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Not good enough, simple as that.
I can say though, tonight, I was ‘balls out’ going for it, and I felt great. I’ll be going ‘balls out’ tomorrow too. I want this one; I really want to pull us back into the game. I love this ground, I love playing here, I want to do something special and I don’t want this one to get away from us.
I had got Butt in the first innings with a bouncer, which was going to be the base of the plan in the second innings. It worked. I got one just about perfect and Butt’s gloved it to Ross for the catch. I also picked up the other opener. It was last ball of the over; Farhat was on strike, Yousuf, the new batter, at the non-strikers end. Quite often, in this situation, you’ll bowl a bouncer to keep the new batter down the non-strikers end so that the next over is started at them. I went to Dan, who was bowling at the other end, and asked him if he wanted Yousuf, meaning do you want me to make sure it’s a ‘dot’ ball with a bouncer. He replied “I want you to give yourself the best opportunity to get him out; nick him out.” So I did. I nicked him out. I was happy making sure Dan could bowl to the new batter, I was even happier to have a wicket and Dan would still be bowling to the new batter.
If we can keep Pakistan to around 250, again, and leave us a chase of about 400 we’ll at least have the best batting conditions of the match. That’s the positive and we have to believe in every positive we can find.
The Pakistan bowlers bowled really well, and we nicked and missed the balls we should have missed and nicked. I couldn’t believe how many times we, as a bowling group, went past the Pakistani’s edge without nicks in the first innings. It got pretty unbelievable at one stage. But we hung tough and caught some great catches; I was a little surprised that the one I took stuck. I was very happy that I got to it, and even happier that it fell nicely into my hands.
We obviously need quick wickets, and yesterday’s hopes, in my blog, couldn’t have been further from what happened. Here’s hoping for a great day in Wellington and a better day of cricket for New Zealanders.
Fast bowler Iain O'Brien played 22 Tests for New Zealand in the second half of the 2000sFeeds: Iain O'Brien
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Former New Zealand fast bowler Iain O'Brien played 22 Tests in the second half of the 2000s