Nice one Ducky!

So, six days in and we get to the serious stuff. A repeat visit to the Bay Oval, Mount Manganui.

Brook ducks – spot the ball?

A boutique stadium with a good crowd…locals well attending even tho they suspect they’re in for a thrashing. Has the basic feel of a large village green ready for cricket.

After the rains this week the pitch looks a bit on the green side with pink (or is it orange) ball fun looming for the last session; both sides would bowl first to optimise their advantage of winning the toss.

Southee ready to lead

NZ invite England to bat under pleasant conditions. Crawley still flatters to deceive and it’s soon clear his head is still scrambled. Reprieved off a Wagner no ball he still falls soon after and Pope joins Duckett who has set off at a fast pace.

Wagner happy until…

The Kiwi attack has two debutants and with Wagner off after two overs, captain Southee has to shoulder the burden. Kuggelijn looks like a spinner turned quick in mannerisms and Ticknell bears a close resemblance to Jack Russell (ex England & Glos wicketkeeper…not the dog breed!).


Unfortunately collectively NZ look like an average Division two county team failing to get their lines and lengths right as the runs flow. It’s not too difficult to bat on this strip once you’re in – Crawleys problems are in his mind.

Duckett falls for 84 and England are 134/2 at the first break (called tea and 20 minutes). Duckett had played well encouraged by the England team directly behind me shouting ‘nice one Ducky’ at every opportunity!

Sometimes sitting close to the Pavilion has its disadvantages but Root and Pope look set fair for the next session.

Well…that’s wise words! Poor shots by both (minds in bazball but forgetting the basics) mean NZ claw two quick wickets as England stumble to 167/4.

Brook and Stokes steady the ship until the latter falls for another silly shot for 19 but Foakes joins Brook who goes from strength to strength. He seems to be able to do no wrong at the moment and at the second break (dinner) is 79 no, Foakes 27and only 48 overs bowled – over rate is beyond words! 279/5

The Kiwis struck as the cloud cover locally increased and for a while, the ball bounced a lot more with really dark clouds glowering close by. At this break, we may have skipped the rain but the wind has changed direction we are now at greater risk.

With clouds like these, any seamer should be scenting blood but let’s see. Fun and games await! With different light conditions for photos I need to adjust settings on my camera but since this is only my second day/night game (only 22 have ever been played) getting them right may be trial and error but let’s see!

Dark over Wills’ mothers!
But still ok to enjoy…

‘Be careful what you wish for’ sums up the last session (so far). NZ strike under the lights, aided by some poor shot selection and England declare on 325/9, Brook going for 89 and essentially starting the collapse.

Whilst local Kiwis were pleased with the wickets, it meant the more they took the longer they’d have to face Broaderson in similar conditions but with spots of rain at the innings change…

And so it came to pass, NZ lost three top bats for 31 before closing at 37/3. The session of two and a half hours brings 83 for 7 wickets. Not a great advert for tests, and especially day/night ones. Whilst a few extra spectators arrived after 7.30 numbers had dwindled by the close. Organisers seem to forget that NZ ‘closes’ at 9pm

Test cricket – late evening?

In other news – there are rumours that my luggage (along with that of 259 passengers on my flight alone!) is being sent back to Singapore for them to resolve since the Auckland Airport team have no chance of processing a large volume in the short time people are here (and they have previous I’m told!). If that’s the case, my luggage is having a better time than me!

But still no official announcement