When my son was a toddler, the very first phrase he learned was “Oh dear!” and for several weeks everything was “Oh dear!” this and “Oh dear!” that!
I could have hired-him out to the BBC to commentate on New Zealand’s innings today.
It began with a “Double-Oh Dear!” as “Oh Dear! No. 1” – a rank wide full toss from Katie George – was slapped not to the boundary but straight into the hands of Amy Jones by Sophie Devine for “Oh Dear No. 2”. (George at least had the self-awareness to face-palm as Devine walked back to the pavilion!)
George’s next wicket was a demonstration of what she is capable of when she isn’t spraying it for wides – Amy Satterthwaite the victim of an unplayable delivery which took out her off stump.
But the “Oh Dears!” soon continued as Katey Martin – perhaps starting to look like she is a bit out of her era in the professional age – was trapped in front by Katherine Brunt; and it was downhill from there for New Zealand.
Laura Marsh got some big turn to dismiss Suzie Bates, but Bates will feel she should have played it better – she has been out a couple of times cutting this summer – and the “Oh Dear” was then written all over her face as she had to watch her team collapse in epic style, from 75-3 to 83-8, and thence to 118 all out – a sheen of respectability added to the scorecard as Kate Ebrahim and Holly Huddlestone put on 26 for the final wicket as the White Ferns at least staggered to 3-figures.
Earlier in the day Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver had shown that it was possible to bat on this pitch, if you did it slowly and patiently; and although it is true that the pitch appeared to deteriorate a bit, it didn’t do it to the tune of the 123 runs New Zealand lost by!
So… where now for New Zealand? Well… Leicester on Friday for starters, where they will try to dust themselves down for a consolation win after a disappointing “winter”.
And then as they fly home, they might do well to remember one thing:
Until a couple of years ago, England used to do these kind of collapses so regularly that we started referring to it as “Doing An England” – now they are World Champions!
However bad it looks now, come 2021 New Zealand could yet be World Champions too.