and further investigate the newly built disability viewing area this weekend during the Georgie Pie Super Smash Festival.