Almanac Cricket – NZ v Aust, First Test, Day 4: Aotearoa Dispatches

Grey skies greeted us on what we were hoping would see us wrap up the win. I got out early to get to some of Wellington’s excellent record stores but even they were now infected with predominately brand new expensive reissues. Even the Flying Nun Records store had not escaped the evil clutches of Taylor Swift.


With the cloud high and clearing, Ravindra continued to defy the visitors with Mitchell the support act. Cummings brought on Lyon early to try and call out Ravindra’s off the back foot counter attacking shots. After switching to the Adelaide Rd end Lyon got the breakthrough with Ravindra caught on the boundary line by Green; breaking the hearts of the locals in the still very busy Basin.


From here the disgruntled murmurs of day two from the local and the chirping from the Aussies returned. With more than 200 to still chase the Black Caps fell apart. Head caught Blundell off Lyon for a duck which brought on Phillps who by far had been the best player for the hosts.


Lyon struck again after a mere seven balls of GP’s second stint at the wicket; plum LBW. The wicket was made to look even more plum after a desperate review. There was resistance with odd four or six but Lyon had six of his own by the end with Hazelwood taking a catch off his own bowling to win the Test.


We celebrated and noticed Big Mervyn leading his tour group around like a bright yellow – slightly sinister looking – version of the pied piper. A slow walk around the ground was required to take in the last of this magnificent ground in the bright sun. One of the truly great venues.


After a few celebratory beers I broke from the others to take advantage of the early finish and check out the high-flying Wellington Phoenix at the Cake Tin. A raucous atmosphere ensued as they knocked off Adelaide 3-1 to be 12 games unbeaten. Extremely chuffed for my Perth Glory’s distance derby rivals.


On the walk back in to town my Perth Glory jacket was noticed by a ‘Nix fan and I was invited to have a beer at the nearby Old Baily. The fan was telling me the place was full of ‘the Aussies’ who didn’t take up his offer of a ticket to the Cake Tin. Little did I know the Aussies he was referring to was the Australian cricket team having celebratory drinks.


I kept my distance but when they’re at the bar ordering surely a couple of selfies with the West Australians won’t hurt? Of course not. Mitch’s ‘demeanour’ certainly backed up his Allan Border medal speech of sometimes hitting the beers. All of them were terribly nice but I’m not quite in Pat’s chat group just yet. Banfield was not mentioned. I floated to where the other boys were a couple not quite believing running in to the team and being a complete middle aged fanboy.


A final night in Wellington was seen off at ‘the Bond’, a bizarre sports bar I came across when last in Wellington. The decor of ensign red carpet and fake gold trim columns are matched by a picture wall of bizarre New Zealand sporting legends (mostly race horses) and all looked like the set of some awful sci-fi film where the British colonise Mars and to keep the sun always shining on the British Empire. They’d be playing cricket there I guess.


Onwards to Christchurch. Wellington on and off the field was wonderful.












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About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Dilettante. Traffic Nerd. Behind the Almanac World Cup 100. Keen Cat, Cardie, Socceroo/Matilda, Glory Bhoy.


  1. Enjoyed your dispatches DG. What makes Basin Reserve such a favourite? Is it a particularly quaint or picturesque ground? How much is the city and the setting.
    Eden Park has the aura but I guess that’s just because of the All Blacks. Haven’t been beyond Auckland and the Bay of Plenty ourselves but planning a longer trip later this year. The World Triathlon championships are on Lake Taupo in November and we have a friend who hopes to be one of 3 Kiwis to qualify for the Over 60’s event. We are off to Port Macquarie in May to see him strive for a qualifying time at the Aussie Champs.
    My duties are to get him and his bike to the start line. I get tired just watching.

  2. Thanks Peter.

    I think with the Basin it’s about the fact it’s a small suburban ground in the middle of roundabout. Wherever you look youbeither see the imposing Mt Cook or other spectacular sights.

    When we now have to deal with a rubdown WACA or soulless optus for games now a lot of other cricket grounds are spectacular in comparison.

  3. Enjoy, Dennis.

    I have a couple of mates going to Christchurch – sadly, I was unable to join them.

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