Hard News by Russell Brown


You can't moan

Such were the batting heroics yesterday, it would be easy to forget how magnificent was Shane Bond's opening spell. Those six overs reaped him but a single wicket, and Tuffey was going for heaps at the other end, but damn that was good.

Yes, the Black Caps' fifth bowling option was a bit of a 'mare, but Australia's was worse. Having for so long enjoyed the luxury of a great legspinner keeping out a very good one, the Aussies now suddenly don't have a genuinely good spinner at all. And 47 overs were bowled by their best available lineup - the one that, pending notice on juries, they'll have to put up at the World Cup. Ouch.

So you can't moan. You can't wish that we'd beaten their best, because that side was the best they could muster. The batting was good enough to pull off a ground-record innings batting first. And our lot were good enough to overhaul it with eight balls and five wickets to spare. That folks, was one of New Zealand cricket's greatest days.

Something you can moan about: the Auckland City Council's jihad against business signage and billboards. Does anybody care about this as much as stuff as Bruce Hucker seems to?

Commercial activity represents a good part of a city's vitality, and while no one likes, say, booze barns that function as giant beer ads, the degree of the council's proposed crackdown doesn't seem to make sense. I'm put in mind of Penny Sefuiva's crusade against café seating on the footpaths of Ponsonby Road, which also seemed to lack for a public outcry to justify it (quite the reverse, in fact). If those City Vision councillors want to be one-term wonders, they're going the right way about it.

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