16 March 2013

Basin Reserve, 2nd Test, Day 3

View from the Vance Stand
New Zealand commenced Day 3 of the 2nd Test against England at 66/3 with Kane Williamson and Dean Brownlie at the crease, hoping to bat long and profitably to gnaw away at England's massive lead. The weather was perfect for batting, but England's bowlers proved too much for New Zealand to deal with. Both overnight batsmen fell in the morning session, and then England throttled the New Zealand innings in the session after lunch, dismissing New Zealand for 254 on the stroke of tea. Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling both impressed at the crease, managing scores of 69 and 60 respectively, and Williamson notched up a well-made 42; Stuart Broad was the tormentor-in-chief, taking 51 for six.  The New Zealand effort was poor, leading to a first innings deficit of 211, and after tea England's captain Alastair Cook enforced the follow-on. This decision was rewarded with Hamish Rutherford's wicket, a brilliant close-in catch from Ian Bell off the bowling of Monty Panesar, before the day closed with New Zealand's second innings at 77/1, still in deficit by 134. Panesar's fielding provided some light relief for the crowd, when he flubbed a simple catch and failed to outstrip a meandering four-ball in a long chase to the deep forward boundary.

Most of the Basin crowd seemed to consist of English supporters, but fortunately the noisier ones tended to congregate over on the southeastern bank. I should add that they seemed very well behaved, but I was glad to be over a hundred metres from the trumpet player, who blasted out singalonga-brass tunes and TV themes for the lads on tour to chant along to.

This was my first time seeing a match from a seat in the Vance Stand, named after Wellington cricket stalwart R.A. Vance (1924-94), who played for the province for 15 years and sired one of the participants of the famous 77-run over in 1990. It affords an excellent view, although the rusty supports probably need looking at if it's to avoid going the same way as the currently off-limits Museum Stand. From my position at the very top of the stand, seated with visiting pals Anne & Cecil down from Auckland, it was possible to survey the whole ground, and beyond to the planned site of the reviled and misguided Basin Reserve flyover. The top of the Vance also turned out to be a meeting place for several cricket personages: first the row in front of us sported New Zealand director of cricket John Buchanan, and later injured batsman Martin Guptill and her off the telly, cricket presenter Laura McGoldrick.

(Click photos to enlarge)

Broad to Williamson: the ball the batsman fell caught & bowled for 42

Barmy Army supporters' flags


Michael Atherton & David Lloyd

McCullum departs for 69

Bob Willis & Nick Knight

That polar bear costume has got to be hot inside

Spot the height differential: Williamson & Fulton depart at close of play

See also:
Blog: Day 3, 3rd test against South Africa, 25 March 2012
Blog: Day 4, 3rd test against South Africa, 26 March 2012
Blog: Lord's - at the home of cricket, 21 May 2008
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