Pakistan in New Zealand 2009-10 November 29, 2009

Thank you Dunedin!

I can’t really explain the feelings that are still running through me now, but what I can tell you, if I could bottle this, save it up somehow and tap in to it when times are tough, life would be so much better
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I’ve never dislocated a finger, let alone one of my bowling digits and didn’t really know how or if I’d be able to keep bowling © Getty Images
 

Wellington, on a great day, is amazing. Today is a great day, and not just because it’s a great day in Wellington.

The first Test of the summer was a beauty. Whichever way it was going to go on the final day it was going to be an entertaining day of Test cricket and well worth the admission charge. And they turned out to watch. It was a great atmosphere right from the start of the day. It only got better and in that last session, when we needed four wickets and Pakistan needed 40 runs, the Dunedin crowd was the twelfth man out there with us on the park, fighting hard with us. It was amazing and I have never played in front of a crowd like that. With the intimacy of the ground and the closeness of the crowd, the 2,200 people that were there, made it sound and fell like 60,000; great job Dunedin and to those who travelled to be there for the last day (you boys who drove up from Queenstown, great job!!).

We won; but you already know that. It was amazing; but you already know that too. I can’t really explain the feelings that are still running through me now, but what I can tell you, if I could bottle this, save it up somehow and tap in to it when times are tough, life would be so much better. I just feel amazing. I feel like I’ve always wanted to feel from playing this game. I’ve been a part of a winning Test team before, but to have played a big part in a win when things were really against us is just absolutely amazing. Just remember Pakistan needed 55 with five wickets left. The odds were really stacked against us at that stage.

The day didn’t start to well; the plan was to bat for as long as we could. Well we did bat as long as we could, but it wasn’t as long as we wanted. I was done by a good set from Gul, three good bouncers, the first one hitting me reasonably hard, and then the full straight one hitting me dead in front. We had two referrals left, there was no point having them left over so I asked for it to be referred. I straight away apologised to Tufal for doing so, I was almost certain that I was dead, but I was just hoping that I had, maybe, got a little nick on it, or maybe it hit me just outside the line, anything, I had to check. I didn’t nick it, and it didn’t hit me outside the line. I was dead.

This was going to be a nervy day now, more so because we could only set Pakistan 250 in 90 overs. A very gettable target, and we were going to need some help from wherever we find it. Hopefully the pitch would play up more, and hopefully the ball would reverse like it did in the first innings. We got lucky, the pitch did play up a little and the ball did reverse.

We had a great start, Bondy and Tommy [Martin] picked up a wicket each. Two great catches by Baz and McIntosh respectively. Great catching was going to be so important in this one; Pakistan had shown that already for the wrong reasons.

I was nervous, really nervous. I had not bowled well in the second half of my overs in the first innings and really needed to do a whole lot better here if we were going to win this one. I had looked at my spells from the first innings to see what changed throughout the day; there was one thing I picked up straight away. Basically I wasn’t rocking back from the waist in my jump, I was still leaning forward from running in. These meant things weren’t quite in the right place at delivery and the results speak for themselves.

I hit warm-ups on day four practicing this and again yesterday (day five) I was really focusing on it before we got out into the middle. So heading out to start up the defence of 250, I knew things were on the line.

If I had another day like I did on day three, my Test career might have been gone. Yesterday was 'Career Day' for me. Get it right and I’ll be fine, get it wrong and I could be gone. Pretty scary stuff; these are the things that go through your head, it’s enough that I’ve got to go out and bowl to some great batters, but to contend with other head-messing stuff is really tough.

I started good; my action felt good, the reviewing and fix I had done with my action was working. I bowled a tight six-over spell first up, created a couple of nicks that didn’t carry, but I kept the runs down and the pressure on. There was a great feel out in the field, we were really enjoying ourselves.

A partnership between Umar and Yousuf was beginning to look troublesome. They had put on 40 when Tommy bowled a ball that changed the game. Whacking it in short, rising sharply, rushing at Yousuf, grabbing some glove leather on the way past and safely thudding into Baz’s gloves. A defining moment in the match! We were back as favourites at that moment and we just needed to get at least one of the brothers out and we would be well in front. Just Malik to deal with before Kamran would join Umar - the partnership that devastated us in the first innings.

By now the ball was reversing, it had been from about the 15th over. We really needed this, as do all attacks on flat tracks. I changed ends, and so did the wind. That didn’t impress me! But this was going to be my moment, this was going to be my spell. Just before tea I got Malik. Fifty five runs to get and five wickets in hand for Pakistan, and just then it became four in hand. I bowled Malik a bouncer, that didn’t get up, he ducked it and it only just got over his back. I thought I’d go again, another bouncer, hoping the bounce would be different and get a different result. It was and it did. It rose like the ball Tommy bowled to Yousuf. It flew through, grabbed an edge and I had my first wicket of the match.

The match was still on the edge and it was now tea. I had bowled four overs before and was pretty sure I was going to get the ball straight after too. It was going to be a tough session, the last one of the match, and we were all pretty tired and sore.

In my third over after tea I had my finger rearranged. Umar whacked one straight, I stuck out a hand more to stop the ball than catch it. If it stuck happy days, it didn’t though. It did take the end of my middle finger on its way past, and bent it the wrong way. The very end joint of my middle finger was bent up; it’s only supposed to bend down towards the palm. It hurt when the ball hit, nothing out of the ordinary there, it was only when I looked at it that I realised that I was in some trouble.

I waved to our physio, hoping she could put it back in straight away and I would be able to carry on. I’ve never dislocated a finger, let alone one of my bowling digits and didn’t really know how or if I’d be able to keep bowling. Kate (our physio) got it back in, on her third attempt; my hand was sweaty and she kept slipping off. We’ve since heard that this joint is one of the toughest to get back in. I felt it ‘clunk’ back into place, this hurt, a lot, too. I was really starting to worry that I wouldn’t be able to bowl. I remember asking Dan if it went for four; now that would have really annoyed me if that’d happened, it only went for two, so not all was in vain.

