What a day

In the cold light of the next day, it’s perhaps worth a recap of yesterdays events.

There is a patch of carpet in my house, just to the right of coffee table which is now a little more worn. That was my spot. That’s where I stood. It’s right in front of the corner of our L shaped couch, which is my favourite spot to sit. However, between 4:30 and 7pm yesterday, the All Black forward pack couldn’t have pushed me into the seat. If I stand there, we do ok.

It’s amazing the superstitious bullshit that comes into one’s head during a tense sporting match. Stand in the same spot, don’t log off work, don’t turn off the coverage, don’t drink any water, don’t change ANYTHING. We lost both wickets yesterday as I checked the score & Taylor was dropped when my family got home and they sat on the couch. I swear to god, if I’d sat down, Bumrah would have held the catch. Even as of this morning, I can’t say I don’t truly believe that.

I woke up yesterday with that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. Timmy’s couple of wickets the night before giving us a sniff. I’m always much better watching us bowl, than bat, but I couldn’t do it yesterday. Went out for a 30 min bike ride at 10, which lasted nigh on 2 hours trying to keep my head off the cricket (sorry boss, not an overly effective day for me yesterday). By the time I got back, India were 5 down I still thought we had a sniff … so I turned it on, put the laptop in front of me & settled in. And they walked off for lunch. Shit. 45 mins later, I settled in again, meeting coming up at 2pm, what could we do in that hour … not much for a while. Head accepting the draw. BOOM, Wagner! Back in it. 2pm comes and goes, sit down. A few mins in, “so thats setup, Matt could you please …FUCKING YESS!!!” … Oops. Supposed to be working. Trent in the wickets! Time for the inevitable slog from the tail enders. Come on guys, these runs are gold to India … c’mon …Timmy! Again, Timmy!

Breather. Shit. I promised the wife we’d go and get some clothes for her sisters 50th this weekend. I don’t think I can watch it anyway. Resting heart rate is about 256 as it is. Off we go. 45 mins odd later. Gotta check. 19 without. Tea. Phew, negotiated that first session. At the picture framers now picking up the gift. “What do you think of it hon”, she says “sorry, what, just checking the sco…FUCKKKKKKKKKK”. Latham’s out. Here we go. Phone away, pay attention. Drive home … unpack car. TV on … 44/1 … awesome, under 100 to go. Big appeal and … shit. Conway. Literally first ball of turning the TV on. What do I do?? Hit up the fern, and offer my predicament. Whilst doing this, an over passes with no drama. It’s obvious now isn’t it. Leave the TV on & we’ll be fine. Hang on … I’ve been watching the cricket from this spot, and then checking work / TSF in the over breaks. OK, thats what we do from here on in. Commentator is going on and on about run rates / dot balls. And it’s working an absolute treat on me. Nervous shit needed. Can’t do that, could cause a wicket. So stick with the plan. Getting fidgety. Drinks. What does that mean? Can I have a drink? Can I sit down? Not sure. Decide to change nothing. Wife leaves to get the kids. And suddenly the runs are flowing. Half way there. What the fuck is a mallet on the pitch for??? What does this mean? Can I drink some water now and have it offset by the mallet? Don’t come back wife/kids, we are doing great. Oh, you’re back. “Edged and … dropped”. Jesus Christ. Do I need to kick the family out?? Not sure. Dot balls again. Dot ball commentator is back. Need a shit again … and we’re scoring again. Under 50 to get. Surely our tail can get this now? Under 40 … Under 30 … … Kane Dropped! It’s in the stars, it’s happening, nothing can stop us. 50 for Kane! only 7 or 8 to go. We’re going to win! Can I have a drink now … NO!!! Ross on strike, it’s in the air … it’s 4! IT’s over! We’ve won!! We’ve won!! We’ve won!!!

There is enough praise for the team above that there is little I can add honestly. It’s a colossal moment in time for NZ cricket & it’s so fitting that Ross & Kane had the unbroken partnership at the end. What a team. Perfect balance of youth, new players, legends, and team men. Although arguably they are all legends now.

Jamieson was officially MOTM and this arguably should be shared with Kane. Anchor in both of our innings. However, for me, its the players in the moments which really count, those who step up when the heat is on who should get this accolade. Think Carters drop goal / penalty in 2015 RWC, think Wilkinson for England in 03. Think Stokes for England. It’s can be only person for me in this match. 3 times in the one test he had those moments. The value of his 30 runs in the the first innings cannot be underestimated. No lead, no psychological edge. India innings 2, both openers out lbw. No wickets, India without loss going into the last day with a handy lead. Different gravy. Remember I mentioned above India into he tail slog. Who cleaned up the last 2? Extra 20-30 runs on 4/5 less overs. Different gravy.

MajorRage MOTM of the WTC Final - Tim Southee.

What a day.

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