Daniel Vettori and the least-coveted trophy in international sport
So this oddly interminable tour is finally over. Given that only about three hours of cricket was possible between showers, there was more entertaining cricket than we had any right to expect, and the West Indian side, chiefly through the unholy batting of Gayle and Chanderpaul, fought harder than they have in a while. Perhaps that was because they sensed that, in the Black Caps, they finally had come up against an opponent they had a shot at.
In the end, it wasn’t to be. They split the test and Twenty20 ‘series’ (insofar as two games of anything can be called a series) and lost the ODIs by the slenderest of margins. In amongst it we saw some sparkling debuts, some mediocrity maintained, and one player in particular leaning too heavily on a reputation not-quite earned. Here are DeadBall’s ratings for every New Zealander who participated in the tour.
Images from the Boxing Day Twenty20 at Eden Park by Duncan Greive and Justin Warren. Words excerpted from The Godfather by Mario Puzo.
Michael often thought of Kay, of her smile, her body…
He was built as powerfully as a bull, and it was common knowledge that he was so generously endowed by nature that his martyred wife feared the marriage bed as unbelievers once feared the rack.
As Chris Gayle walked off the pitch in a triumphant glow yesterday, having ripped the heart out of Daniel Vetorri (Temple of Doom style), I’m 89 percent certain that the microphone caught him exclaim to the shocked crowd, “yes, stand up!”. Although, having heard his post game interview, and understood none of it, this may be an aberration of my imagination.
It was a dominant display, no doubt, and made all the more impressive for the fact he managed to look both super pissed off and like the coolest Motherf**ker on the planet (for a cricketer, that’s doubly impressive). Gayle has the solemn air of responsibility about him – completely insular, he remains expressionless for hours upon time, contemplating the tragic injustice of being a lone force of good on this underwhelming West Indies side. But today, he just looked angry. When the game was handed to the fate of sudden death overs, the game was handed to Gayle. Scoring 25 runs from the over (which included a wicket!), Gayle looked like a man among children. As though Dad finally got a bat in the backyard game and decided to remind everyone who rules the house.
Ok, so I didn’t catch much of yesterday’s cricket action (literally some radio coverage in the car during work hours), but I wanted an excuse to post the above horrible, yet awesome, yet terrible pun. Gayle hasn’t scored three figures in three years, so it may not be a great sign that he did it against the Black Caps. Although, from what I’ve seen, I’ve been impressed with his play. He seems very poised and perhaps realises that no one should ever captain a side that loses to this Black Caps team. Continue reading
Scanlens World Series Cup Cards 1981/82
Card No.84 was the Holy Grail over the summer of 1981-82. Depicting West Indian batting genius Viv Richards, it was the last card from the Scanlens World Series Cup collectors set.
The Scanlens cards came with terrible cardboard-like chewing gum. And in the manner of previous Scanlens card series for Star Wars, Buck Rogers and Grease, the backs of the cards created a poster when combined.
The scene depicted when the WSC cards were meticulously collated was, predictably, the previous summer’s third final in Melbourne. That was the one day match in which Trevor Chappell’s under arm delivery threatened irreparable damage to trans-Tasman relations. Continue reading