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of the New Zealand Herald
New Zealand round-the-world
yachtsman Dave Swete appears to be
winning his race against time to get to
Auckland for this weekend’s Cricket
World Cup clash between the Black
Caps and Australia.
Swete, one of two New Zealanders
on board Team Alvimedica in the
Volvo Ocean Race, has a ticket to this
weekend’s eagerly awaited match at
Eden Park. But it was always going
to be touch and go whether his team
would arrive by Saturday.
The fleet was originally scheduled to
complete the 5264-nautical-mile leg
from Sanya, in China, to Auckland
around late Sunday to early Monday
After a quicker-than-expected jaunt
through the South Pacific, the first
boats are now expected to arrive on
“At this point it looks like they will
get here during the first innings,” race
director Jack Lloyd said.
“There is an outside chance they will
get here by the morning, but it ’s likely
to be more like Saturday afternoon.”
Despite spending three weeks at
sea, existing on freeze-dried food
and minimal sleep, Swete, a keen
cricket fan, is prepared to leap straight
off a boat and head to Eden Park if
it means catching the Black Caps
in action against their traditional
“If we get there on time I will be
jumping in a taxi straight from the
Viaduct and forgoing my beloved
post-Volvo-leg shower to watch the
game,” Swete said.
“So, if you’re going to the game you
could potentially be sitting next to
someone who has not showered for
enthusiasm for cricket is not shared by
most of his crewmates.
Nevertheless, Swete has been trying
to school them on the nuances of the
“The two Europeans have never
heard of the game,” Swete said.
“And the four Americans who
forced us to adopt NFL teams and
learn about the game have just started
showing interest - even if they are
just drawing parallels to the game of
However, Swete and his Kiwi
crewmate Ryan Houston at least have
one Australian on board they can bait,
navigator Will Oxley.
“(Will) is a massive cricket fan so
there is plenty of banter.
“ Will is not a betting man but
Housty and I are very confident we
can beat the Aussies at Eden Park so
are still baiting him for a bet,” Swete
This weekend will be the second time
Swete has experienced an Auckland
homecoming in the round-the-world
He also crewed for Mike Sanderson’s
Team Sanya in the 2011-12 edition of
Both he and Houston are graduates
of the Royal New Zealand Yacht
Squadron’s youth programme.
Early yesterday evening, the Volvo
fleet had just skirted New Caledonia,
and was 800 nautical miles north of
of the New Zealand Herald
Only one New Zealander in the World
Cup squad has a one-day international
century against Australia and a Cricket
World Cup ton; the same Black Cap
batsman averages more than 50 facing their
bowlers at home.
Enter Ross Taylor.
He brings match-winning experience to
the contest against the world’s No 1 side
at Eden Park tomorrow. Australia will
showcase a raft of new players since New
Zealand last completed a match against
them at the 2011 World Cup, but Taylor
has pedigree repelling their attacks.
Batting at first drop in his 15th ODI
innings eight years ago at Eden Park, New
Zealand needed 337 to win.
Taylor responded to the challenge. He
anchored the New Zealand innings from
the third over with 117 off 127 balls
until Peter Fulton, Craig McMillan and
Brendon McCullum brought it home from
the 39th over.
The successful chase was, at least until two
days later in Hamilton, the second highest
ODI total hauled in.
A crowd of 25,000 watched that Sunday;
40,000 will attend this one. Taylor finds
that more inspiring than intimidating.
“They ’ll be right behind us and no doubt
full of good advice for the Australians.
Pressure situations like that are what you
play cricket for, it adds to the big occasion.
Fortunately, a lot of our guys have played
in the Indian Premier League where
such crowds are nothing unusual but the
prospect of a packed house in your own
country is great ...
“Mind you, the Australians have just
played in front of 90,000 in Melbourne
against England. We’ve got an experienced
side with the likes of Vettori (54 caps
against Australia), McCullum (42), Mills
(23) and Southee (12). The trans-Tasman
rivalry adds something given most of us
have grown up watching the annual ODI
tri-series over there.”
Taylor endured angst in the aftermath of
his captaincy demotion in late 2012 but
maintained his dignity in the public eye.
He has scored a phenomenal number of
runs and taken numerous crucial catches in
the interim across all formats.
