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As the evening dew dulled Pakistan’s
bowling menace, a vital sixth-wicket
partnership of 58 between captain Kane
Williamson and Luke Ronchi saw New
Zealand triumph by four wickets with
four overs to spare in the second one-day
international at Sharjah.
The series is level at 1-1 with three
matches to play.
The visitors chased down 253, just the
second time in 33 attempts Pakistan had
been beaten at the ground after posting
more than 250. It was the first time in 11
matches New Zealand had beaten Pakistan
in a ODI at the venue.
Williamson’s 70 not out from 91 balls was
a treasure. His ability to lead from the front
cannot be underestimated when the match
teetered in the balance. It was his sixth 50
in seven ODI innings and, in doing so, he
countered the difficulty he had struck with
the bounce generated by 2.16m Mohammad
Irfan in the opening match.
Ronchi’s 36 off 32 balls brought tenacity
to the equation after the middle order
collapse. Ross Taylor (2), Tom Latham (3)
and Corey Anderson (10) departed to part-
timer spinner Haris Sohail. Before the first
ODI, Sohail had bowled 12 balls in List A
cricket. He finished with three for 48 from
nine overs in this match. His last wicket had
New Zealand hobbling at 167 for five in the
33rd over after being 103 without loss in the
Williamson and Ronchi were punishing
off the back foot and showed the sort of
application that is going to be required for
New Zealand to be considered a contender
at the World Cup.
Equally, four players on the World Cup
squad periphery galvanised New Zealand’s
Dean Brownlie and Anton Devcich
produced the first ODI century opening
partnership for New Zealand since
consecutive efforts from Martin Guptill and
Rob Nicol against Zimbabwe in February
Earlier, New Zealand responded to a
couple of Pakistani batting counterattacks to
capitalise on an outstanding start gifted by
Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan.
The pair reduced Pakistan to 20 for
three in the fifth over. Henry had Ahmed
Shehzad caught behind and bowled Asad
Shafiq; McClenaghan coaxed an edge off
Younis Khan to slip Ross Taylor.
Pakistan made 252 from 48.3 overs.
Support also came from Adam Milne,
particularly in his final three-over spell. He
dismissed Shahid Afridi for 27 from 14
with a useful bouncer after getting hit for
Taylor played a pivotal fielding role with
three catches to continue his extraordinary
record. His 94 catches in 139 matches is
at a ratio of 0.686 per innings. The next
best catcher in ODI history — for those
who have played 10 or more matches — is
Australia’s Mike Hussey at 0.570 per game.
Henry produced a revelatory performance
with four for 45 in his third ODI. He got
the ball to spit off a flat wicket, similar to
that which was seen on the opening day of
the third test. His dismissals were all top
order players — Mohammed Hafeez for
76, Shehzad for a duck, Shafiq for one and
Misbah-ul-Haq for 47.
— New Zealand Herald
Saturday, December 13, 2014
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Black Caps home
PICTURE: Getty Images
Kane Williamson plays a shot during the Black Caps’ match against Pakistan today.
The New Zealand Rugby Union
is on track to turn a $1.2 million
budgeted loss into a “modest ” profit,
boss Steve Tew says.
The popularity of the All Blacks’
test against the United States at a
sold-out Soldier Field in Chicago
will help with the final numbers,
which will be known at the end of the
year, Tew said yesterday. A crowd of
about 62,000 watched the test, won
74-6 by the All Blacks at the home of
the Chicago Bears. About a million
people around the world watched the
live feed of the telecast provided by
US channel NBC.
Also in the NZRU’s favour was the
popularity of the All Blacks’ tests this
year in Auckland (twice), D unedin,
Hamilton and Napier.
“ We’ve done much better than
anticipated throughout the year
helped by a variety of things —
there’s still a final reconciliation to
be done on the Chicago test which
might improve it further,” Tew said.
“ We’ve managed our costs well.
We’ve saved money in a number of
In a media briefing yesterday
following the NZRU’s latest board
meeting, Tew said his organisation
was most of the way through sealing
the broadcast and media rights
process which will take effect from
He added that he hoped to be able
to confirm before Christmas whether
or not All Blacks’ coach Steve
Hansen had extended his contract.
