Sunday, December 5, 2010

Twenty 20

A while ago, we bought tickets to see all of Wellington’s home games in the HRV Cup, the Twenty20 cricket tournament here in New Zealand, from one of the discount websites that I use. The tournament kicked off on Thursday, but Wellington’s first match was on Saturday. The competition is between 6 teams playing each other team twice – one home and one away – with a final between the top two teams (duh! who else?) at the beginning of January. We’ll miss Wellington’s final home match as we’ll be up in the Bay of Islands for Christmas, but we will be able to see all the others.

The weather has taken a distinctly summery turn over the last week, so we donned summer clothing, did a spot of slip-slop-slap, and at around 1 o’clock we headed down to the Basin Reserve, Wellington’s cricket ground – about a 20 minute walk from our flat, so a pleasant stroll in the sunshine. We found seats outside on the benches, with a good side-on view of the wicket for our budding sports-photography careers! That's Mount Victoria in the background.

The Basin Reserve

There were a number of people handing out free stuff from the sponsors, HRV, as well as Wellington’s team sponsor, Hell. They make pizzas; we haven’t tried one yet, but now we have a discount voucher…next time we’re in the mood for pizza, we’ll give them a try. They had a mobile pizza wagon at the ground, called "Hell On Wheels". 

We picked up a pair of free sunhats, and also the obligatory 4/6 placard to wave whenever anyone hit a boundary:

So, at 2pm, the game was on, between Hell Wellington Firebirds and Otago Volts. Honestly, who comes up with these names? Wellington won the toss and put Otago in to bat. The game was fast and furious, as anyone who’s seen a Twenty20 match will attest, and despite losing a wicket in the first over, Otago went on to post a respectable total of 153. Their hero was former international Aaron Redmond, scoring 82 off 54 balls, including one six hit out of the ground and down Adelaide Road. So now the chase was on, and Wellington…lost a wicket without scoring a run. After that they perked up, rallied round, uttered some more clich├ęs and stayed ahead of, and even exceeded the required run rate without dropping too many wickets; until the 15th over when disaster struck, and they lost three wickets in two overs – but more importantly, only picked up 6 runs in those two overs. With all the work to do, they managed to get back on top of the scoring rate, and in the final over needed 5 runs. Not too difficult, and with a 2 and a 4 they eventually won by 3 wickets with 2 balls remaining.

Action shot

Wellington are off to a good start, and we’ll be back down to the Basin Reserve tomorrow to watch their next game against the Canterbury Wizards. This is their first match, so hopefully Wellington will be able to use today’s experience to full effect. Anyway, it’s a wonderful way to spend three hours on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon, and Speight’s have the beer franchise inside the ground. What’s not to like?

1 comment:

  1. Seriously, Rory, yer father was right - you've missed your vocation as a sports writer. You must be sick as a parrot !

    I, meanwhile, am over the moon (as are the lads) because it's been raining and the very deep snow has all but gone. We were able to break out today and drive to the metrop (well, Sandwich) to stock up on mince pies. We've been sledging for two days, me as Top Huskie, with the kids shouting 'mush, mush' at me to make me go faster. So that was what all that training was for. Now I know.

    We had a minor disaster this morning as the mass of snow on our roof decided to melt and find its way into our kitchen thro' the ceiling, the light fittings, down the walls. The downstairs dunny was swampy, too. But that's normal. Ha ! So Our Man Tim came and deblocked the blockage on the roof gully and hopefully it won't happen again - at least for another few weeks. It doesn't help the decor.

    So it was out in the pouring rain to chose our Christmas tree from the "Lorry Old Farm Shop" - which we did - and it has since been delivered. In fact, I smelt it before I saw it, lurking in the hallway. Then we went to see the parental unit to make sure they were okay. And they were.

    So now it's time to drag in some more logs, light the fire and burn some sausages.

    Really enjoyed the cricket blog. All so summery. Enjoy !

    H x