• If it looks like the Black Caps are in the throes of a test match at Old Trafford, Manchester, then give yourself a pat for belonging to the perceptive pool of cricketing minds.
• New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and veteran batsman Ross Taylor show why reaching for a Twenty20 mind set will lead to a brain explosion in the first semifinal.
Fourteen balls into the first semifinal match at the ICC World Cup there would have been a collective groan from the cricket faithful at households in New Zealand.
It would have come on the heels of a concerted sigh when Black Caps opening batsman Martin Guptill had survived a first-delivery, leg-before-wicket appeal from India new-ball seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the promise of better returns.
That would have superseded the insatiable urge of TV viewers randomly flicking on the switches of their electric kettles to bob tea bags or brew coffee around the country in a surge of enthusiasm to see if the Kiwis could make something of a do-or-die match after captain Kane Williamson had won the toss and elected to bat.
Whether it's enough to propel them into back-to-back cup finals will be decided tonight (NZ time) after rain held the game to ransom for better or worse at Old Trafford, Manchester.
While Guptill avoided three consecutive golden ducks with a run it's fair, albeit cruel, to say the WAGs have probably made a bigger contribution towards lifting a maiden World Cup. The bags under his eyes and the nervous shuffle suggested he hadn't slept well and probably wouldn't for another night at least.
"Make a few runs now Guppy to ensure the boys will have a fighting chance and everything before the playoffs will be forgiven and forgotten," I recall muttering to myself in the lounge, before peeping between the blinds to find a few lights go out abruptly in the neighbourhood shortly after he had departed, only to take it out on his willow at the pavilion.
Frankly dumped opener Colin Munro's 20-odd must look like going currency right now as New Zealand look to resume on 211-5 with 23 deliveries in the vault.
Hey, it's those funky curators calling the shots once again. No more talks about swaggers and batsmen throwing their bats recklessly in posting totals that would put the Indian rupiah to shame. Assertions that a twenty20 outlook due to rain would have favoured the Black Caps is neither here nor there because the conditions suggest otherwise.
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I would like to think now that there must be a degree of acceptance that wickets in England and Wales are quite clear in their ambiguity — play educated shots or go home.
Predictably Williamson, at first drop, was the only batsman to come out to play bat/pad with reassurance to eke out 67 from 95 balls, including six boundaries.
No 4 Ross Taylor is following the script to an unbeaten 67 and a few lusty sixes with No 6 Tom Latham (3no) will be tempting but what's reassuring is they should bat through their allotted 50 overs for a fighting chance. Taylor looked shaky at times but that's expected of someone whose portfolio demands he pushes the boundaries although he showed immense restraint in freeing up his arms.
No, the gut feeling is even 250-odd runs won't be enough to stop India who have turned the game into a 53-over affair after gifting the Kiwis 13 wides and four leg byes.
In the context of the game, opener Henry Nicholls, 28 runs from 51 balls, has done his bit after stretching his hammies and Latham can potentially make small inroads for big returns.
How good was India's bowling amid all the talk of what the Gary Stead-coached New Zealanders needed to do to contain the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
Openers Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah claimed maiden overs as five bowlers took a scalp each to deny the Kiwis a run until the 17th delivery. The first boundary came in the eighth over.
From a Kiwi perspective it was about respecting good balls and India gave away little. The result is pending but If ever there was evidence dot balls can be better tender than wickets then this potentially is it.
India have made two mistakes — one is in selecting allrounder Hardik Pandya, who had picked up a groin injury after five overs, at the expense of veteran Mohammed Shami and the other was losing a tidy fielding start when it became apparent runs were hard to come by. Pandya did remarkably well to finish his 10-over spell at 5.5 runs an over.
Specialist Shami's line and length, in the mould of retired Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka, would have been godsend but India tend to err on the side of bolshy batting, just as the Black Caps do.
Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, a poor fielder, was the most expensive at 6.3 runs an over but his scalp of Williamson is priceless.
Conversely New Zealand can change that, provided other bowlers can back up Trent Boult's stifling lines. Can Mitchell Santner step up? Should leg spinner Ish Sodhi have been in the mix?
Again, Stead and Williamson will remind everyone how much clarity hindsight can offer on strips that have a mind of their own.
No doubt, the dodgy DL Method would have been in New Zealand's corner had the game mutated to a T20 one but that's too simplistic a hypothesis against a team who can bat adroitly down to No 8 Ajay Jadeja.
Against gargantuan odds, the Black Caps have to keep their faith but, above all, their composure in trying to embrace a bowling blueprint of either eking out dot balls to accumulate pressure on batsmen or chucking the ball to Lockie Ferguson to tickle the ribs of Indian batsmen. Play it by ear, I say.
Dragging batsmen into a mind swamp is a great mantra but there's enough evidence to suggest India have a different breed of cricketers under Kohli's reign. Making them lose their heads can be detrimental to reigning them in.
The biggest burden for the favourites will be their legion of delirious fans who will not just want cheeky singles but crisp boundaries at a fair clip, threaded through claustrophobic crevices between fielders, punctuated by booming sixes to give them the bang for their dollar.
Kohli, who sets the field but leaves wicket keeper MS Dhoni to guide bowlers, appeared to be having fun on day one but I'm not so sure Indians will get too carried away on day two of what will be the upset of the cup if the underdogs prevail in the face of a fan's banner that reads: "Windia, Lose Zealand."