I grabbed the ball and gripped it in my right had trying to ‘feel’ the ball in my fingers. It felt a bit weird, it had sort of gone a bit numb; this worried me a little as I need to feel where these fingers are at delivery. I bowled a ball to Fulton at cover to see how it would go. It was going to be ok. It wasn’t perfect, but it’ll have to do. I’ll at least finish this over and see about the next.

I’ve been told my next ball was 5 kmph quicker than a couple of previous balls; it really must have been an adrenalin hit. I actually started to feel pretty good, finger sore, sure, but I was in the game, I was going to do something special.

Bondy got Umar a couple of overs later; it was another great return catch. Bondy just grabs these catches, it’s amazing! We were right back in the hot seat. The amount of ‘man love’ was amazing, it was hugs all round, we were pumped. That was one very special debut from what will probably be a very special player.

I bowled the next over and I had Kamran lbw. Every wicket was a huge celebration and for this one we got to celebrate three times. We celebrated big when Taufel raised his finger, we celebrated again when we got word from the shed that the appeal that was reviewed would stay with the on field umpires decision, and then we celebrated the third time when Taufel’s finger was raised again. The tension was amazing; the atmosphere was so good to be a part of.

I had really been looking forward to bowling to Gul since this morning when he hit me on the grill, and here was my opportunity. Do I bounce him and try to hit him, ruffle him up a little, or do I just hang to the plans, bowl tightly, nick him off or bring the stumps into play. I didn’t bounce him, but I’m sure he was expecting it.

I got him in my next over, Gul nicked one between keeper and first slip, I thought it was going to be his lucky day. A couple of balls later he scooped one to Dan at mid off. We were running around like mad men now. It really was going to happen. More hugs, more high fives, more pats on the back, all while I’m trying to keep my right (sore) hand out of the way of all the emotions. It was now that we really knew that we could/should and hopefully would win this Test.

Well, the rest now is history. Dan came on and does what he does so well with tailenders, he picked up the remaining two wickets.

The celebrations on the park were huge, it was brilliant. The crowd had been amazing; they really were our 12th man that day. I sure that the Wellington crowd can create an atmosphere similar and make the Basin Reserve’s 50th Test match great Test to play in. I managed to grab a couple of stumps, one for me and one for Umar, he really did deserve one from this Test. Unfortunately for him it will be one to remember for his individual performance, not for the teams result. With him and Aamer in this team, these two young men, with their standout performances will take Pakistan a long way!

I had my finger checked today, no breaks or fractures; that’s good. It just hurts and is swollen and a bit blue. It should be fine for Thursday, my home ground, the Basin Reserve, my favourite track to bowl on, wild horses couldn’t keep me away!

Fast bowler Iain O'Brien played 22 Tests for New Zealand in the second half of the 2000s

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG on December 7, 2009, 1:27 GMT

    O'Brien, U DA MAN Brotha.......... Although you may not be a quick one but you've got a big heart. It is always great to see a bowler with all the enthusiasm, rush in to deliver - One of the beauty of a Test match.

    Thanks for making it a class-act not only for your greatest bowling effort but saving an stump for Umar(A Rising Star) I bet you, he will remember and thank you all his life, especially after become famous.

  • Damian on December 2, 2009, 23:45 GMT

    Hi Ian, It's great you guys get a lift from the crowd. Sometimes watching rugby, you get the sense the guys take the support of the crowd for granted.

  • Neil on December 2, 2009, 23:26 GMT

    Your welcome, loved your wave when it was your turn for "give us a wave"

  • Vyas on December 2, 2009, 21:35 GMT

    Dont get excited and concentrate on the next game. Odds were stacked against you as well!! 3 wickets did the trick.

  • Riki NZ on December 2, 2009, 11:58 GMT

    good stuff Iain! i was there 4 the full 5 dayz egging the boyz on (even the pakis) umar and kameron batted very well. It was a great match 2 be at! u showed sum big guts carrying on afta the dislocation! GOOD STUFF! next time the boyz r in town ill be there 2!!!! CHUR BO loud dunnaz crowd represent!!!

  • saurabh on December 2, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    as always an amazing post Ian I love them :)

    good luck for next test

  • Rob @ nzcreativewebdesign.com on December 2, 2009, 0:07 GMT

    What a gutsy performance! I cringed when I seen your finger bend back, and for you to bowl like you did after the dislocation was pretty gutsy. If I was captain of a cricket team a player like yourself would be a tremendous asset. I have got a few caught and bowled wickets before and I know how much they can hurt, especially when the batsman gets on his front foot and puts a good amount of power behind his shot. Keep up the good game and lets see you do well on your home ground.

  • billy on December 1, 2009, 22:21 GMT

    Congrats to the Kiwis for winning the test and Iain you gave all your heart out man, that was quite brave after being hit on a finger. Eventhough i was supporting pakistan, i genuinely wanted you to get a few wickets, which you did at the end lol. This was a stunning test match indeed and i still cant believe Pakistan lost. Such is the feeling that even if pakistan wins the next two matches and the series, it wouldnt bring us back the loss in Dunedin lol but full credit to the kiwis though. I wish Bond could have played the next match because i wanted both teams to fire on all cylinders.

