CricInfo News

CricInfo Home
News Home

Rsa in Pak
NZ in India
Zim in Aus

Other Series

This month
This year
All years

The Electronic Telegraph Middlesex v New Zealanders, New Zealand in England
Martin Searby at Southgate - 11 August 1999

Tour Match: Ramprakash lets Vettori off hook

First day of four: Middlesex (239-8) bt New Zealand (200) by 39 runs

Too much one-day cricket? So why this irrelevance in the middle of a tour which has focused New Zealand minds on much higher achievements?

One of their key successes has been the left-arm spin of Daniel Vettori, who has assumed the proportions of a Hedley Verity or Derek Underwood as the Kiwis anticipate only their second series victory in this country to follow the Richard Hadlee-inspired triumph of 1986.

Yet the bespectacled Vettori, 20, is a very ordinary, orthodox spinner who has been allowed to bowl his own length by England's leaden-footed batsmen. He needs to be dominated, yet Mark Ramprakash passed up the chance to show him for what he is in an uninspired piece of batting, which allowed the bowler to return two for 41 in 10 overs of a meaningless match. Ramprakash made only 17 runs off Vettori from the 25 balls he faced. He should have taken the opportunity to show who was boss and establish a dominance with the Oval Test in mind.

But at the Southgate club, where Middlesex were founded in 1864, it was a pretty supine effort and the captain's 86 from 119 balls had little to commend it as New Zealand went through the motions - an innings so typical of the middle-career players who queue up for cheques because the disgraced selectors have been too prejudiced to seek out the youth which is there.

Two sub-standard sides produced little worthwhile cricket and the Middlesex total, 239 for eight, contained no flamboyance against very ordinary bowling; fear is the key when the game begs for ebullience.

New Zealand had no such inhibitions and never allowed their lack of good technique to bog them down against seam bowling which was flattered by a club pitch. They kept going for their shots, quite regardless of the outcome for which they clearly could not give a fig.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk