sportreview.net.nz was lucky enough to contribute to top website The Spinoff, plumping for Kane Williamson as our greatest ever batsman, despite him only being mid-career. Have a read.
Then, come back and watch this video of Kane in the IPL – I love seeing what he can do in games like this, when he’s given a bit more license to improvise. With arguably less pressure on him, he can be as inventive and outlandish as anyone. And as always, matching his approach to what’s required for his team.
Everyone’s favourite angry gnome is sick of just playing cricket and that, and is once more focused on verbals and being held back from fights he’d definitely win.
His encounter with de Kock has had more close examination of camera angles than the JFK assassination, with none of them showing much that you’d write home about. Any more discipline demerit points for Warner in the next couple of years will draw a suspension, and free him up to spend more time with his family he’s gotten so angry defending.
In fairness, his coach and CEO seem pretty relaxed about losing their world class opening bat for brain-explosion reasons. Maybe the board should have a view.
Anyway, sportreview.net.nz can exclusively reveal the first Test sideshow is just the tip of the iceberg for fine-worthy infringements. Behold:
‘It’s great these lights are *finally* up,’ said Neil Craig, NZC board member and a driving force behind developing Bay Oval, while being interviewed on the big screen mid way through England’s innings.
The ‘finally’ indicates the ambition for this ground. Competition is getting fierce among the new breed of boutique grounds that includes University Oval, Hagley Park and Saxton Oval (not to mention Queenstown, Whangarei, New Plymouth and arguably the Basin, now it’s been opened up to white ball cricket). But the Bay’s oval has moved fastest to get those all-important lights, and was rewarded with the popular holiday period T20s, along with Napier’s only scheduled international game thrown in.
It’s not hard to see more ODIs against the big guns coming here after 8000 or so punters packed in on a Wednesday night, and day / night Tests were mentioned more than once in conversations on the grass banks. It’s an easy ground for punters to get around and find a spot that suits on the banks, and the food on offer is top class, including sportreview.net.nz-endorsed Tag Burger. The Mount looks bloody fantastic on SKY’s drone shots too.
I’m certain the building won’t stop there either, this ground has built up a serious head of steam. A new stand next?
As for the cricket, it was pretty enjoyable. For England. They fielded like the Kray Twins chasing down a debt, and their batsmen did to us what Ross Taylor and Tom Latham did to them in Hamilton, finding gaps and play it risk-free. It was classy stuff, and this series looks like a tough assignment for both teams, and an intriguing one for the fans.
Mesmerising Russian Ice Hockey player Nikita Kucherov gets right inside this goalie’s head and makes himself at home with a fumble-shot, faking to lose the puck but actually sending it smugly goalward. He’s done it before, to the same poor keeper.
Long read: a profile of ex-Philidelphia 76ers’ General Manager Sam Hinkie, the Stanford geek who took Moneyball to the extreme by selling his all team’s decent players, with the aim of finishing last and rebuilding from scratch with high draft picks. The fans were split into ‘WTF is going on’ and ‘Trust the process’ camps, and Hinkie, who was fond of appalling corporate-speak like ‘you don’t get to the moon by climbing a tree’, was out after three years. In a shocking plot twist, the team is actually coming right, lead by Joel Embiid, who nicknamed himself ‘The Process’. Read more. And even more.
Nike’s London campaign video is genius:
This (presumably Canadian) God is coming to save the world.
The beautiful game used to bring out the best in designers, keen to push the boundaries on the biggest stage of all. These Days, football shirts are basically designed to look good with a pair of jeans – The Art of the Football Shirt is a hipper-than-thou exhibition of when shirts were less marketing-department-orientated – some great photos here.
This is an intriguing point of the tour – the Lions sent to a tough venue to play a tough team a week out from the first Test. Which will be tough. You get the idea.
The misty, niggly rain that turned up a few hours from kick off, which had the Lions’ big pack licking their lips like they were being offered vinegar on their fish and chips and hurt the Māori ABs’ backline chances for razzle or dazzle.
Frankly, the home team were flat when the occasion called for a bit more. The bright spots of a stirring haka and home town hero Liam Messam’s try came early but there was little else to cheer about, despite some big hits going in late.
The Lions had all the control and their big strong runners and big long kickers won the territory battle comfortably. Their first job is making sure they’re tough to beat and it’ll be the same next week. Can’t wait.
Off-field it was fantastic grass roots stuff, Rotorua’s big banks were often more entertaining than the game, with several punters forced to regret their choice of non-grip footwear. I bet we had more fun than all those Lions fans in the end-on segregated seating.