  • Jonathan Steel-Currall on December 1, 2009, 19:08 GMT

    I have been keenly anticipating this blog and have not been disappointed. A truly magnificent test , crowned by comments from a very courageous and modest man. You are indeed a credit to the game and to your country, Iain. The best of luck with the next two games. Test cricket played a la Dunedin is the supreme form of this wonderful game and must never be tampered with in any way. Jonathan H Steel-Currall Thames NZ

  • Reverse Swing on December 1, 2009, 17:39 GMT

    Iain O'Brien, you were pretty amazing in last session specially after you finger digit dislocated. I was happy that you were going out of attack but you kept yourself in and get two more important wickets specially of Kamran if he stayed there with Aamir they were capable of chasing it down.

    Well thanks you and Your team for a great test match even though my team lost but it was a treat to watch last day specially last session on a a very important festival day here in Pakistan.

    Regards Mudassar Ijaz reverseswing . wordpressc . com

  • JG on December 7, 2009, 1:27 GMT

    O'Brien, U DA MAN Brotha.......... Although you may not be a quick one but you've got a big heart. It is always great to see a bowler with all the enthusiasm, rush in to deliver - One of the beauty of a Test match.

    Thanks for making it a class-act not only for your greatest bowling effort but saving an stump for Umar(A Rising Star) I bet you, he will remember and thank you all his life, especially after become famous.

  • Damian on December 2, 2009, 23:45 GMT

    Hi Ian, It's great you guys get a lift from the crowd. Sometimes watching rugby, you get the sense the guys take the support of the crowd for granted.

  • Neil on December 2, 2009, 23:26 GMT

    Your welcome, loved your wave when it was your turn for "give us a wave"

  • Vyas on December 2, 2009, 21:35 GMT

    Dont get excited and concentrate on the next game. Odds were stacked against you as well!! 3 wickets did the trick.

  • Riki NZ on December 2, 2009, 11:58 GMT

    good stuff Iain! i was there 4 the full 5 dayz egging the boyz on (even the pakis) umar and kameron batted very well. It was a great match 2 be at! u showed sum big guts carrying on afta the dislocation! GOOD STUFF! next time the boyz r in town ill be there 2!!!! CHUR BO loud dunnaz crowd represent!!!

  • saurabh on December 2, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    as always an amazing post Ian I love them :)

    good luck for next test

  • Rob @ nzcreativewebdesign.com on December 2, 2009, 0:07 GMT

    What a gutsy performance! I cringed when I seen your finger bend back, and for you to bowl like you did after the dislocation was pretty gutsy. If I was captain of a cricket team a player like yourself would be a tremendous asset. I have got a few caught and bowled wickets before and I know how much they can hurt, especially when the batsman gets on his front foot and puts a good amount of power behind his shot. Keep up the good game and lets see you do well on your home ground.

  • billy on December 1, 2009, 22:21 GMT

    Congrats to the Kiwis for winning the test and Iain you gave all your heart out man, that was quite brave after being hit on a finger. Eventhough i was supporting pakistan, i genuinely wanted you to get a few wickets, which you did at the end lol. This was a stunning test match indeed and i still cant believe Pakistan lost. Such is the feeling that even if pakistan wins the next two matches and the series, it wouldnt bring us back the loss in Dunedin lol but full credit to the kiwis though. I wish Bond could have played the next match because i wanted both teams to fire on all cylinders.

  • Jonathan Steel-Currall on December 1, 2009, 19:08 GMT

    I have been keenly anticipating this blog and have not been disappointed. A truly magnificent test , crowned by comments from a very courageous and modest man. You are indeed a credit to the game and to your country, Iain. The best of luck with the next two games. Test cricket played a la Dunedin is the supreme form of this wonderful game and must never be tampered with in any way. Jonathan H Steel-Currall Thames NZ

  • Reverse Swing on December 1, 2009, 17:39 GMT

    Iain O'Brien, you were pretty amazing in last session specially after you finger digit dislocated. I was happy that you were going out of attack but you kept yourself in and get two more important wickets specially of Kamran if he stayed there with Aamir they were capable of chasing it down.

    Well thanks you and Your team for a great test match even though my team lost but it was a treat to watch last day specially last session on a a very important festival day here in Pakistan.

    Regards Mudassar Ijaz reverseswing . wordpressc . com

  • mohammad ashfaq on December 1, 2009, 10:52 GMT

    its realy a superb colunmn i read it quit cearfully and enjoy it thanx

  • Sriram on December 1, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    Congrats mate,well bowled!!!really enjoyed ur breakthroughs but please convey my feelings to Chris Martin who got Mohd Yousuf out with a ripper.great ball,it was.Keep going and enjoy the moment!!

  • Milan on December 1, 2009, 10:11 GMT

    Congratulation on fine victory! Test cricket really neaded this kinda performance. Hope to see same kinda game in wellington too but i wish this time may the other team wins. Don't mind Mr. O'Brian.

  • Sekhar on December 1, 2009, 10:11 GMT

    Nice gesture from you,Iain-giving Umar a stump for him to remember for the rest of his career.We all wish his career does not hit stumbling blocks like what is happening to Salman Butt now.Very unfortunate for Bond to pick up that injury-we need to preserve bowlers like Bond and Lee from injuries.Bond showed that he has not changed one little bit before and after ICL.Congratulating Aamer after his best one-day innings was a good sight.Great going from you Kiwis.

  • Cricket_Fan on December 1, 2009, 10:09 GMT

    Nice write up Iain, Hope you will continue your form for the Second test. All the best!

  • Ahsan Zawar on December 1, 2009, 9:58 GMT

    Hi O'Brien. Iam from Pakistan, though watching a game lost by Pakistan left some bitterness but nonetheless it was a great test match. It had everything in it, i like your guts, having been hurt on the finger u showed great courage to bowl again. Not only you bowled again but u bowled exceptionally well to take NewZeland to victory. Congratulations to ur team and you. Liked your comments about Umar Akmal, he won many hearts here. Iam already a fan of his.

