In the Media
Summer of Cricket starts with Plunket Shield
BAY OVAL KICKS OFF A HUGE SEASON WITH A PLUNKET SHIELD GAME
The 2020/21 season is a huge six months for the Bay Oval, with West Indies and Pakistan paying return stays, along with the historic first Australian visit to the Western Bay of Plenty International cricket venue.
The highest accolade that can be paid an international ground in the southern hemisphere is a Boxing Day Test Match. That honours arrives at the Bay Oval on the 26th December 2020, when our own Black Caps go in to battle with Pakistan.
However the first professional encounter at Blake Park this season, kicks off with a Plunket Shield match between hosts Northern Districts and Otago, to be played 28th – 31st October 2020.
The NZ Cricket website tells us a little about the Plunket Shield. “The Plunket Shield first-class championship is one of New Zealand's oldest and most demanding sporting competitions comprising hard-fought, four-day cricket, played at first-class venues right across New Zealand”.
“The shield itself was donated by Lord William Lee Plunket, New Zealand's twelfth Governor, in 1907 and to this day. it is considered the most beautiful sporting prize in New Zealand with incredibly detailed silversmithery”.
“Canterbury was the first association to hold the shield, but promptly lost it to Auckland in the very first match. In those early days, the Shield was contested by challenge matches, but today teams compete in a scheduled competition across the season”.
There have been few more dramatic four-day domestic encounters played in recent times, than the Plunket Shield battle between Northern Districts and Auckland, played between 23rd and 25th October 2015. Scheduled for the regulation four days the match came to a dramatic conclusion on day three.
Both sides were packed with Black Caps with Rob Nicol, Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro, Tarun Nethula, Michael Bates, Mitchell McClenaghan and Lockie Ferguson in the Auckland side. ND also had a number of New Zealand stars in their ranks, in Daniel Flynn, Daryl Mitchell, Anton Devcich, Tim Siefert and Scott Kuggeleijn.
There was also a complement of Bay of Plenty professional players in the ND side, with Joe Carter, Bharat Popli, Brett Hampton and Jono Boult joining Rotorua born Daniel Flynn in the team.
Auckland won the toss and asked the home side to bat on a track that looked to have plenty for their bowlers. There was plenty of happiness in the Auckland camp, when they removed Northern Districts for what looked to be a meagre 124 with the first ball of the 48th over.
Bharat Popli was the best of the ND batting attack with 32 runs off 81 balls. Michael Bates did the damage for the visitors grabbing four wickets at a cost of 29 runs.
Any joy that Auckland may have felt after dismissing the hosts, quickly disappeared, as the Scott Kuggeleijn and Samoan International JD Baker ran rampant. Kuggeleijn finished with five wickets for 32 runs with Baker taking four for 44 - as Auckland were rolled for 98, in just 23.1 overs.
Northern Districts continued their hard fought advantage in their second turn at bat. Half centuries to Anton Devcich and Scott Kuggeleijn, greatly assisted Northern Districts in posting 206 all out in their second dig. Mitchell McClenaghan and Donovan Grobbelar both took three ND bowling scalps.
Set a target of 233 to win, Auckland made a positive start losing their first wicket at the 47 run mark. Their second fell just eight runs later, before Colin de Grandhomme joined Rob Nicol at the crease to change the momentum of the match with a 94 run partnership, with both batsmen posting half centuries.
Rob Nicol was the Auckland anchor, as he and Colin Munro put together a hard fought partnership of 51 runs, for the fifth wicket. The Northern Districts bowlers took two more wickets, before Auckland scrambled home to what had earlier seemed an unlikely victory, in reaching 233 for the loss of seven wickets.
Bay Oval Match Schedule 2020/21
29th November 2020 T20 - Black Caps v West Indies 2pm start
30th November 2020 T20 – Black Caps v West Indies 7pm start
3rd – 6th December 2020 Four-Day – New Zealand A v West Indies 12pm start
26th – 30th December 2020 ICC Test Match – Black Caps v Pakistan 11am start
7th March 2021 T20 - Black Caps v Australia 2pm start
14th March 2021 T20 Womens Tri-Series Final 7pm start
NZ Cricket Major Association
28th - 31st October 2020 Plunket Shield – ND v Otago 10.30am start
1st January 2021 Super Smash – ND v Wellington Doubleheader
2nd January 2021 Super Smash – ND v Otago Doubleheader
18th - 21st March 2021 Plunket Shield – ND v Wellington