After heroic performances from Peter Fulton (above, with a century in each innings), Trent Boult (6 wickets for 68 runs in the first innings), Kane Williamson (partnership with Fulton in the first, and two wickets for five runs in this one), Brendon McCullum (attacking captaincy all through, and a timely and bludgeoning half-century yesterday) … from all around the New Zealand dressing room, New Zealand is on the verge this morning of a famous victory: the first series win against England at home since 1984!*
That’s a heck of a long time between domestic drinks.
So put down what you what you were going to do today, and gather instead round a radio, a TV, a streaming computer or a Twitter feed and join in with what we hope (with 6 English wickets to winkle out over one day) will be a famous victory against an English side so far up themselves they’re almost inside out. And if you’re in Auckland, then get down to Eden Park where, to make it easier, the new improved Park staff have decided to charge half price for adults, and made if free for kids.
Not only has it been a great all-round performance from the team normally known as the Black Craps—they’ve outplayed the much-vaunted England team in virtually every area, from batting to bowling to intelligent attacking field placement—with the Barmy Army supporters providing an entertaining series of laments to accompany their heroes’ almost petulant demise, it’s great entertainment.
Personally, I loved Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper using this fanfare from Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin to mark Neil Wagner’s appearance at the bowling crease. That’s class.
* NZ has beaten England in England since in a series in both 1986 and 1999. But in sporting terms, that’s still a damned long time ago.