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Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 7
PICTURE: Getty Images
New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori, left, and Tim Southee congratulate each other during the match against
Bangladesh at Seddon Park in Hamilton last night.
NZ edges past
The World Cup keeps delivering
the perfect valedictory for Daniel
Vettori. Most of the time it is with
the ball, this time it was with the
bat, playing the crucial cameo of 16
from 10 balls to see New Zealand
to a three-wicket victory over
Bangladesh, chasing down the 289-
run target with seven balls to spare.
An evenly-fought contest gave
both sides a pulsating platform from
which to launch their ambitions in
New Zealand learned its bowling
attack is not invincible in conceding
288 for seven but Martin Guptill
(105 from 100 balls), Ross Taylor
(56 from 97 balls), Grant Elliott
(39 from 33 balls) and Corey
Anderson (39 off 26 balls) gained
valuable batting time after the early
loss of Brendon McCullum and
Kane Williamson to spin.
Left-arm orthodox spinner and
stand-in captain Shakib Al Hasan
dismissed both on his way to figures
of four for 55 from 8.5 overs. First,
he lured McCullum into lofting
to long-off for eight and then
Williamson lobbed a cut to cover
point for one, the first time he had
been dismissed in single figures for
25 innings stretching to Boxing
Day 2013 against the West Indies.
Guptill’s century was his sixth in
one-day internationals but the first
time he had reached the milestone
at better than run-a -ball; he took 88.
Bangladesh, after victory against
England, backed up with a batting
performance that defied the odds
after being 29 for two after the
initial powerplay. Led by another
century to Mahmudullah, it became
the first team New Zealand has
been unable to dismiss in six World
Initially a sense of deja vu
per vaded as New Zealand tethered
Bangladesh in what has become
situation normal. The crowd
would have been forgiven for
contemplating an early finish,
keeping with the trend against
Scotland, England, Australia and
Such parsimony was not to last.
Undaunted by New Zealand’s
bowling reputation, Mahmudullah
finished unbeaten on 128 from
123 balls. He whirred into 12 fours
and three sixes, backing up from
62 against Scotland and 103 versus
Two key partnerships fastened the
innings together after a start which,
after five overs, had registered
four runs. Bangladesh continues
to suggest it will be challenging
Sarkar revived their cause fighting
off the New Zealand bowlers —
and an invasion of mosquitoes
around the pitch block — in a 90-
run third-wicket stand from 18
overs. The insect rebellion did not
discriminate. The New Zealanders
called for the repellant to ensure no
UFCs (unidentified flying creatures)
disrupted a catch. As a whole it
was not the hosts’ best fielding
performance, despite continued
kamikaze efforts from McCullum
in races with the ball to the rope.
Too many “harbour bridges” and
puzzled looks permeated when
balls sneaked through the in-field.
Corey Anderson’s dropped second
slip catch, when Mahmudullah,
on one, faced his third ball, was an
Mahmudullah and Sarkar stood
up to New Zealand’s bowling
authority, particularly during overs
11 to 20 with 66 runs. Sarkar made
51 from 58, his maiden one-day
international half-century in his
sixth match. Sabbir Rahman also
produced a cameo of 40 from 23
in a sixth-wicket partnership of 78
from 48 balls.
Even Vettori endured rare
punishment late in his overs.
He bowled the first seven for 19
runs and removed Sarkar with
an Anderson catch at long-on .
However, his last three went for 23
as Bangladesh capitalised.
Boult struggled in his latter overs
after dismissing the two openers.
He delivered three maidens to start
but conceded eight an over from his
Mitchell McClenaghan could
be afforded sympathy in his none
for 68 from eight overs as a late
replacement for Adam Milne
who rested his injured shoulder.
McClenaghan exemplified the
difference between net and match
bowling. Conversely Anderson
produced one of his better 10-over
spells, taking two for 43.
McCullum’s decision to field was
logical. With the block sweating
under covers the previous day
there was every chance evaporating
moisture would provide extra swing
from Boult and Southee early.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Blues-Canes — a tale of two coaches
The winning coach was not happy and
the losing coach only wanted to praise
Rugby is a funny game and one that
can be seen from a range of angles but
here are a few of the bare facts.
The Hurricanes beat the Blues 30-23
in Palmerston North last night and the
Wellington-based franchise is unbeaten
after four games. John Kirwan’s Blues
have lost five on the bounce to start the
cemented the Hurricanes as one of the
form horses in the early going, but Super
Rugby is a race for stayers.
“ We are delighted to get the five points
but (we are) far from happy with our
performance,” Hurricanes coach Chris
Kirwan, a man who will hear more
people calling for him to be sacked in
the coming days, could not fault the
attitude of his side; they just could not
catch a break.
They missed touch, Ihaia West missed
shots at goal and the Blues needed a
pass or two more to stick against the
Hurricanes and they could have left
Manawatu with their first victory of the
“ We just can’t win a trick,” Kirwan said.