“The confidence of the team has been
lifted with guys stepping up at different
times. When you don’t succeed there’s
always the belief someone else can pick
up the slack. That ’s enabled us to play
consistent cricket. Everyone is there to
contribute and make Brendon’s job as easy
as possible. He’s under a lot of pressure
with the tournament at home, so you do
whatever you can.
“A number of guys have now played a
lot of games including the likes of (Tim)
Southee, (Martin) Guptill and (Kane)
Williamson in their second World Cups.”
Taylor said the innings blueprint of trying
to get to the 35-over mark with no more
than three wickets down was something
former coach John Wright had looked to
employ since late 2010 and the current
team had begun perfecting.
“If you’re in that situation, more often
than not you can capitalise. It ’s important
to set a platform, especially with two new
balls. The small New Zealand grounds
generally allow you to catch up — so you
are not panicking in the chase for seven or
eight runs an over.”
Friday, February 27, 2015
Hundreds of jubilant Afghan cricket
fans flooded on to the streets of major
cities yesterday, dancing, waving flags and
firing AK-47s in celebration at their team’s
historic World Cup win over Scotland.
Afghanistan, making their World Cup
debut, secured a nailbiting one-wicket win
over the Scots in D unedin, chasing down
the 211 target with just three balls to spare.
The “Blue Tigers” had slumped to
7-97 before a brilliant 96 by Samiullah
In Kandahar, the southern city once
famous as the Taliban heartland and now
a bastion of cricket, ecstatic fans danced in
the streets and fired off their weapons — a
traditional Afghan gesture of celebration.
“After Afghanistan lost the seventh
wicket, I smashed my phone in anger and
cursed my team. Now they have won, I
cannot believe it, but I am very happy,”
Abdul Samad told AFP.
Another fan, Khalil Ahmad, said he
feared the worst as the team’s batsmen
crumbled. “ I was watching the game from
the very first ball, when Afghanistan lost
its seven wickets, I was very disappointed,
I thought that ’s it and turned off the
television,” he told AFP.
“ Later, I saw Shenwari was playing really
well, and I knew as long as he stayed in we
had a chance of winning. Now I do not
have any words to express my feelings. ”
There was more dancing and celebratory
gunfire in the eastern city of Jalalabad,
where university student Mirwais Rahman
gave his classmates an unexpected surprise.
“ I was in my class, but was not listening
to the teacher, I had an earplug listening
to the cricket on the radio,” he told AFP.
“ When four balls remained and Shapoor
hit the winning boundary I cried out in
In Kabul groups of fans drove the city’s
streets, waving flags and chanting slogans
from car windows.
Man-of-the-match Shenwari — who
like many of the side learned cricket in a
refugee camp in Pakistan — said the win
was only an appetiser and the side were
relishing the prospect of taking on the
mighty Australia, joint World Cup hosts
with New Zealand, in their next outing.
Afghan Cricket Board chairman
Nasimullah Danish congratulated the
team for their victory, hailing their efforts
keeping themselves calm under pressure.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Afghani Shapoor Zadran celebrates hitting the win-
ning runs over Scotland yesterday at University Oval in
The shower can wait — Eden Park first stop after weeks at sea
Taylor fired up for
WORLD CUP CRICKET
Dancing in streets as Afghanis celebrate
New Zealand cricketing great
Martin Crowe will be inducted
into the International Cricket
Council’s hall of fame during the
innings break of the World Cup
match between New Zealand and
Australia at Eden Park tomorrow.
He will become the 79th inductee
and third New Zealand player after
Sir Richard Hadlee and Debbie
Hockley to receive the honour.
Crowe made his international
against Australia in
Wellington in February 1982 at the
age of 19. He retired 13 years later
after playing 77 tests. He scored
5444 runs at an average of 45.36,
including 17 centuries, the most by
a New Zealander.
Crowe also played 143 one-day
internationals, scoring 4704 runs at
an average of 38.55.
He played in three World Cups,
leading New Zealand to the
semifinals in 1992 where his side
lost to eventual champions Pakistan
His innovative captaincy and the
most runs in the series won him
player of the tournament.
The process for the selection
started last year when the ICC
chairman invited all the living hall
of famers to send their nominations.
Crowe to be inducted into cricket hall of fame
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