Nothing boring about test cricket

Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian

Anyone that says test cricket is boring and has reached its use-by date, obviously didn't watch the Basin Reserve test between the Black Caps and Bangladesh over the weekend.

The game has everything from Bangladesh's near 600 runs in their first turn at bat, to the action packed final days play, where the Black Caps snatched a dramatic win, when a draw looked the likely result over the first four days.

Few would image that the visitors could lose after they declared at a massive 595/8 on day two.

While the Black Caps matched their opponents with a big score, Bangladesh held a 56 run lead with little over a day to play.

Enter Western Bay super hero Trent Boult, who ripped out danger man Al Hasan, when he looked to be taking control of the Bangladesh fightback.

Trent went on to finish with three wickets, as the visitors were bundled out for just 160 to set the Black Caps a very gettable target.

Black Cap super star batsman Kane Williamson, who calls the Western Bay home, stepped up to the plate to hammer his fifteenth test match century.

The dramatic changes in fortunes on the fifth day is a big part of the allure of test cricket, to dyed in the wool cricket fans.

Hats off to the cricket authorities, who threw open the gates without charge, with fans streaming into the "Basin" to watch the dramatic finish.

The Basin Reserve occupies a special place in worldwide test match venues, being in the heart of our Capital City.

Some would say it is the biggest traffic roundabout in the world, with few other test match grounds, being within walking distance of the CBD.

"The First Fifty Tests" written by New Zealand cricket historian Don Neely, which was gifted to this writer a few years ago, details the first fifty test matches played at the ground and tells us about the early history of the Basin Reserve.

The "Basin" was originally a Wellington inland lagoon, until an earthquake in 1855, raised the Te Aro Flat by two metres and the flat became a swamp.

In 1857, a group of prominent Wellington citizens petitioned the Provincial Council to set aside the site as a public park and cricket ground.

From those humble beginnings arose the Basin Reserve of today, which stands like a sentinel guarding the approaches to the city from outlying suburbs. 

Looking ahead, there is a real delight in store for local cricket fans, with the Bay of Plenty representative team defending the Hawke Cup at the Bay Oval during the Auckland Anniversary holiday weekend (28/30 January 2017).

The Hawke Cup was presented by Lord Hawke in 1910 and has become the symbol of NZ Cricket minor association supremacy.

The Hawke Cup is the biggest prize that the Bay of Plenty representative cricket team can win and is a highly sought-after trophy by New Zealand's provincial cricket teams.

Bay of Plenty won the Hawke Cup for the fifth time, beating Hawke's Bay in a three-day thriller in March 2016 and will defend the time honoured trophy against Counties Manukau, in the first of the NZ Cricket four Hawke Cup Direct Challenges this season.

Seeya at the Hawke Cup game at the Bay Oval.



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