Black Caps second straight Twenty20 Super Over defeat to India

Publish Date
Sat, 1 Feb 2020, 9:40AM
Photo / Photosport
Photo / Photosport

Black Caps second straight Twenty20 Super Over defeat to India

Publish Date
Sat, 1 Feb 2020, 9:40AM

"So, Tim Seifert," inquired Radio Sport's Daniel McHardy in the early hours of February, with the Black Caps having just suffered another heartbreaking loss, "put into words what's just happened in this last half hour?"

"Well," replied Seifert, after a moment's thought, "it's quite hard without swearing, to be honest."

Seifert's simple sentiment summed up the feeling in the Black Caps camp after a second Super Over defeat to India in the space of three days. This defeat - a seventh on the trot in all formats - was possibly even worse to take than the loss in Hamilton on Friday, with New Zealand unable to get 12 runs from 14 balls with seven wickets in hand, nor three runs from four balls in the final over.

Seifert, who was partly to blame for the defeat in Hamilton after missing two deliveries, had put the Black Caps in position to win with 57 from 39 balls, and this time his last-over antics – run out attempting a bye – couldn't be faulted; his demise coming from an unselfish attempt at victory.

He had a second chance at playing the hero in the Super Over, but was dropped twice, then caught on the third attempt, and the wicketkeeper was left agonising over what could have been.

"It's a gut-punch for me, and I wasn't even involved in the World Cup, so I can't imagine what it feels for the boys who were at the World Cup," Seifert said, referring to the unfortunate Black Caps players who have now been involved in four Super Over defeats in the past six months.

"It's one of those games in which anything could have happened, and I'm not quite sure what to say. Losing back-to-back games when we should have won them - if we learn from that, and we win those scenarios at the World Cup, then it's great learning for us."

Applying a rosy spin to a bleak situation, Seifert denied the Black Caps are struggling under pressure, and fellow batsman Colin Munro agreed. It would be a surprise to hear them say anything else, and despite the Super Over struggles, their point does have merit – one moment, one dropped catch, or one fortunate edge either way, and the Black Caps could be heading to Mount Maunganui readying themselves for a decider.

"We put ourselves in positions to win both of those games I thought, but India, with the roll they're on at the moment and the cricket they're playing, they always find a way. A bit of luck, it could have gone either way," said Munro, who alleviated some of the pressure on his position with a slump-busting 64 from 47 balls.

"A Super Over – it's a bit of luck actually, to be fair," he added.

"We're all sitting in the sheds talking about it and hurting that we've let two games slip. There are a few guys who are hurting, but we're a tightknit group and we'll bounce back.

"We're all putting in the effort and it's not like we're being blown off the park – the only game we probably didn't step up to our standards was the second game at Eden Park. We've been playing some good cricket, India have just been that one or two per cent better than us.

"It's just batters at those times needing to take better options. And I think we'll do that by playing more in these types of situations – we'll learn from it, and come back a bit stronger."

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