  • Rohit Iyer on December 1, 2009, 9:46 GMT

    Great Test match, Test match cricket at its best. I was 3 hours late to office, courtesy this Great Test match. Referrals, Iain O'Brien, Shane Bond & the crowd made it special.

  • CricFan on December 1, 2009, 7:51 GMT

    Iain,

    Nice Blog. ALL THE BEST for the Wellington Test. GOOD LUCK BLACKCAPS.

  • Naeem on December 1, 2009, 7:34 GMT

    Picking up a stump for Umar was a magnificent gesture. Just goes to show that cricket's still living up to its 'its a gentlemen's game' reputation. Good on ya mate!!

  • Abbas Saqib on December 1, 2009, 7:17 GMT

    You are such a true blue gentleman O'Brien, and a braveheart player too.I am a Pakistani and this match is ended in such a thrilling fashion that we almost forgot the pain of dedeat.And yes, this test saw the energence of a great cricket star in the shape of Umar Akmal.These two brothers are pride of our nation, yet there are so humble and down to earth, never lacking thirst for performing at top class.You must have seen the expressions of Umar Akmal when he dropped Danial,I feared he might break down with repentence. I sincerely hope that our senior players take some lesson from this young genious.Let me end by quote from one of the commentators "Here we are talking about a batsman, we will be talking about for at least fifteen years".

  • Dickson on December 1, 2009, 6:34 GMT

    Good man Iain, well bowled mate. I'll be there at the Basin for a couple days at least with my whiteboard. Give it your all man, Bondy won't be playing so you'll probably be the fastest bowler we have!

  • Cyanofanatic on December 1, 2009, 6:12 GMT

    Nice one!

  • Aamir Akhund on December 1, 2009, 6:02 GMT

    great game and a great article. Ian i cant really understand how can u blog after such an intense game Good Job once again. But hey be prepared, the Paki Boys will be coming hard at u and ur team in the next game.

  • Jas on December 1, 2009, 5:49 GMT

    What a player ******. Definitely five star.

  • mahir on December 1, 2009, 5:22 GMT

    hey well done and we also watched your full tests match it was good, keep it up, win next matches too

  • alex on December 1, 2009, 4:57 GMT

    Bonds is out!. You will lose next two Test for sure. No question!.

  • Raza-e-Mustafa on December 1, 2009, 4:45 GMT

    Honestly, Iain, and I hope you will not disagree with it, I had never really considered you a great bowler before this test, but you have proved me wrong. You are not only a great bowler, but an even greater human being. It was a treat to watch you bowl your heart out on a flat track in a closely fought match with a dislocated finger. Test cricket never gots better. I salute your courage and, despite being a Pakistani, I enjoyed watching you and Bond decimate Pakistan.

    P.S. Your gesture of bringing a stump for Umar Akmal was awesome. You have really won our hearts.

  • Miranda on December 1, 2009, 4:09 GMT

    Well done Iain!!! you guys created such an exciting test match! coming from someone who is usually forced to watched cricket. I was there the whole 5 days and after this I may watch cricket a lot more often. You and Bond were amazing to watch in that last spell!

  • Win on December 1, 2009, 3:19 GMT

    Iain: You remembered to grab a stump for Umar, too! Kudos to you for amazing sportsmanship. You are a amazing person. Great efforts! And yes, bottle this up in your memory...and always tap on it during hard times...It will give ya loads of confidence.

  • Bushra Ali on December 1, 2009, 2:21 GMT

    Congratulations on the win!( i say that with a heavy heart to be completely honest) but you fully deserved it.Bowling the way you did after you dislocated your finger,really was truly special.You do have a big heart.appreciating a Pakistani (Umar Akmal,who fully deserved it) in your column is very nice of you:) Specially saving one of the stumps for him!

    Good luck for the next test.Bond is out.guess you have alot more responsibility now.Hope the game turns out to be just as good as the first one no matter which way it goes!

  • Dean on December 1, 2009, 2:04 GMT

    I love that last sentence, Iain. Great to see you're a Stones fan.

  • Amit on December 1, 2009, 1:05 GMT

    Iain, At tea time on Day 5, I made a note to myself to gently advise you to focus on cricket and get away from publishing blogs during the match - out of concern (I enjoy your blogs). Then came the injury followed by superb piece of bowling from you and Bond. I watched the video highlight and couldn't believe you bowled after that injury. Aad bowl you did :-) If there was a way to inject performance enhancing drug through a broken finger, I would have said that did it!

    Hope this victory leads to a consistently good performance by you and NZ in future.

    Thanks for the great test match. -Amit

  • saravanan on December 1, 2009, 0:35 GMT

    you are the man.I saw the match and it was amazing the way you bowled after ur finger was mislocated.cheers.A GOOD WIN END OF THE DAY

  • Prasad on December 1, 2009, 0:34 GMT

    Hey Iain....

    I enjoyed reading this blog specially the way you have deconstructed the thought process and talked about the things that you feel/experience when palying through pain. This was easily the best test match of the season. Three cheers to the blackcaps!

  • Marshmallow on December 1, 2009, 0:34 GMT

    It was a thrilling final day's play, it was testament to your big heart that you bowled the way you did after dislocating your finger - much respect to you!

    Looking forward to The Basin!

  • Kauffman on December 1, 2009, 0:20 GMT

    Good read mate, very good read.

    I'll see what I can do about those wild horses :-)

  • Roy on December 1, 2009, 0:02 GMT

    Great blog again Iain, and congrats on the great win. I am sure that is going to go down as one of the most memorable for that last session drama. Best of luck for the rest of the series.

  • Fahad Khan on November 30, 2009, 23:57 GMT

    What a nice thing to do that you did. Picking up a Stump for Umar. You sound a little self bragging, but a very nice man.

    Cheers.

