With The Rashes in the bag following victories in Dunedin and Wellington, the matter of The BeigeWash was still up for grabs going into the last of the three match series at The Domain, a beautiful, supersized Bedford Park of a venue, in Auckland. The Barmy Army, batting first, totalled a healthy looking 180 from their twenty overs. It had been a chastening time for the England fans’ team with the bat in previous games but here, spurred on by their captain Jock, the Barmies, after losing three early wickets, finally came good with the bat.
Following Elstow legend Alistair Milne and the late, great Tony Greig, Jock has to be the third best Scottish batsman ever to have played the game. Jock’s unbeaten half century was the first of two retirements in the English total.
A huge six off my bowling over square leg came in between two authoritative pulls for four through mid wicket. The injured Daryl Tuffey wouldn’t have bowled this bad. Neither would Daryl Hannah, come to think of it.
The Beiges fielding wasn’t as sharp as it had been in previous matches, nor the bowling as tight. The Barmies ended their innings strongly, bullying the ball to the short boundaries of The Domain and giving a possible clue as to how the Test proper at Eden Park will unfold.

The Beige Brigade’s response was predictably powerful, from the off the opening pair carried on from where the Barmies left off. The introduction of Billy the Trumpet into the attack with his deceptively slow medium pace arrested the New Zealanders progress and a flurry of wickets caused a murmur of panic in the ranks. Billy took three wickets but after Muzzy and Willy’s strong opening stance and Locky’s brilliant unbeaten 50 it was left to Jezzy and Bozzy to see their team home. Jezzy’s huge pull over square leg sealed the win, the ball settling in the adjacent woodlands. Laney, Dessy, Bobby, Jezzy, Bozzy, Muzzy, Willy, Locky, Petey, Bashful and Dopey (me) sealed the battle of the fans with this historic six wicket victory. Black Caps supporters will be hoping for something similar as attentions switch for the Test Match series decider at Eden Park over the next few days.

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A big tree at The Domain, yesterday. Beauty isn’t it?

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