Cricket Tour to
2013 New Zealand
Board Cricket Touring Squad.
From Right to Left: (Back
Row) Mark Mills, Aaron Hunt, Brendan Bourke, Stephen Lwee, BJ Martin,
Andy Newman, Byron Mabbett, Paul Maoate, Scott Hunt, Steve Hunt
(Kneeling) Dave Macalpine, Sam Kelly (c)
Andy hadn't worked for the New Zealand Racing Board for quite some time
(over 2 years). However, in early 2013 despite having very little
cricket under his belt for the season, he got the phone call from his
former colleagues. They were off on their annual cricket tour, funding
had been cut by the New Zealand Racing Board and they needed more
players. After a while considering the offer, Andy decided that he
would go. It had been 4 years since Andy last toured with the NZRB
team, and three years since he had played with them in the 2010
tournament held in New Zealand. The team ended up a bit makeshift with
a couple of other fillers being roped in, but the Kiwis managed to
scrape together a line up, and with expectations low they took flight
over to the familiar climes of the Bankstown Sports Club in Sydney.
As it turned out, the Australian teams were in a similar position with
funding being tight and their teams maybe not being at full strength as
a result. However, the teams each fielded a number of familiar faces
and Sydney offered up perfect weather for the occasion.
The first match for the New Zealanders on the first morning was against
Victoria. The New Zealanders batted first and put up a good score
thanks to a brisk start from Byron Mabbett - who hit a decent six on
the large outfield of the Bankstown 2nd ground before being caught out
at the same boundary spot next ball - and Scott Hunt who fell just
after scoring his 50. Andy ended up batting at 9 and scoring a couple
of quick singles before the overs ran out and it was time for the
Victorians to bat. The Victorian innings never really got going and
they were never up with the run rate. The match was as good as won for
the Kiwis when the Victorians' best batsman was given out caught behind
rather dubiously. The New Zealanders ran out deserved winners by about
New Zealand 138/7 (Scott Hunt 51, Byron Mabbett 19, Steve Hunt 16)
Victoria 110/9 (BJ Martin 4 - 0 - 22 - 3, Byron Mabbett 2 - 0 - 8 - 2)
The afternoon match was another win for New Zealand after another solid
batting performance and good work in the field. The top order put
together a number of 20-odd scores, but no one went on to make a big
innings. A comical run out saw local lad Mark Mills run out the fiery
Kiwi Steve Hunt, but the end result was another tough target for the
Australian opposition. The Queenslanders found a tough chase even
tougher when they lost their quality opening batsmen for reasonably low
scores. After that, they never threatened the target ensuring the Kiwi
Fruit Cup (contested between New Zealand and Queensland) would remain
in New Zealand hands. It also meant that barring a shocker in the last
round robin match against pre-tournament favourites New South Wales,
New Zealand should make the final.
New Zealand 136/7 (Mark Mills 29, BJ Martin 27*, Dave Macalpine 24)
Queensland 112/5 (BJ Martin 4 - 0 - 18 - 1, Steve Hunt 4 - 0 - 14 - 1)
The final round robin match was a cagey affair. New South Wales needed
to win and win well to reach the final after Queensland defeated them
in game one and they resoundingly defeated Victoria in game two. This
game was in the morning of the 2nd day of the tournament and some
players were looking a little worse for wear following the previous
night's festivities. This may have contributed to a huge collapse from
the New Zealand top order which left it looking like the Kiwis would
struggle to get anywhere near to setting a reasonable target. A couple
of dubious Lbw calls from the neutral umpires (Aaron Hunt given out Lbw
with the ball sailing down leg and Andy being given out Lbw about a
foot outside off stump with the ball swinging away) did not help. A
lower order hit and giggle from Sam Kelly and BJ Martin ensured
respectibility for the Kiwis. New South Wales made very hard work of
chasing the target down as some tight bowling and some great fielding
(including the undoubted catch of the tournament from Andy diving in
the covers) as well as the New South Wales team trying to chase the
target down in the 13 overs required to overtake New Zealand on Net Run
Rate ensured that they could not build momentum. In the end, it all
came down to their last wicket pair who just managed to get the ball
through the infield in the final over, bowled by Aaron Hunt.
New Zealand 100/9 (Byron Mabbett 30, BJ Martin 23*)
New South Wales 101/9 - 19.2 overs (BJ Martin 4 - 0 - 18 - 3, Dave
Macalpine 2 - 0 - 7 - 2)
And so it came to the final, played on the afternoon of the second day.
The heat was starting to take its toll on the fielders and both teams
wanted to bat first as a result. However, the Queenslanders won the
toss and got off to an excellent start as their openers who'd failed in
the round robin fixture made hay against a tired Kiwi fielding unit.
The Queenslanders were on course for a huge total after 10 overs as
they were on 70 - 0 with the fielders and bowlers flagging. However,
the openers fell in successive overs and the Queensland middle order
failed to capitalise on the start the openers had made. However, the
final score of 120 was challenging. However, a fantastic start from Sam
Kelly and Byron Mabbett put the Kiwis ahead of the run rate, and Scott
and Steve Hunt were able to work the ones and twos to keep up with it.
BJ Martin and Dave Macalpine finished the game off easily and the New
Zealanders had their first tournament win!