  • SHAHID on November 30, 2009, 23:36 GMT

    Congratulations Iain. I must say it was one of the best test matches I have seen and yes I have missed very few since 1975, and I have no hesitation to say, yours - a lions heart act -, the way you were charged up for the fight, was what gave it an extra ordinary dimention. I must admit, I loved your attitude to play it hard and yet fair. My nation didn't win the match but I will say non of us lost as its test cricket that won more than any one. This is what test cricket should be about and not those dead boring matches where 1600 runs are scored in 2½ innings.

  • Nick on November 30, 2009, 23:29 GMT

    Well done Ian and the rest of you boys, you made us proud.

  • Jon Norman on November 30, 2009, 23:07 GMT

    That Test match made me feel happy to be alive. It also made me late for work several times. Wish I could have watched it on TV. But live ball by ball updates on cricinfo is almost as good as the real thing. Well done, Iain and all the other players who combined to make this the stand out game of 2009. Looking forward to Wellington. I have special memories of the place as it's where I met Billy Corgan and watched England win all in the same day! Safe flight and hope the landing isn't too bumpy.

  • chaminda on November 30, 2009, 22:28 GMT

    Good stuff mate, saw the finger incident on tv and even I was holding my hand after that! So don't know how you managed to bowl.

    Great match, hope to see another close match in Wellington and good luck to you.

  • Sana on November 30, 2009, 22:04 GMT

    Bowling through pain and saving a stump for your opponent's star debutant - inspiring stuff. What a champion, Mr O'Brien. :)

  • Sam Osborne on November 30, 2009, 21:41 GMT

    Good stuff Iain! Big fan of yours. Keep doin your stuff and giving 110%! All the best for Wellington

  • James on November 30, 2009, 21:25 GMT

    Looking forward to watching you and Bond in action at the Basin, I will try and make it down to the ground for at least one of the days. Keep bowling in the right areas and work in tandem with Bond and Martin and we should see another black caps test win. Good luck boys!

  • dave on November 30, 2009, 21:08 GMT

    That's pretty cool. Well done Iain, not that you need us to tell you that. But grabbing a stump for Umar - now that's sport at its best. Awesome. Keep those instincts and you'll be respected long after this game. I'll certainly remember.

  • xeeshan on November 30, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    Great Article Brien. When Physio was fixing your finger i thought you won't be able to bowl, but i was wrong. You were even more aggressive after that. You showed true sportsman spirit and full marks to you. Though Pakistan lost the match but it was a great match to watch. Test match is always great to watch, coz you can see class in it, you can see techniques in it. Hoping to see an other great test match on Thursday.

  • Sachin on November 30, 2009, 20:52 GMT

    Nice work Iain...felt straight-forward and directly from heart.

  • Patrick on November 30, 2009, 20:31 GMT

    Congrats Ober on a brilliant win - victories all round, for Test cricket, you personally and New Zealand as a whole. One thing I would say is that Grant Elliott needs to pull his weight more as a bowler if he is to play as an all-rounder. Other than that, let's hope that you don't face too many more career make-or-break days, as Dan Vettori says, I like your style of bowling and your effort, keep it up.

  • melcoy on November 30, 2009, 20:25 GMT

    great stuff ob! it was always looking like a really great test match, but the final session effort from the nz'ers made it into a spectacular test (in my completely biased view..) good luck for the basin!

  • Gussio on November 30, 2009, 20:17 GMT

    Good on you Ian,

    My younger bro Bayard is a big, big fan of yours. I know he loved your gutsy performance and enjoys tuning into your blog.

    Cherish this one mate and give us another couple of presents for Christmas with a test series win.

    All the best for the 2nd and 3rd Gussio

  • Ayaz on November 30, 2009, 20:00 GMT

    Great to get an inside view of the game from you, Iain. Even though I was really hoping Pakistan (or rather Umar Akmal) could pull it off, I wasn't disappointed you guys won. It was very well deserved and an amazing match, regardless of who the winner was. It also reaffirmed for me why I love Test Cricket so much.

    Also, it was very nice of you to get a stump for Umar!

  • Said Chaudhry on November 30, 2009, 19:50 GMT

    Thank you Iain, for playing part in producing the best test match of the year. Your bowling was much better and more threatening in the second innings, seeing you bowl through pain really showed a lot of character. In the end, I suppose Pakistan lost not because of their inability to chase down the score, but because of the catches they dropped and NZ won because of their brilliant fielding. That was the only genuine difference between the two sides in this test match. Im sure the next match and the one following it will be closely fought battles, and I wish you all the best and good health for the remainder of the series. Take Care.

    Your fans in Lahore, Pakistan.

  • Paul on November 30, 2009, 19:34 GMT

    2,200 people, 6,200 people?

    Well done guys, hopefully we get some good weather on Thursday and I will be there to watch the first hours play at The Basin.

  • Josh on November 30, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    Fantastic match. The spirit out on the field was fantastic, and from the first ball of the first innings it was clear that it'd be exciting. Both sides deserved a win imo. Nice job to you out there, it's always a treat watching you do well. The whole NZ side is just fantastic, just because the way you come together as a whole. Congrats and keep it up!

  • Jamal Akmal on November 30, 2009, 19:19 GMT

    Good Job Dude. Pakistani batsman are very weak against fast rising ball on the body; as you guys must have noticed already, as many of them transfer the weight on the front foot before ball is even released. Fawad Alam, Imran Farhat and Shoiab malik are the proverbial sitting ducks. Get them in next test and thank me in your post.

  • Kunal on November 30, 2009, 19:14 GMT

    Great effort Ian! It was really nice to watch you bowl quick. Fantanstic effort. Keep going.

  • JO on November 30, 2009, 18:54 GMT

    A bit to long I'd say but it's great to read from a cricketers point of view. Keep it up sir!

