â€œYou make your own luckâ€ in sport they say. Gary Player once said, â€œThe harder I practice the luckier I getâ€ as if things were really that simple.
No team deserves to win a game dropping Hayden twice before he’d scored 4 or chasing 334 but Lady Luck did not shine her torch on the Black Caps at Perth tonight. Falling 7 runs short with 5 wickets in hand is an outstanding performance in anyone’s book, and more evidence that the summer has been turned around since that awful shellacking by Sri Lanka in December.
But … but … We could have done without Rauf firing Vincent out when he was looking in great touch and don’t get me started on the rain interruption! It’s hard enough being competitive in Australia when everything from the travel schedule to having to play the best team in the world is stacked against you. For the last seven or eight years this Black Cap side has backed itself to score 11+ an over in the final ten if they have wickets in hand (and they bat accordingly). Duckworth-Lewis doesn’t take that into account (and probably shouldn’t even try) but it was the rain break that killed the run chase â€“ and it never seems to happen to Australia IN AUSTRALIA.[And on the subject of luck: how about losing your best striker for seven months to a munted ankle in his first ever England training session. And your new star signing doing his ankle ligaments 20 minutes into his first game for the club — out for seven weeks minimum. I’d like to see Gary Player explain away that rubbish.]
Still, we scored 335 against Australia and Oram’s 100 was the fastest ever by a New Zealander in ODIs. Our luck will have to change soon.