New Zealand flogged England in the First Test on Sunday. England were set 300 for victory, but just couldn't quite get there, all out for 110. Ryan Sidebottom's hat-trick was in vain, as was Aussie Tim Ambrose's debut first innings half-century.
But hang on a tic? Wasn't New Zealand cricket supposed to be on its way down the tubes having lost all its best talent to the Icicle?
This is the eleven that played in this week's victory at Hamilton (and has been selected unchanged for the Wellington Test), with the number of Tests played to date in parentheses: Jamie How (7), Matthew Bell (16), Stephen Fleming (109), Matthew Sinclair (30), Ross Taylor (3), Jacob Oram (26), Brendon McCallum (30), Daniel Vettori (78), Kyle Mills (10), Jeetan Patel (2), Chris Martin (38).
On the other hand, Ambrose and Sidebottom are the only Englishmen with less than 24 Tests' experience.
With the second series of the Icicle Twenties minutes away from starting, three NZers are in the squads for tonight's Chandigarh Lions v Ahmedabad Rockets encounter. Chris Cairns, Daryl Tuffey and Lou Vincent are in the Lions lineup. The Rockets don't have any Kiwis, but these are the other former Black Caps in Icicle II:
Chennai Superstars: Adam Parore.
Delhi Giants: Shane Bond.
Hyderabad Heroes: Chris Harris.
Kolkata Tigers: Craig McMillan, Andre Adams.
Mumbai Champs: Nathan Astle.
Lahore Badshahs: unsurprisingly, nil.
OK so Cairns, Harris and Parore are no great loss to the Black Caps these days. Lou Vincent's progress will be curious to follow, as he had stood down from Test selection due to depression when the Icicle contract came along.
And isn't it interesting to see Matthew Elliott and Jason Gillespie both making their Icicle debuts in this match? Having retired from South Australian first-class cricket mid-season... the Redbacks still have one day to play of their last Pura Cup game for 2007-08 (and are doing rather badly against NSW). Update: South Australia lost in three days.
Rockets 7 for 0 after one over as I close this off... Wavell Hinds 5 and Sensational Sachin Dholpure 1.