  • Ali on November 30, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    Very big of you to give a wicket to Umar Akmal on debut!

    Hope the finger's better for the next test. Your blogging gives us fans rare insight into a cricketer's mental makeup during a test. Keep it coming!

  • Amir Ali on November 30, 2009, 17:47 GMT

    Ian I U grabbing a stump for Umer...I love this game and I love NZ cricket...I cant think of many other genuine sportsmen then you guys and specially you...You really do have a big heart...The test was awesome hope to see you in action in the next Test

    Amir Ali

  • Nadeem Akhter on November 30, 2009, 17:40 GMT

    Congratulations on such a brave performance and adding brilliantly to the beauty, thrill and drama of this match. The article was a very nice read as always, and it really touched me that you grabbed a stump in the end for Umar as well. I hope the remaining two matches will also be as much action packed as the first one was.

  • Deepanjan Datta on November 30, 2009, 17:08 GMT

    Well done Iain and well done NZ! This was one of the best advertisements for Test cricket in recent times. There was a classy batting debut by Umar, a pacy comeback from Shane Bond, and some quality use of seam and swing by both bowling units. Dan Vettori re-inforced his "world's best no. 8 batsman" status, as did Mohd. Asif - his ability to seam it with skill. What made the contest even was also the nervy batting from NZ and shoddy fielding by Pakistan. Pretty high octane stuff nevertheless :)

  • Ahmad Saleem on November 30, 2009, 16:57 GMT

    Very good article.Congratulations for winning the match but I am extremely sorry to see Bond in action because he took the game away from us but that`s good for your side

  • Arvind on November 30, 2009, 16:57 GMT

    You are a great guy Brian. A fine whole hearted cricketer - your enthusiasm spills on to everybody who reads your blog. Great going and good luck. Get Em !!!

  • alexk400 on November 30, 2009, 16:28 GMT

    Do not give away too much Four balls!. Vettori needs all bowlers to fire. he needs you in best form all the time.

  • Mohamed on November 30, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    Hey! It was a great test match to watch and congratulations to you and the boys for the win! I am an Indian supporter and still got myself out of bed at 3 in the morning on the final day to watch! You finger looked gone mate, cant believe you continued bowling! Love the blog, Mohamed from Dubai, UAE

  • Mian Riaz on November 30, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    Pakistan fielding was bad, that gave the match BTW, after eating Biryani, you can not play cricket but wants to sleep and that what Pakistani players were doing.

  • Hammad on November 30, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    well said iain. can u beleive i waited really hard to get your blog on cricinfo. i dont know Whether your blogs appear on your website earlier than cricinfo because i checked cricinfo earlier this afternoon and there was none of your newest writing. anyhow, to be honest, as i said in one of my other columns somewhere else that for me there were two men of the match in dunedin, umar akmal and iain obrien. as you mentioned yourself also that umar had a fantastic debut, while your courage in the second half of the second innings was also worth remembering. you were simply a different bowler at once- this is really amazing. i have recording of the last session of the game, because frankly, as i was optimitic about pakistan win, i thought it right to record a test winning moments, which would come after a long wait. pakistan dont get tests easily!!! but i am really not ashamed of recording a wonderful tide of events. i am thankful to you of giving a special thing to this game-cricket.

  • Rex on November 30, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    Did you happen to write all this on the same day after winning such an important and exhausting match? Take a bow O'Brien! Amazing!

    I'm happy New Zealand won and more so since they almost seemed to have slipped on the 4th day when the Pakistan bowlers ran amok.

    And it was a very thoughtful gesture to give Umar a stump. Wonder that will feature in the ICC Spirit of Cricket awards?

    Anyway, all the best wishes Iain- I hope to see more exciting matches like these. It was undoubtedly the best match of the year!

  • Anil Sehrawat on November 30, 2009, 16:09 GMT

    this match is more like a test of the Ashes 2005, where England win when no one thought of it.

  • pklot on November 30, 2009, 16:04 GMT

    Great test, Great post, great performance. Best of luck for the future.

  • Hur Rizvi on November 30, 2009, 16:00 GMT

    Great test that was Ian you bowled a great spell last day and newzealand turned out to be winners Umar akmal was special so was Aamer . I hope that both team produce same intensity in the wellington test and finally Congrats on the victory

  • Bagapath on November 30, 2009, 15:56 GMT

    Congrats on a wonderful win. This is a superbly written blog. Wish you a long cricketing career. But I know what you are going to do after you retire. You are a natural with words.

  • Pankaj on November 30, 2009, 15:45 GMT

    Keeping Umar in mind for a stump shows that along with talented Cricketer you also are big at heart. This world can use more people like you.

  • Alf on November 30, 2009, 15:34 GMT

    Good to read an article/blog from a player's perspective. Nice blog and keep it up.

  • Abhik on November 30, 2009, 15:28 GMT

    Well, congrats! And thanks from all cricket lovers for a great Test!

  • Raghveer Rawat on November 30, 2009, 15:26 GMT

    Great Job Iain and NZ.. It was a fantastic test match.. I was betting on Pak but well you guys deserve this win. Good luck for rest of the series.

  • Aravindha on November 30, 2009, 15:03 GMT

    Wonderful blog, and an even wonderful game against Pak, Iain. Thanks for the thrill, and keep it flowing!!! Test cricket would definitely benefit from games like this one. Congrats!

  • Saatwik on November 30, 2009, 15:00 GMT

    Congrats on the win and your performance: I was rooting for you from here in India too! Also, the ground at Dunedin blew me away with its beauty. Best of luck for the next one!

  • shanny on November 30, 2009, 14:58 GMT

    pakistan open with malik and butt in next test and also play misbah and faisal .great to see NZ win the test.

