I’ve overdone the photos and sketches a little bit recently on DWC. I think. The problem, and what a problem it is to have, with New Zealand is it does rather demand you keep taking them.
Along the way many of the people I’ve encountered have shrugged incredulously when I’ve told them I’m following the fortunes of my national cricket team to the far reaches of the globe.

Why, or as is more common over here, warum?

And then I show them pictures like these.

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Ach so, alles klaar.

I’d been looking forward to the Queenstown match for a while, ok, it’s a warm up game rather than a Test Match, but I’d been told great things about the ground here. Word even reached me it might even be more picturesque than The Warren, the home of the mighty Elstow C.C.

Dear reader, I couldn’t possibly say.

England finished the day 357-7, Ian Bell finished on 127-7. Some of his cover drives rivalled the vista for serenity. As stated previously here and among fellow Doubting Thomases elsewhere, the talent has never been in doubt.
Alastair Cook looked in complete control before edging behind for 60 and Joe Root, England’s wunderkind, in keeping with the Teutonic talk from earlier, perished just shy of his half century. It was great to see Matt Prior back in an England shirt and his quick firing partnership with Bell gave his team some momentum after the New Zealand XI’s bowlers threatened to derail their progress.

Day two should see England ram home their advantage. They have the runs on the board and a bowling attack yearning to feature in the forthcoming Test series, as well as put down an early marker for inclusion in the Ashes side in the summer.

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