“So we’ve got to keep working hard. The
courage and commitment ’s there from
the guys and it ’ll turn round.
“ We just need to, once again, execute a
little bit better.”
Building up to last night’s game had
been challenging for the Blues after they
were upset by the Lions last week — one
of the lowest points in the history of a
storied franchise that once ruled Super
“If you’re going to lose faith it would
have been this week and they didn’t,”
Kirwan said of his players. “ It ’s been a
hard week for the team and they stayed
tight. They stayed strong.”
The Blues will now head to the bye,
which they desperately need, and
Kirwan will need to put further thought
in to how they can break their duck.
“ We are working incredibly hard.
The guys deser ve more than what
they’re getting,” Kirwan said. “ We’ve
got a bonus point out of the last four
games. We just need to nail some of
the execution under pressure. But, like
I said, I’m just incredibly proud of their
courage and commitment under fire. ”
That is all well and good but the public
are demanding better from this side and
the wagons are continuing to circle.
They will head to Sydney to meet the
Waratahs in two weeks and given their
noted struggles on the road in recent times
it could get worse before it gets better.
Boyd has seen his share of tough runs in
his coaching career — namely last year as
he guided the Wellington Lions through
a woeful ITM Cup campaign — and he
backed the Blues to come good.
“They ’ll turn their game around.
They ’ve got a lot of quality footballers in
that team,” Boyd said.
On the injury front, Hurricanes hooker
Dane Coles tweaked his elbow but it
was not thought to be serious.
Hurricanes 30 ( Julian Savea 2, TJ
Perenara, Matt Proctor tries; Beauden
Barrett 2 pen, 2 con) Blues 23 (Lolagi
Visinia, Frank Halai tries; Ihaia West 3
pen, 2 con). Halftime: 18-17. — N ZM E
Melbourne Rebels first five-
eighth Jack Debreczeni was
carried off with a leg injury in
his team’s 21-17 triumph over
the Western Force in last night ’s
Super Rugby clash in Perth.
Debreczeni slipped and twisted
his right knee in the 54th minute
when he attempted to change
direction as he prepared to make
The 21-year-old was carried off
by two trainers and struggled to
walk when taken to the bench.
Co-captain Scott Fuglistaller’s
first start of the year lasted just
a tick over 20 minutes before
he was forced off with what
appeared to be a dislocated finger.
The Rebels raced out to a 15-0
lead inside 33 minutes, but their
advantage was whittled down to
just four points when prop Tetera
Faulkner crashed over in the
The Force launched wave
after wave of attack in the
dying minutes, but could not
break through a resolute Rebels
The Force’s fourth straight
loss leaves it with a 1-4 record
heading into tough games
against the Bulls (Pretoria) and
The Rebels (2-2) face off
against the Lions in Melbourne
next Friday night.
Force prop Pek Cowan left
the field in the second half with
either a shoulder or collarbone
issue after copping a heavy hit
from Rebels front rower Toby
Smith while hovering over a
In the corresponding fixture
last year, the Force ran in four
tries within the first 27 minutes
to end the contest.
But it was the Rebels players
who came out firing this time
around, with fullback Mike
Harris slicing his way through
Pek Cowan and Kyle Godwin
to touch down after just five
A barnstorming run by Mitch
Inman set up Dom Shipperley
for the second try of the match
and the Force was staring at a
15-0 deficit when Harris nailed a
penalty in the 33rd minute.
The Force struggled to launch
many meaningful attacks in the
But it pushed hard just before
half-time and was rewarded when
a quick penalty tap from halfback
Alby Mathewson caught the
Rebels’ defence napping.
At 15-7, the equation did not
look impossible for the Force.
Heavy rain in the second half
could not quell the Force’s spirit,
and a comeback looked to be
well and truly on the cards when
Faulkner barged over late.
But it was not to be, with the
Rebels sur viving a ner vy final few
minutes to hold on for victory in
front of a crowd of 9972.
The Rebels also lost lock Lopeti
Timani in the first half after he
copped an accidental boot to the
head from one of his team-mates.
“ We lost two for wards in the
first half, so that puts a dent
in there,” Rebels coach Tony
“The boys had to dig in and
work their way through it. ”
Force coach Michael Foley
admitted his team made too
many errors in the first half.
“ We’re getting moments that
are good rugby. I thought we
finished over the top of them, no
doubt,” Foley said.
“ But you’ve got to come into
the game and fire from the start.
You have to win those early
battles. It’s certainly where we
fell down. ” — AAP
The best thing about New
Zealand and Australia
having such similar flags is
that we can pretend a golf
leaderboard is delivering
It was one-way traffic at
The Hills and Millbrook
yesterday, as the Australians
firmed their grip on the New
Zealand Open trophy.
The only question late in
the day was which relatively
unheralded visitor from
across the Tasman would be
at the top of the heap.