  • Shakir Farooqi on November 30, 2009, 14:48 GMT

    Iain , just a note to say congrats ,and that I really enjoy your posts. Hardly ever comment on blogs but yours is exceptional as it comes froma current Test player and obviously from the heart. I live, breathe , eat, sleep cricket and it looks like your enthusiasm is similar. Am Pakistani , support England as I have been in England since I was two, but don't care who wins so long as cricket is played the way I love it to be. Thanks for the joy and insight- you're a true sport!

  • Phil on November 30, 2009, 14:44 GMT

    To you and the boys Great job!! - was watching here in Brisbane and thoroughly enjoyed you're fight and spirit -thank you for reminding me how much I love test cricket. I was going to go the Gabba to watch us play the Windies but am glad I stayed home and watched you're mighty effort on the tele

  • Sakthi on November 30, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    Mr. Ian, wouldn't you change? Why can't you make blog writing your profession and cricket is occasion.

  • Dimple Ross on November 30, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    I found it so cute that you would take one stump for a player from the other team!!!

  • Michael on November 30, 2009, 14:29 GMT

    Well played Iain, congratulations to you and the guys - a great test match and a great result. Awesome to see your personal performance too, as a fan and an avid reader of your blog - I want to keep hearing about the Black Caps from the inside for a few years yet!

  • Chris on November 30, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    Great stuff Ian, good luck for the game in Welly. Hopefully the weather holds out!

  • Dilip Kamat on November 30, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    Congrats Ian for the win..And hats off to you for the courage.Honestly it was one of the best test matches in recent history.Being an Indian,i wouldnt have liked to see Pakistan loose.But at the end of the day felt bad for Umar.He is a real special player.Hope to see you all repeat your success in next match.And one day i hope you write a book because you really appear to have a flair for writing.Cheers buddy.

  • Dilip Kamat on November 30, 2009, 14:09 GMT

    Congrats Ian for the win..And hats off to you for the courage.Honestly it was one of the best test matches in recent history.Being an Indian,i wouldnt have liked to see Pakistan loose.But at the end of the day felt bad for Umar.He is a real special player.Hope to see you all repeat your success in next match.And one day i hope you write a book because you really appear to have a flair for writing.Cheers buddy.

  • Jawad Khan on November 30, 2009, 14:01 GMT

    great article man!!! u write really well....i could imagine every wicket....too bad we lost....but it was a great game

  • Abhijit Parkhe on November 30, 2009, 13:36 GMT

    Well played and well written mate!

    Thank you New Zealand for an excellent Test match. We, India, won a test match too but yours was better. One of those for the memories...

  • noddysbrother on November 30, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    well done Ian and the NZ team. Thanks Pakistan for a great game, looking forward to rest of series between 2 even teams. Would like to see Tim Southee in team as 4th seamer, put Dan at 6, We need another attacking bowler to balance attack - go all out for win

  • noddysbrother on November 30, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    well done Ian and the NZ team. Thanks Pakistan for a great game, looking forward to rest of series between 2 even teams. Would like to see Tim Southee in team as 4th seamer, put Dan at 6, We need another attacking bowler to balance attack - go all out for win

  • Shankar on November 30, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    Fabulous job at Dunedin!!

    PS. Is the beard staying for good luck at the Basin Reserve?

  • Ankur Datta on November 30, 2009, 13:29 GMT

    wow!! great account of the game.. straight from the "wild" horse's mouth... I checked your blog a zillion times waiting for the update... Good luck at Basin Reserve.. Nail 'em iOber !!

  • Hari Adivarekar on November 30, 2009, 13:12 GMT

    Wow! That must have been hard bowling after going through all that pain. Great story from a great match of test cricket. Very inspirational and I'm sitting all the way in India. Also, I really like your blog. It's balanced and honest and gives us fans a wonderful insight into what it takes to be an international cricketer. Lovely to see that you remembered a worthy adversary, even in the middle of your own hard earned victory celebrations. Good on you Iain. All the very best for the future. we need more cricketers like you with so much heart. :)

  • Blake Houlihan on November 30, 2009, 13:01 GMT

    Keep doing your thing Iain, NZ believes in you. Let's make the rest of the world believe in you too. GO BLACK CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Raghavendra on November 30, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    Excellent article, and well done Ian... That indeed was a very good match... kudos to you for bowling with a dislocated finger

  • Preet on November 30, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    What a spell of bowling from you and Shane Bond. This was a fantastic Test match with all three results possible till the very end. Havent seea better Test all year long. Great work and keep it going at wellington. NZ can probably wrap up the series there!!!

  • Audrey on November 30, 2009, 12:17 GMT

    Thanks for the "wave". We loved it!!

  • Anonymous on November 30, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    Hey Iain, well done on a great performance. Loved the post match interview as well, you were nicely understated and very...well...Kiwi :)

  • duncan on November 30, 2009, 12:03 GMT

    Excellent work Iain, Bondy and all...that was some test!

  • Mani on November 30, 2009, 11:57 GMT

    Well bowled Iain,the current NZ pace attack is top class.

  • Karthik on November 30, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    What a spirited performance mate!! This reminded me of the famous Edgbaston ashes test. Both teams have ensured that there is plenty to look forward to from Test cricket, even in the Modi-era!! Hope your finger recovers soon and you do an encore at Wellington as well.

  • Levs on November 30, 2009, 11:46 GMT

    Great blog fella and a top match. I look forward to seeing more of you winning in Wellington!

  • Duckeck, J on November 30, 2009, 11:35 GMT

    Good job, Ian. Great Test match and you bowled with a lot of heart. With Bondy in charge, the whole bowling lineup looks different.

