Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cricket is cool!

It’s cricket time in the northern hemisphere and the kiwi team is currently doing a tour of England, which I figure makes this a perfect time to tell you about my first cricket experience! Back in (hot, hot) February I went to my first live match, and it was awesome! =) We saw the Black Caps (NZ) versus England in a one-day international match in Napier. I shall hazard a guess that most people reading this know little about the game of cricket, and I can’t say that I know all that much more than you do, but I’ll try to shed a little light on the subject. =) First of all, matches range in length from five-day test matches right down to the newer 20-20’s which only last a couple of hours. The one we went to was somewhere in the middle of those two- it was a one-dayer, so we were there for about eight hours. =) Also, cricket is a little bit like baseball, but only a little bit. =) There are pitchers (bowlers) and batters (batsmen) and catchers (wicket keepers), but their roles are really not all that similar to baseball players’… Ah, methinks it far beyond my expertise to explain it well, so I refer you to Cricket Explained for Novices. That should clear everything up. =) One wacky thing about cricket is that they don’t alternate batting like in baseball. In our match, England batted for a few hours and then after lunch (yes, lunch!) NZ had to “chase” the number of runs England had racked up. (In this case, England got a whopping 340 runs! That’s a big number to chase!!) It was weird to just sit and watch England bat for 3 or 4 hours before NZ even got a turn! Another thing that’s odd is that tons of the players are bowlers. In baseball, pitching is really specialized, and half the time those guys never even have to bat! But here, each guy can only bowl ten overs (1 over = 6 balls bowled), so you need at least five guys who can bowl on your team, and nobody ever bowls more than one over consecutively, so they’re always moving around into different fielding positions and switching bowlers and that kind of thing. Also, this was only a one-day match, so the teams wear whatever colours they want, but in a 5-day match everyone on both teams has to wear white! It’s surprisingly not all that confusing and it looks quite nice on the pitch! My favourites from this match are Daniel Vettori (NZ’s captain and awesome bowler), Jesse Ryder (always seems to being doing something cool like getting people out), and Jamie How, who scored 139 runs all by his lonesome! On the English side I like Stuart Broad, but only really because he looks just like Malfoy from Harry Potter and he’s tall and skinny. (That's him with hirsute Ryan Sidebottom to the right there.) He also gave away a ton of runs this match, which worked out well for NZ. =) So, what happened, you might ask?!?! After eight hours of hard work, it really came down to the very last ball- as far as I can tell, NZ should have come back to win it, but some mishaps right in the end made it less and less likely until they scored one last run on the last ball that tied the match. I would have been really disappointed if we’d lost, but a tie is okay. Probably fair, really. Glad cricket doesn’t go into extra innings; we would’ve need our sleeping bags! :o

4 comments:

Gordon Simpson said...

Cricket is cool! Good job on the rules/baseball comparison overview. The only thing wrong with cricket is being a NZ (Black Caps) supporter - they have potential but always mess things up!

Barbara said...

WOW! 139 runs by one dude in one game! Chipper Jones would be pea-green with envy!

chris said...

WOW , what a great story. I work with a bunch of guys from India and they love Cricket. We are constantly comparing the rules to Baseball. This explains it better that I ever could, but than again I've never been to a Cricket match.

Chris said...

I had to add a Picture