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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Good, bad and ugly of cricket and more

There’s plenty to like about the past week, with new world champions, record wins and another blockbuster from a rising superstar to highlight, and then there are those not-so-good moments to bring a bit of balance.

GOOD

There’s nothing quite like beating the cocky Ockers at a sport they think they rule, so the record 30–0 kicking of the Kangaroos by the flying Kiwis in rugby league’s Pacific Championship tops the list, eh cobber?

What’s going on at the Wellington Phoenix? The men and women quietened the Brisbane Roar to a meow with 5–2 and 2–1 wins, respectively, to move to third in their A-Leagues. Whatever is in the water in the capital, keep it coming; we want more.

Sometimes, you just have to doff your hat to the opposition, so here’s to the England women’s rugby team, who were simply too good for New Zealand in the WXV 1 final, winning 33–12. No excuses for the Black Ferns; they were simply outplayed by a very good team who are redefining how women’s rugby is played.

How good is Rachin Ravindra? Three centuries at the Cricket World Cup, although his latest effort against Pakistan was in vain as the Black Caps lost to Pakistan on DRS after posting a mammoth 401–6.

Masterton’s Harry Kent overcame several setbacks, including illness in the lead-up, and pressed his way to two gold medals, winning the Men’s Open and Masters U95kg Bench Press titles at the World Powerlifting Champs in Rome.

The Giants softballers were a perfect four from four, with the Intercity Premier Two and Three sides extending their unbeaten runs and the women and under-13s getting their first wins.

Everyone loves a first, so let’s finish with one: the Texas Rangers winning their first Baseball World Series, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 4–1 in the first all wild card final series since 2014.

BAD

The drawn-out nature of the Cricket World Cup. Although all teams play each other in the full round-robin, the seven weeks from start to finish just seems too long for a sport where teams can comfortably play twice a week.

Are the NZ Breakers broken? Two wins from seven games is not good reading for the team who were beaten finalists to the Sydney Kings in last season’s ANBL. It could be about to get ugly with games on the road against bitter rivals, the Perth Wildcats and Tasmanian Jack Jumpers next on the agenda.

UGLY

The Black Cap bowlers have conceded 945 runs in their last three matches at the Cricket World Cup. That’s an ugly average of 7.5 runs per over, and you don’t win games, let alone world cups with stats like that. A sharp improvement is needed to make the semifinals.

This has the potential to get ugly. Sri Lankan Angelo Matthews became the first batter to be timed out in international cricket after Bangladesh appealed when he wasn’t ready to face the ball within two minutes. Within the law, yes, but in the spirit of cricket, possibly not, but it could lead to some ugly backlash in the coming days.

Drawing 80–1 outsider Magical Lagoon [who?] in the staff Melbourne Cup sweepstake. But then again, if I’m collecting the dosh this morning, it will quickly jump to ‘Good’.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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