Chicago windfall helps overturn $1.2m NZRU loss
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen believes his
side can improve by 20% as they seek to be
the first to win back-to-back World Cups.
Hansen, fresh from winning his third
consecutive coach of the year title at the
New Zealand rugby awards in Auckland
on Thursday night, said an improvement in
decision making alongside the skill levels
they have reached would make the All Blacks
a more complete team.
Under Hansen’s three-year reign as head
coach, the All Blacks have a record of played
42, won 38, drawn two, lost two.
“I still think there’s a good 20% improvement
(left),” Hansen said. “ We talk a lot about our
skill execution and we’ve worked hard over
the last three years on that. We’re probably
now moving to the stage of combining skill
execution with decision making and making
better decisions. If we do that well we’ ll put
teams under a lot of pressure.”
Hansen, who will take a break over
Christmas with his family and start work
again in February, is, like skipper Richie
McCaw, focusing on the opportunity that
the looming World Cup represents, rather
than the pressure.
It is an attitude the team adopted in 2011
when attempting to cope with the scrutiny
of playing in a World Cup at home and the
results suggest it was successful, albeit by the
smallest of margins in the 8-7 final victory
McCaw, who accepted the All Blacks’
team-of-the-year award, said he was excited
about the challenge. “ When you get to my
age, you don’t know how many more (years
of playing) you’ve got,” he said. “ The fact that
you can still do it and with the World Cup
... hopefully the body stays together in Super
Rugby and I get a good crack at that. I want
to make the most of it.”
McCaw said he would be available for
the Crusaders’ first game of the season on
Hansen said: “ We’re in good shape to
have a crack at something no one has done
before. What better challenge can you have,
to try to do something that ’s not been done
Part of Hansen’s optimism comes from not
only the team’s No 1 world ranking, which
they have held for five years, but also the
mental strength they gained this year in
winning tight tests at the death.
The All Blacks fought back to beat England
in two tight tests in June, battled to a draw
with Australia in Sydney, held on against the
Springboks in Wellington, almost stole a test
against the Boks in Johannesburg, came back
at the death against against the Wallabies
in Brisbane, and kept their nerve in three
tough tests on their Northern tour against
England, Scotland and Wales.
— New Zealand Herald
Hansen: All Blacks can improve by 20%
Auckland’s batsmen missed the chance
to establish control in their Plunket
Shield clash against Wellington, leaving
the match evenly-poised at the halfway
Having dismissed Wellington for 199
on the opening day at the Basin Reser ve,
Auckland struggled with the bat to barely
scrape to a first-innings lead, sitting on
202-8 when rain prematurely ended play.
Mark Gillespie did the majority of
the damage after Auckland resumed on
117-2, striking four times with the ball
and running out Colin Munro in the
field. Munro was the best of the batsmen
as the top order failed to kick on from
promising starts, making 47 before being
caught short of his crease.
Gillespie then tore through the visitors’
middle order to finish with figures of
4-44, leaving Auckland today relying on
Brad Cachopa (18 not out) and Michael
Bates (0 not out) in the search for a more
Elsewhere, an impressive all-round
effort from New Zealand spinner Ish
Sodhi saw Northern Districts take
complete command of their encounter
ND began the second day at University
Oval on 188-5 before Mitchell Santner
(45) and Trent Seifert (49) put together
a handy stand in the middle order. Both
men were eventually undone by Neil
Wagner but Sodhi, who came to the
crease at No 9, smashed 82 from 84 balls
to help his side to a healthy total of 380.
Sodhi then proceeded to excel at his
day job, recording a five-wicket bag as the
visitors’ bowlers ripped through Otago
Only opener Hamish Rutherford (78)
managed to score more than 30 as Sodhi
led the way with 5-27 .
Daniel Flynn (4 not out) and Brad
Wilson (0 not out) then saw their side
through to stumps to leave the Knights
ahead by 195 heading into day three.
At Hagley Oval, Doug Bracewell was
again in the wickets as Central Districts
edged ahead of Canterbury. Bracewell
picked up his sixth scalp in the first
innings as Canterbury were dismissed for
269, with his figures of 6-41 setting up
the platform for the Stags batsmen.