  • waqas ur rehman on November 30, 2009, 11:34 GMT

    congrats ian ,if u see mty comments for ur last blog u will find that i was right in predicting ur win.u n bond were really good.although i m pakistani but i think Newzealand will grab series either 2-1 or 2-0 with one draw.lets see best of luck 4 u guys

  • Saad Omer on November 30, 2009, 11:33 GMT

    Nice writeup! So very nice of you to remember Umar Akmal while grabbing stumps as victory souvenir, for his contribution despite being on losing side...

  • P.Satish on November 30, 2009, 11:33 GMT

    Great bowling from all of you guys. I liked the way New Zealand kept chipping away at the wickets while Pakistan continued to inch closer to the target. It was a thrilling match and a great advertisement for test cricket.

  • Ajay on November 30, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    Yeah, I saw the Great Kiwi win here in India. what a test match. Great to read that u would be playing at Basin Reserve. I dream of Chris Martin scoring a half century :) could you plz pass on my best wishes to him?

  • Reece on November 30, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    Thank you Lain O’Brian for this article, it was amazing reading the thoughts of an actual international cricketer who was playing in the park, congratulations to you and the New Zealand team, Unfortunately I couldn’t watch the test match but did follow it closely. As being a Pakistani supporter it was great to see the Pakistani’s making you guys work hard, but I am expecting them to come back even harder so be prepared for an Pakistani onslaught!

  • otagomike on November 30, 2009, 11:12 GMT

    Great blog Iain,worth the wait. Honest insight into the game such as yours is truly rare.Always good to read your posts.Good news that there is no fracture or break in the finger and hope to see you make a similar impact at your home ground. Great courage shown by you after bowling so hard and then dislocating your finger and carrying on.Reckon you work bloody hard and deserve the rewards. Like the shout out to Dunedin as well.

  • Nick on November 30, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    Hey Iain, I enjoyed reading that almost as I enjoyed watching/listening to the 5th day of an amazing test match. Do you think it was fate that caused the 2nd innings collapse so you would have enough time to bowl them out? I like to think so.

    Hopefully we'll see a repeat performance at the Basin!

  • Priyank on November 30, 2009, 11:05 GMT

    It was the perfect test match.

  • DD on November 30, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    Good going Ian. That was an absolutely brilliant performance from u kiwis (and u of course, broken finger and all). Finally something to cheer for being a Black Caps fan. Convey my wishes to all in the team, esp Dan the Man and Bondy.

  • Cecilie on November 30, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    Great writing Iain. This is my first 'comment' although I've been enjoying all your blogs since you started. Loved watching the final day of the Dunedin Test from Auckland, especially the final 2 sessions. Shared your agony over your finger, and now have really lived it again from your point of view in your blog. Sambit Bal's comments on cricinfo that this was "the best cricket match of the year" make great reading too. All the best to the team ....hope the weather stays fine for the Basin Reserve Test.

  • Ian J on November 30, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Good on you Ian. You dug deep and made a lot of cricket followers in NZ very happy.

  • Saravanan.NB on November 30, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Awesome. I almost felt like being with you on the field, reading through this. And good to know, you finger is fine. Do well.

  • shaz on November 30, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    i thought you didnt need a twelth man. Imran Farhats did the job for you. His four dropped catches cost 145 runs. Congratulations though well played New Zealand you deserved to win.

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  • shaz on November 30, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    i thought you didnt need a twelth man. Imran Farhats did the job for you. His four dropped catches cost 145 runs. Congratulations though well played New Zealand you deserved to win.

  • Saravanan.NB on November 30, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Awesome. I almost felt like being with you on the field, reading through this. And good to know, you finger is fine. Do well.

  • Ian J on November 30, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Good on you Ian. You dug deep and made a lot of cricket followers in NZ very happy.

  • Cecilie on November 30, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    Great writing Iain. This is my first 'comment' although I've been enjoying all your blogs since you started. Loved watching the final day of the Dunedin Test from Auckland, especially the final 2 sessions. Shared your agony over your finger, and now have really lived it again from your point of view in your blog. Sambit Bal's comments on cricinfo that this was "the best cricket match of the year" make great reading too. All the best to the team ....hope the weather stays fine for the Basin Reserve Test.

  • DD on November 30, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    Good going Ian. That was an absolutely brilliant performance from u kiwis (and u of course, broken finger and all). Finally something to cheer for being a Black Caps fan. Convey my wishes to all in the team, esp Dan the Man and Bondy.

  • Priyank on November 30, 2009, 11:05 GMT

    It was the perfect test match.

  • Nick on November 30, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    Hey Iain, I enjoyed reading that almost as I enjoyed watching/listening to the 5th day of an amazing test match. Do you think it was fate that caused the 2nd innings collapse so you would have enough time to bowl them out? I like to think so.

    Hopefully we'll see a repeat performance at the Basin!

  • otagomike on November 30, 2009, 11:12 GMT

    Great blog Iain,worth the wait. Honest insight into the game such as yours is truly rare.Always good to read your posts.Good news that there is no fracture or break in the finger and hope to see you make a similar impact at your home ground. Great courage shown by you after bowling so hard and then dislocating your finger and carrying on.Reckon you work bloody hard and deserve the rewards. Like the shout out to Dunedin as well.

  • Reece on November 30, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    Thank you Lain O’Brian for this article, it was amazing reading the thoughts of an actual international cricketer who was playing in the park, congratulations to you and the New Zealand team, Unfortunately I couldn’t watch the test match but did follow it closely. As being a Pakistani supporter it was great to see the Pakistani’s making you guys work hard, but I am expecting them to come back even harder so be prepared for an Pakistani onslaught!

  • Ajay on November 30, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    Yeah, I saw the Great Kiwi win here in India. what a test match. Great to read that u would be playing at Basin Reserve. I dream of Chris Martin scoring a half century :) could you plz pass on my best wishes to him?