In the Media
BAY OVAL READY TO HOST BOXING DAY TEST MATCH
The Bay Oval is set to receive the best possible Christmas present, when the Black Caps square off with Pakistan, in the eagerly anticipated Boxing Day test match.
Last seasons New Zealand verses England test at the Bay Oval, which attracted the best crowd numbers seen at a test match in the country for many a long day, almost certainly guaranteed another five-day international in the near future.
A wicket that produces plenty of runs but also gives assistance to the bowlers, coupled with the big holiday crowds that flock to Mount Maunganui during the festive season, proved a powerful incentive for New Zealand Cricket to allocate the 2020 Boxing Day test to the Bay Oval.
Pakistan are no strangers to our shores, having made sixteen tours of the country, since the first three match test series at the Basin Reserve, Eden Park and Lancaster Park in the 1964-65 season. In the days before One-Day Internationals became the norm, the first tour saw the visitors play all six major associations, in addition to the test matches.
Three of the recent tours in 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2017/18, have featured just ODI and T20 International encounters. Pakistan has taken the honours in the 13 test match series played in New Zealand, in winning seven including two one-off encounters, with four draws and just two New Zealand series wins.
However of the all encounters played between New Zealand and Pakistan, since they first met in Pakistan in 1955 - there is none more dramatic than the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final at Eden Park in 1992. With a first World Cup final appearance at stake for both sides, there was a do or die attitude on display from both New Zealand and Pakistan.
New Zealand, with home advantage, won the toss and elected to bat first. Captain Martin Crowe, who enjoyed a superb tournament, led the way with 91 off 83 balls, supported by Ken Rutherford (50) as the Black Caps finished on 262/7.
In reply, Ramiz Raja and captain Imran Khan both struck 44, but needing 123 from the final 15 overs, it looked like a debut final appearance was out of reach for Pakistan.
Step forward a 22-year-old Inzamam-ul-Haq, who simply blew New Zealand away with a blistering 60 off just 37 balls. While he was run out 36 runs short of the target, Javed Miandad (57no) and Moin Khan (20no) helped Pakistan to victory with an over remaining, which left many Kiwi cricket fans in near tears.
Surprisingly, the Boxing Day visit of Pakistan is just their second appearance at the Bay Oval. On the evening of 28th January 2018, the Black Caps met Pakistan in a T20 International game at the Blake Park cricket venue.
Pakistan batted first and reached 181 for the loss of six wickets. Fakhar Zaman top scored with 46, with spinners Mitchel Santner and Ish Sodhi both taking two wickets.
New Zealand limited overs master blaster Martin Guptil, anchored his sides reply smacking 59 off 43 balls, which included four big heaves over the Bay Oval white picket fence. Batting at four Tom Bruce was dismissed for 22, before Ross Taylor came in at number six to belt a quick-fire 25 off just 11 balls.
When Taylor was dismissed the Black Caps were behind the eight ball 128/8, with an unbeaten 24 from Mitchell Santner, not enough to prevent an 18 run Black Cap loss.