England struggled to penetrate through the pairing of Taylor and Williamson on day 5. They both scored unbeaten hundreds to save the game for New Zealand. However, England had their chances. Williamson dropped on 39 and 62. The first a hard chance for Pope who couldn’t hold on diving to his left. The second was a lot more straightforward. Archer had out skilled Williamson with a brilliant slower ball he lobbed the simplest of catches up to Joe Denly who dropped it. Would Leach have been able to make an impact on this pitch? I’m not sure however I’m certain it would have given England another option. Furthermore as a batter if everything is seam it is going to get predictable on a flat pitch. However, there were positives in this test. Burns showed his class as a test match opener. Pope showed that he should be selected for South Africa with a skill full 75. He accelerated from a point where he was 19 off of 90 balls. I don’t think anybody minds that. Last but not least the skill of Joe Root. He has shower why Joe Root the batsman is world-class. It looked like he was batting without distractions, long may it continue.
There have been a few big moves in the county games over the last few weeks. The main one is the confirmation of Malan going to Yorkshire. He has been signed on a four-year deal. He has enjoyed 13 very good year’s at Middlesex but he opted for a new challenge. At 32 years old this will most probably where he sees out his career. Hampshire has signed Nathan Lyon for the county championship only. However, he is available for only the early season April fixtures. This seems a strange decision because of April time on off-spinner, whoever they are, probably won’t do much especially if they can’t really bat. Pat Brown has been picked up in the big bash by the Melbourne stars to replace Dale Steyn when he is on international duty. Pat is also set to play in the t10 league in Abhu Dubai. Nicholas Pooran has resigned for Yorkshire for the majority of the t20 blast. Last year he scored a memorable 67 off 28 in Yorkshire’s win over Leicestershire. Gale, the coach, says he will available for 11-12 games.
Ajax v Chelsea what a game. 2 own goals 2 red cards and 8 goals in a 4-4 thriller. The game started in dramatic style with an Abraham goal after only two minutes. Chelsea responded through netting a penalty to even up the scoring from the eventual man of the match Jorghino. However, a headed goal from the young exciting Quincy Promes made it 2-1. Then a spectacular own goal when the ball hit Kepa’s fave from the rebound made it 3-1. An exciting first half. Then after the break, Van De Beek looked to have one it for Ajax slotting away from 12 yards. However, this was just the start of an exciting comeback from Chelsea. Kickstarted from the captain Cezar finished from close range to make it 4-2 in the 63rd minute. Game on. Then only 8 minutes later a shot hit Joel Vettmans arm it was a penalty. Jorghino slotted away his second penalty to make it 4-3. There was real belief. Young substitute Reece James them came on to level the scoring with a low strike. The game ended 4-4 but it’s not one anyone will forget in a while. Ajax Chelsea and Valencia are all level on points so it will be a decisive round of games in group H.
England had a terrible collapse in their third t20 to hand new Zealand the game by 14 runs. They were well placed in there run chase at 138-2 off 14,5 overs. Only needing 43 off of 31 balls, with Vince and Morgan at the crease. However, from there we collapsed losing 5-10 in 18 balls. It was disappointing because up until then there were a lot of positives. A classy Malan 50 an explosive 18 from Banton showing all his potential. A guess Vince getting 49 was a positive however he will be very disappointed to get out on 48. Again he hasn’t seen his team home. It was a good debut from young legspinner Matt Parkinson taking 1-14 of two overs. Don’t know why he didn’t bowl more. The currans also impressed again Sam with 1 and tom with 2 for 29 off of there 4 overs. I expect the same team in the next game. I hope Parkinson gets to bowl his 4 overs in the next one and that Banton shows his undoubted potential. If this team clicks it could be very good.