Kane Williamson wins the combativity prize

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Cricket - Nat West First One Day International - England v New Zealand - Lord's Cricket Ground, London, England

It’s a double-post day today. Maybe we’re all backed-up after slacking off over Christmas. A few words about New Zealand first and then this afternoon we’ll turn to Australia v India, so hold your commenting horses if that’s what you want to talk about.

In cycling, there’s a thing called the combativity award. It generally goes to the guy who shows the least common sense, who tries to defy logic and experience by cycling 100km on his own when he could save his energy by cruising along in the peloton. He loses the race, but at the end of the day, they give him a wheel of cheese.

New Zealand strike us as being a rather cheese-worthy side these days. There’s real fight about them and they don’t get disheartened. Where England implode and India strop, New Zealand get stuck in. We saw it most clearly in the UAE where all the runes and tea leaves said they’d get stomped only for them to fight back to draw the series and we’ve just seen it again against Sri Lanka.

A 135-run first innings deficit is by no means insurmountable, but when you were dispatched for 221 in your first dig and only one guy – a magician, no less – has made more than 69 in the entire match, you can be forgiven for wondering whether you might still be in with a chance of losing by an innings.

But New Zealand aren’t here to roll over; they’re here to remain the right way up – and so they made 524-5. Kane Williamson’s 242 not out takes his average to 46, near as damn it. When you play half your Tests in New Zealand, that’s really rather good.


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  1. I don’t have a commenting horse. Is that how everyone else here does it – they get a horse to do all the commenting work for them so they can relax and sip mint tea all day? My comments are all my own, with perhaps some minor input from my style Chihuahua. But it’s just a word here and there, just tidying up really, nothing more than that.

  2. The Kiwis just completed their best ever Test year, with 5W, 2L and 2D in 2014. The closest they came to this was in 1986.
    New Zealand have always been combative in the shorter versions of the game, but they have now made the crossover in Test cricket as well. Needs to be seen if they can sustain and build on this euphoria.

  3. Surely BJ Watling should get the award, for having done it twice in consecutive tests at the venue?

  4. Following the ODI WC, the two tests England have v NZ should be interesting viewing. I’d expect the NZ bowling to be quite challenging in the early summer conditions. Quite challenging indeed.
    If Williamson and Baz continue to score heavy runs and have enough support then England will do well to draw this series.

    1. Particularly as England will only just have got back from the Caribbean and will probably be spent.

      How does Brendon McCullum become Baz? We’ve wondered this for a while and it’s starting to annoy us.

    2. Also, what’s the point in calling David Warner “Davey Warner”? It’s the same number of letters. It’s the same amount of effort.

    3. On the Warner note, there’s also the thing whereby all England players have a patronising “-y” attached to their names (apart from Moeen Ali, for obvious reasons). This actually makes quite a lot of them (Cook, Broad, Trott, Root) longer, and marginally more irritating to type.

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