As we've mentioned just once or twice before, cricket is our true sporting love; especially test cricket. And that's why whenever there's a test match on in Wellington, we try to get down for at least one day.
That's why blogging will be a bit light over the next day or two, although if we find Wi-Fi, we have the iPad with us. We're on our way down to the capital to watch the start of play in the final test match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Basin Reserve. And instead of doing our normal down-and-back-in-a-day routine, we're planning on staying down in Wellington tonight, and heading back to the cricket tomorrow.
New Zealand got beaten up pretty badly by the Proteas in Hamilton, and it would be easy to throw up one's hands and walk away from them. But true supporters stick by their teams through thick and thin, and our 50-year love affair with the New Zealand cricket team isn't going to end any time soon.
The pitch at Wellington is going to make this match an interesting contest to say the least. It's been under cover since Sunday, but the grounds staff anticipated this week's crappy weather, and it won't lack for preparation. But it could be a very unfamiliar surface for the South Africans, who will also have to contend with Wellington's unique challenge; bowling over after over into a howling northerly or a biting southerly.
The New Zealand side has a better balance to it for this match, with six specialist batsmen and just four front-line bowlers. There were hints during the week that Daniel Vettori could miss out on this match; Wellington hasn't been a spin-friendly track in recent seasons, and let's not forget that when the Black Caps beat Australia in Hobart, Vettori was sidelined through injury. It would be a bold move to drop the veteran spinner, but if there's moisture in the pitch, then we have to pick the best team for the conditions, and that could see either Trent Boult or Andrew Ellis come into the picture.
So we're hoping for a good day's cricket today, and we'll probably be around until mid-afternoon tomorrow. Tonight will find us watching the Hurricanes vs Blues match somewhere, whilst enjoying an ale or two (once the car is safely parked up).
So that's our plans for the next 36 hours or so; all we need now is for the weather to play the game, and for the Black Caps to knuckle down and compete.