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Musings from Beyond the Boundary | 8 July

Congratulations to East Coast Bays’ slow left-armer Louis Delport on being named one of the Aces’ contracted players for the 2019-20 season, completing the squad for the coming summer. Delport has been a prolific wicket-taker for his club over the past four years and made his debut for the Aces in 2018, taking 4/42 against Wellington on the Outer Oval.

His First Class debut had been in South Africa almost four years before that, when he played three matches for Western Province, and he has also played one day cricket in the Irish Senior Cup. He’s a well-travelled cricketer and his left-arm spin will provide a valuable contrast to Will Somerville turning it the other way.

And there will be a little extra spice when the Aces take on the Otago Volts this summer, with Dale Phillips picking up a contract with the Dunedin side. The 20 year-old New Zealand Under-19 rep is Ace Glenn Phillips’ younger brother, and while he is yet to make his first class debut he is already fashioning an impressive career, averaging almost 30 across two Under-19 World Cup campaigns.

Speaking of World Cups, the BLACKCAPS have managed to take the most difficult path possible to maintaining their proud record of reaching the semi-finals as frequently as any other team. Now they face India, hopefully on the way to a second consecutive Final. It’s certainly been a disappointing fortnight or so as the team stumbled their way through some key match-ups. They are a different side when Martin Guptill is on song at the top of the order.

Our own special correspondent was on hand at Lord’s for the game against Australia – former Eden-Roskill batsman Alastair McKenzie managed to remain philosophical in his disappointment:

“London’s one day heat wave coincided beautifully with the long awaited trans-Tasman clash at Lords making this easily the hottest afternoon I’ve ever spent watching cricket. My £95 seats in the Mound Stand were only 12 rows back from the boundary. Brilliantly close to the action I thought. Then I realised the downside of our seats. It meant we were in the full sun from 30 minutes after the game started. Blimey the heat was suffocating. Which was appropriate because that is exactly what the Aussie bowling attack did to the BLACKCAPS’ batsmen.

As a BLACKCAPS’ fan of many years standing (and a lot more sitting) I’ve got used to disappointing performances. There’s a formula that I haven’t quite worked out that goes something like we’ll beat Aussie one game in seven. I never check when we’re due a win before I buy a ticket to watch them so every time there’s hope but more often than not there’s disappointment. Today’s game was so disappointing after such a promising start. Trent Boult’s fantastic hat-trick at the end only reinforced how close we were to rolling the yellow machine with one major partnership to break before we were into their tail. But what a partnership. From where I was sitting I thought Carey batted superbly to save his team. There was hope amongst the BLACKCAPS fans that one of our boys would do something similar. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

Still every loss has a silver lining. My friends and I had some great banter with some Aussie fans from Melbourne sitting in front of us and had a good old yarn about the upcoming Boxing Day test.

Hang on a minute – what’s that formula again? Oh never mind – I’m going to the test anyway. Maybe that’s the game we’ll finally roll Australia.”

Mention of the Australian wicket-keeper-batsman Alex Carey reminds what an impressive tournament he is enjoying, and what an impressive ODI career he is building, averaging 39.9 with the bat after 28 matches. The South Australian is one for England to get early in their semi-final.

Elsewhere on the international front, the Women’s Ashes are under way and Australia has had the better of the first two One Day Internationals. They took the first by two wickets after England recovered from 19/4 to 177 on the back of Nat Sciver’s 64. Alyssa Healy then scored 66 to nurse the Australians home.

In the second match England were all out for only 217 after being 109/2, and in spite of a century by Tammy Beaumont. Delissa Kimmince did the damage taking 5/26. Australia made an uncomfortable start, losing two wickets for 19 before Ellyse Perry scored 62 and then Beth Mooney and Jess Jonassen added an unbeaten 60 for the seventh wicket to see Australia home.

Zimbabwe concluded their visit to the Netherlands with two T20 matches, and again Max O’Dowd did his reputation no harm at all. After fifties in the two ODIs, he scored a 20-ball 30 in the first match, won by the home team. In the second he did even better, scoring 56 at the top of the order from 40 balls. This time the game ended with the scores tied and although O’Dowd hit his first ball of the super over from Tendai Chatara for six, the Netherlands couldn’t eclipse the 18 scored by Zimbabwe from their six balls and the series was squared.

The return of good weather has seen some high-scoring in the English County Championship, and slowed down Jeetan Patel’s remarkable wicket-talking feats. Patel had an innings return of 3/64 as Warwickshire went down to Surrey, but he was upstaged by recent Ace Sam Curran. Curran atoned for a first innings first ball duck with a second innings of 52 to sit alongside returns of 3/50 and 2/27 with the ball.

Warwickshire drew with Kent in a match of high-scoring first innings, with Daniel Bell-Drummond scoring 166 in his team’s 585/7 declared. Warwickshire openers Will Rhodes and Dominic Sibley set about the chase with a 221-run partnership and Sibley went on to score 244 as Warwickshire reached 574/7 in reply.

And Basil D’Oliveira’s grandson Brett had an outstanding match for Worcestershire against Glamorgan, putting together a knock of 103 after coming in at number nine while his leg-spinners reaped an innings return of 7/92. The family clearly continues to produce quality cricketers.

Image Credit – Photosport.co.nz

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