I tried. I stayed with them for as long as I could! But sometime just short of midnight my eyelids got heavy, and I had to leave the Black Caps to save the Lord's test by themselves, without my moral support.
But if there is one quality that New Zealand cricket teams possess it is guts. We produce few superstars. Many of the current team, especially in the batting department, are good first-class cricketers, but are a long, long way from being established internationals. So inevitably, the burden falls on the senior players.
And in this test, the senior players stood up. Brendon McCullum batted brilliantly in the first innings, and will be mortified to have again missed a century at the home of cricket by the narrowest of margins. Chris Martin bowled with pace and purpose on day four, and began New Zealand's fightback. Daniel Vettori was awarded Man of the Match for his batting/bowling double. With 250 test wickets now to his credit, he seems to be thriving on the added responsibility of captaincy, and if he can have a prolonged spell of good fitness, Richard Hadlee's total of 431 test wickets is not out of reach.
And today it was Jacob Oram, with a magnificent century, 101, which will see his name written into Lord's history for posterity. Big Jake has been out of touch with the bat for some time, and his two-metre tall frame has accentuated his awkwardness. His nemesis throughout the New Zealand summer was Ryan Sidebottom, who again claimed Jake's wicket in both innings of this test. But there would be enormous satisfaction for Oram to bring up his ton with a lovely cover drive of the "hairy one"!
I've just heard Michael Vaughan, the England captain complimenting the New Zealanders saying that his side "knows what the game means to them". This series will not be a three-nil whitewash, and if the English are looking beyond the current series towards the South Africans, , they would be doing cricket a disservice.