The first day of the first cricket test between Pakistan and New Zealand has ended. A terrific fightback from Kane Williamson and Tim Southee has brought the Black Caps back into the match. They were almost dead and buried at 7/177, but an unbeaten partnership of 83 will see them resume at 7/260. The first-day honours went to the visitors though, but not by much.
The more we see of Williamson, the more we like the look of him. He played patiently yesterday, but looked composed and solid. He is developing into a genuine test match batsman. At the other end, Southee played probably his best test match innings to date, and is another who should flourish under John Wright's mentorship.
But the big negative for us was the Seddon Park pitch. It started the day brown and lifeless, and by stumps on the first day it was an absolute road. Unless this pitch deteriorates through the course of the match, a draw is the most likely result. That leads to our question to NZC.
This is a home test match, and surely, the conditions should favour the home side. Why has NZC allowed the Seddon Park groundsman to prepare a pitch which is positively Pakistani in nature, and which will hold no fears for the visitors? Pitches such as this one do little to encourage bowlers; nor do they encourage shotmaking. In short, it is a recipe for dull cricket which even purists such as ourselves struggle to enjoy.
We're planning on a visit to Wellington next weekend for at least one day of the test at the Basin Reserve. We hope that a more sporting pitch will have been prepared at New Zealand's best test match venue.