It turned out to be a familiar
face, David Bransdon, who
was the co-leader after the
He carded a smooth
2-under-par 69 at Millbrook
to move to 11-under for the
tournament and an outright
lead of one shot.
No fewer than 11 fellow
Australians follow him on
the leaderboard, and the best
New Zealander is way down
depressing number for the
Bransdon is 41 and
arguably the very definition
of a journeyman.
He has won second-tier
tournaments and is halfway
towards the $1 million Open
title, something that would
drastically alter his career,
given the doors it would
He knows it is not time
to get too excited but the
goateed Victorian would
rather have a one-shot lead
than be in the pack.
“It ’s always nice to be up
front because you don’t have
to make as many birdies to
win,” Bransdon said, smiling.
“I ’m old enough to know I
can’t take a backwards step. I
have to keep going for ward
and making birdies.
“As good as these young
guys are these days, they don’t
fold. They don’t know how to
not play well.”
Bransdon followed his
lovely 63 at The Hills with
a steady performance at
Millbrook, carding two
birdies in a blemish-free
“I kept out of trouble, kept
it in play, kept it on the
greens. I just didn’t make the
putts I did yesterday. I found
the greens a lot harder to
“There were a few putts I
could’ve made but I really
struggled on being definitive
with my lines so I couldn’t
expect too much.”
The round of the day was
posted by a man from the
same country but with a
Matt Jager, 26, burned The
Hills for a 9-under-par 63,
taking him to 10-under for
the tournament and a tie
for second, alongside Aaron
Jager fired eight birdies and
an eagle, along with a single
bogey, at the course where he
was leading amateur in the
2010 New Zealand Open.
Jager knows some low
scoring will be needed over
the weekend, especially if the
Asked — only partly tongue
in cheek — if he felt guilty
the Australians were again
set to spoil the party at the
Open, his response was firm.
“Absolutely not, mate,
considering what you did
us in the cricket a couple of
Other Australians who
need to be watched this
weekend include the classy
pairing of Marcus Fraser
(8-under) and Nick Cullen
On a relatively grim day for
the New Zealand contingent,
Tauranga’s Josh Geary and
The Hills professional Craig
Palmer were the leading
contenders at 5-under.
Mark Brown and Brad
Shilton are at 4-under, while
Ryan Fox, Michael Hendry
and David Smail all scraped
through on the cut line.
For the second straight day,
a golfer hit a hole-in-one,
and for a second straight day,
it was on the “wrong” hole.
New South Wales golfer Ed
Stedman used a 4-iron to ace
the 185m par-3 fourth hole.
His only prize was making
the cut, some consolation
for not performing the feat
on the 16th hole (where the
prize is a BMW) or the 10th
Two days of hot scoring
forced the cut down to
3-under. It was 1-over last
year, but that was after a
second round affected by
Those to miss out
by a stroke included
New Zealanders Sven
Puymbroeck, Pieter Zwart
and Vaughan McCall, the
Dimitrios Papadatos never
looked like playing at the
weekend. He added a 74 to
his first-round 77 to finish
Other prominent players to
miss the cut included Steven
Jeffress (1-under), Gareth
Paddison (even) and Richard
— Otago Daily Times
Tasman visitors set pace
PICTURE: Getty Images
David Bransdon of Australia tees off during day two of the
New Zealand Open at Millbrook Resort in Queenstown.
England beats Afghanistan by nine wickets
England extracted a little late joy
from an other wise dismal World
Cup cricket campaign, with a nine-
wicket win over cricketing minnows
Afghanistan in a rain-reduced clash
at the SCG yesterday.
They reached a revised D uckworth
Lewis target of 101 from 25 overs
with 6.5 overs to spare.
Afghanistan made 111 for seven
off 36.2 overs in an innings stalled
and eventually ended by three rain
It was just a second victory in six
games for England, whose only
other win was over lowly Scotland.
For much of yesterday ’s game,
however, it looked as if the
elements might add another layer
of disappointment to a distinctly
under whelming campaign.
The rain delays, the last of which
was two and half hours, threatened
to deny England a morale-boosting
win over a side that entered the
game with the same 1-4 win-
loss record. Play finally resumed
at 8.45pm (local time), just over
20 minutes before it would have
been called off for insufficient time
to bowl the 20 overs needed to
constitute a match. — AAP
Former umpires Peter Willey
and George Sharp have lost their
age discrimination case against
the England and Wales Cricket
Willey and Sharp were
forced into retirement having
reached the ECB’s maximum
age of 65, leading to claims
for unfair dismissal and age
But an employment tribunal,
heard by Judge Wade in London
last month, issued a written
judgment to the parties overnight
in the governing body’s favour.
The ECB said in a statement:
“ We welcome today’s decision
which recognises that our current
retirement policy for umpires
is firmly based on sound legal
principles and not discriminatory
on grounds of age.” — AFP
Ex-umpires lose age case
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