Queensland 120/8 (Aaron Hunt 4 - 0 - 24 - 3, Dave Macalpine 3 - 0 - 16
New Zealand 121/5 - 18.0 overs (Steve Hunt 30, Byron Mabbett 25, Scott
It's fair to say it was a pretty messy evening after that for the
winning New Zealanders. Without naming any names, one team member was
kicked out of the Bankstown Sports Club and sent up to his room 4
times, whilst a different team member mistook his room door for the
urinals and ended up copping a significant cleaning fee from the hotel.
For the record, neither of these people was Andy. Scott Hunt went home
with the player of the tournament title.
After the tournament finished, Andy, Byron and Brendan stuck around
Sydney for a couple of days. Firstly, they met up with a couple of
friends of Andy (Dean and Jake) and went along to watch the Sydney
Roosters play the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in rugby league. Roger
Tuivasa-Sheck scored the first try for the Roosters, netting Andy a big
win on first try scorer at odds of $14. The Roosters went home happy
with a one-sided 38 - 0 win. The Bulldogs fans were heading for the
exits after about 60 minutes. Encouraged by Dean, the group continued
on after the game to the Roosters Leagues Club (basically the Roosters'
club rooms) to have a few cheap beers and to watch the celebrations for
the team. There were quizzes, interviews and a fun time had by all.
Except maybe Jake who disappeared at one point during the night, and
the rest of the group were later to discover he'd gone chasing after
some bastard who'd stolen his phone from the bar! Cheers to Dean and
Jake for their hospitality. The post match atmosphere at the Leagues
Club was a pretty unique experience, given the size of the win.
The following day, Andy, Byron and Brendan hit the road for the
Australian capital City of Canberra. Getting out of Sydney took a
ridiculous amount of time, but mainly because there was no map with the
hire car and the motorway couldn't be found, instead taking a semi-main
road through the South-Western suburbs. The drive down to Canberra
wasn't particularly interesting, but there was plenty of time to make a
couple of stops on the way. The main stop was at the town of Bowral,
mainly known as the town where Sir Donald Bradman grew up. The cricket
ground there was a particularly scenic place and whilst there, there
seemed to be a reunion of the Australian women's cricket team of 1963
The road to Canberra continued on. At one point a roadside sign
declared that Lake George was being driven by. This was particularly
interesting as there was no water to be seen in the so called Lake. It
turns out that it's a bit of a strange lake with it filling and drying
on very short timescales. Anyway, look it up on Wikipedia.
So, in Canberra the lads dropped their bags off at the hotel before
continuing on to watch the Greater Western Sydney Giants take on the St
Kilda Saints in Australian Rules Football. It was another one sided
affair as the Saints scored 21 goals, 14 behinds (140 points) to the
Giants 10.8 (68). The most disappointing aspect of the game was a queue
of 45 minutes to get into the Manuka Oval to see the game due to
inadequate bag checking staff being on the gates. It seemed a pretty
shoddy set-up for a ground trying to stage a top tier sports match.
Straight after the game it was off to the other side of Canberra to
watch the local Canberra Raiders take on the New Zealand Warriors in
Rugby League. The Raiders won the match 20 - 16, but the Warriors had
been well ahead in the game only to throw it away in the 2nd half with
a very tired looking performance.
And that was that. The next day it was back to Sydney for the plane
back to New Zealand.
|Firstly, here's some
photos of the cricket and the
ground that we were playing at - the Bankstown Oval.
Left: Byron Mabbett hits the
ball into the leg side and it looks like he's calling that there's no
run there. An unusual event for Byron if so, given that most of the
tournament he dealt mainly in boundaries.
Right: Sam Kelly trundling
in to bowl against the Queenslanders in the round-robin match.
The first round of
post-final drinks being enjoyed by the New Zealand team whilst the sun
sets on the Bankstown Oval.
Left: Chilling out in Sydney
City Centre, just beside the Opera House with the iconic Harbour Bridge
in the background. From the left, Byron Mabbett, Brendan Bourke, BJ
Martin and Stephen Lwee.
Right: A somewhat fuzzy
picture from the Rugby League match between the Roosters and the
||So, heading outside of
Sydney what else was there to be seen?
The gate onto the
cricket oval at Bowral in rural New South Wales, a lovely
tree-surrounded ground. Not only was there a 50 year anniversary of the
1963 Australian Women's cricket team going on, there also seemed to be
some U16 boys cricket match about to start - not that the stumps had
made it out on to the ground by this stage.
Left: Andy posing with a
statue of Australian cricket great Sir Donald Bradman, a local hero.
Right: The scoreboard at the
Manuka Oval, clearly prepared for a game between some England and
Australian representatives by the looks of it, but I'm not entirely
sure what level of representative cricket the board had been prepared
bit of pushing and
shoving going on during the Greater Western Sydney Giants vs. St Kilda
Saints Aussie Rules game at the Manuka Oval. Number 44 for the Saints
has possession of the ball at the right hand side.
Left: The scoreboard at the
Manuka Oval. Usually the ground is used for cricket, so the scoreboard
was a bit oversized for the demands of Aussie Rules. At this stage of
the game, the Giants were yet to score whilst St Kilda had scored 4
goals (worth 6 points each) and 4 behinds (worth one point each) giving
them a total score of 28.
Right: Some players milling
around during the Raiders (in fluorescent green shirts) versus Warriors
(in white shirts) game. The end result was a disappointing loss for the