Manchester - Black Caps v Oh My God

I counted four Black Caps supporters in my stand at Manchester. I didn’t count the Pakistanis who trolled the Indians by supporting us for the day. Although I should. When the final wicket was taken after waiting for a DRS you could feel the silence spread all over your excited sweaty NZ arms awaiting to burst out expletives of joy.

Only you couldn’t. You’re in a stand of by this state rather pissed off Indian fans. As good natured as they were it possibly wouldn’t have extended this far as jumping up and down multiple times screaming “oh fuck yes”.

I knew that’s what you were all doing back home at some ungodly hour. I am here, have tickets, with a small group of other likeminded people and all we could do in the greatest moment in NZ cricket since Grant Elliott hit a glorious six to win us the game against South Africa in the lovely warm covered stand that is Eden Park, was look at each other and piss ourselves laughing at the enormity of the situation. We couldn’t celebrate.

Tuesday was as humiliating to be at as Wednesday was brilliant. I doubt even in Craig McMillan’s wildest dreams would he have seen 5/3 on a scoreboard with Kohli and Sharma back with their feet up in the stands. Say what you like and be a twat, no one would have predicted we WOULD do this. Of course we always COULD and that’s the difference. The potential to do something was there, that’s why people like me bothered doing this tour, the execution looked like it was on the moon with Richard Branson and a bag of Charlie it was so far away.

If this “accidental finalist” thing works then I propose Steve Hansen take a leaf out of the book, have the team play like crap, lose a pool game and glide in there. Stealth. A stealthier team we have never been. We haven’t convincingly and positively won a game since 1 June against Sri Lanka all those days ago in Cardiff. June was really quite utter shit relying on Williamson and a couple of others at a time as was the first week of July. June is but a blur now as I hopped through my itinerary wondering how the fuck we would make the semis playing like turds. Or as the ACC says - farting our way to the semis.

The Indian fans were so confident I had one give me my phone number so I could get in touch if New Zealanders wanted to sell their finals tickets. +919600577722 - have fun watching on TV. The last thing I jokingly said was wait til we get 10 wickets.

Finally we put on a 9.9995/10 in the field, a 10/10 bowling performance and in hindsight not a bad batting score.  The Indians were decimated. Surrounded by them was exactly how the All Black fans are after losing at a World Cup. Full of regret and excuses. They’re not reverting to claims we cheated.

They had hooted and hollered for two whole fucking days around us. For someone with zero patience at the best of the times you would have no idea how difficult this was not to get up and start walloping them all. Especially with limited alcohol. I loaded up on codeine painkillers from Boots especially for the occasion to remain calm. It didn’t really work. The only thing that was working was the worse their situation became the quieter they did.

And among it Virat Kohli the Captain comes to our boundary, an act that should be illegal as the crowd go completely mental and wish to selfie him in the background standing in front of you. This garnered them more abuse from me to sit the f*** down.

He turns and runs to us and they keep chanting his name. He points at his shirt to where the name “India” is printed and looks pissed off at them until they start chanting it. Class. Now bugger off back to the infield as the mere presence of this cricket god on the sideline results in mass hysteria.

I know it’s the Indian way of supporting but I think they even exhaust themselves. Silence. Glorious fucking silence happened at a moment.

That was after the son of the village of the ginger damned Guptill who has had a terrible tournament for his standards, had ripped off the orange glow of heaven that are the bails. It didn’t look out, but you could see his reaction and you just knew it was.  Bless. Up on the big screen. Silence.

There’s no way you drop Guptill now for a final. He’s finally found something to be happy about. He will be ok. They all will. They are ready for a final and not to play like the numpties that were led by McCullum four years ago. They all remember that.  We all do.

McCullum still wanted us to go rip shit and bust in our batting. He’s looking right like the rest of us now. Wrong. But everyone was. I think even Stead and McMillan made this up as they went along. It had a number 8 wire quality of NZ, lets see how it goes about it. Oh shucks we fucking won.

The Black Caps looked different today, they came out like they actually had a purpose. A hairdryer last night from someone maybe. Or perhaps they went to bed in those extremely comfortable Lowry mattresses in the lovely large rooms we had thinking how terrible their campaign had been to date and best they do something about it because as I said this may  be the best chance we ever have of winning the fucking Cricket World Cup.  Never had a better side on paper.

Just they’ve been playing appallingly bad cricket.

Matt Henry bowled superbly but so did Trent Boult so man of the match was hard to pick, Mitch Santner I thought was absolutely brilliant and today we got Good Mitch. CDG didn’t have a great game but Neesham played like a terrier at a bone and that catch was amazing, I was right behind it and thought he had just stopped a four. He fronted at the end. Lockie bowled without much reward but was superb.

I went to get my bags at The Lowry and the staff had a congratulation balloon parade ready for them. Which they didn’t seem very practiced in. This is the hotel of Manchester United and there’s been zero need for congratulations balloons there since Wayne Rooney last successfully cheated on Coleen.

On arrival at Birmingham and checking back into the hotel I have been twice before I waited behind 20 Indian supporters to check in and  poor old Ben Stokes was harassed back to his room by Indian fans for selfies and then in the corner like a spot on the horizon Davey Warner.

Warner looked meaner and leaner. He has more front than a Mac truck. A New Zealander wishes him good luck. They need a court session from their mates.

It wasn’t me.

2015 I remember.


I don’t know who to support tomorrow. I suspect beating England at The Home of Cricket may be a bit too much to ask for ones wishes for 2019. 

But 2015 we remember.

We need to have a reason to forget those shit memories of that day.  For me in that situation surrounded by others more shit memories -  twice over.

Let us play Australia and burn those.


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