Will Young (82) and Kieran Noema-
Barnett (69) struck half centuries to help
CD build on that platform, compiling 305
for a narrow first-innings lead. Bracewell
then dismissed Greg Dawson and, on the
last ball of the day, Ronnie Hira to reduce
Canterbury to 70-2 in their second turn
with the bat. — NZ ME
New Warriors signing
expects to face some
strong competition to
secure a place in the
club’s 18-man NRL
Auckland Nines squad.
his first taste of nines
at this year’s inaugural
tournament with his
former club Wests
Tigers, and knows just
how popular the event is
among players at every
The right-edge back-
rower has made his
hopes of playing the
on January 31 and
February 1, clear to
Warriors coach Andrew
McFadden, but realises
his nines dream is one
shared by all of his new
“ Yeah, I think everyone
makes it clear. You get
45 guys in the pre-
season that make it clear
that they want to play,”
during Thursday ’s official
2015 NRL Auckland
Nines jersey launch in
“Hopefully I get a start.
It’s a fun concept, fast.
I’ll be going back there
and training as hard as I
can come January 5 and
hopefully get selected.”
enjoyed all the colour
and hype of this year’s
event, he watched
on with envy as the
Warriors took centre
stage, with the capacity
crowd standing to
applaud the home team
whenever they entered
the stadium to warm-up
“ It was crazy, just crazy.
It was so good,” he said
with a laugh. “ When the
Warriors came out you
couldn’t hear anything
because of the reception
and the backing behind
them. Hopefully we
get that again next
Thompson is yet to find
a home on this side of
the Tasman and is taking
time to enjoy the final
weeks of his off-season
with family on the Gold
Coast, where he first
moved as a 16-year-old.
“All my stuff has gone
over (to Auckland) in
a container. Half my
family lives on the
Gold Coast so I’m just
there visiting them for
Christmas and then I’ll
move back on January 3.”
— New Zealand Herald
New Warrior Thompson
eyes nines spot
The scrap between the Breakers and Perth
continued after the buzzer on Thursday and
it could continue all the way to the playoffs.
The top-of-the-table clash at Vector Arena
was akin to the battles of old between the
teams who have shared the last five titles, full
of physicality, dominating defences and with
a terse exchange of words thrown on top.
It certainly seems, halfway through the
season, as though the Breakers (10-4) and
the Wildcats (9-4) will both reach the post-
season, and that prospect came to the fore in
the final exchanges on Thursday night.
With the Breakers up by 11 as the clock
neared zero, Cedric Jackson threw up one
last three-pointer, leading to a confrontation
between the two coaches.
Trevor Gleeson thought the Breakers were
guilty of running up the score, an unwritten
rule that stretches across all American sport.
Dean Vickerman, though, stressed the need
to play every possession in a league where
teams are sometimes separated only by
After all, the Breakers and Perth meet twice
more this season and the Wildcats could
easily win both to level the ledger, which
would leave playoff implications decided by
a points spread and leave Jackson’s shot of
Both coaches played down the incident
post-game, and it was little more than a
footnote in the Breakers’ big win. But the
message was clear — every basket counts in a
rivalry that is as fierce as it is closely-fought.
“ Trevor was just mad that we took a shot
when the game was over,” Vickerman said.
“There has been an etiquette in basketball
that if the game’s over you don’t need to shoot
that last one.
“I just spoke to him and he understands
this league is all about the points spread, so
you’ve got to play every possession all the
way out. If you get an opportunity to shoot
the last ball and get a little bit of a points
spread, that ’s what I’ve instructed my team to
Gleeson, calling himself ‘old school’, begged
to differ, though he accepted his emotions
were likely stirred more by his side’s loss.
Whether the points spread does come into
play will be determined by two encounters
across a fortnight later in the summer,
with Vickerman declaring no advantage
despite the Breakers’ current position of
“ I don’t get into the psychological edge too
much,” he said.
“They ’re a good basketball team and we
know that they ’re going to be there at the end
of the season. It’s nice that we’ve got a little
margin on them at the moment but, to win
the series, we need to win one more against
them. They’re going to come and get us.”
Breakers rivalry ablaze as playoffs approach
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