Almanac Cricket – NZ v Aust, First Test: Day 3 – Aotearoa dispatches



Day 3 in Wellington saw sore heads wake up to grey skies very reminiscent of the first day. It wasn’t wet but it didn’t seem it wouldn’t be long before the threatening clouds opened up.

We went back to Joe’s Garage again to fuel up with a smattering of cricket fans. The wake up times getting later, the convo less frequent with a walk up the hill a little bit more difficult. Our recovering bodies deteriorating a but like a Test pitch.

Once back in The Basin right before the start we arrived at our seats to see someone with media pass on display talking to the people next to us in one of our seats. It was Citrus Bob.

The morning was dark in the sky but Lyon lashed out as Uzi kept it in check.

Part way through the session Bob was off to do ABC Melbourne duties as we counted those coming in for dress up day. We went with the cork hats with sandpaper trim for our outfit. Understated and self-deprecating, we thought. A stumping chance for the Kiwis against Uzi which we seemed to get away with before the third umpire said otherwise and it was here the innings changed and smugness drained from the viewing Aussies in the crowd.

At lunch Bob returned from his broadcast duties and we tried to do the traditional lunch time walk on to the field. Shoes off was the best way to truly appreciate The Basin I was told by a random very friendly gent at the Welsh bar after Day 1.

We were primed but then denied by security in one of the first showings of actual kill-joy behaviour in Wellington. As the MC was doing his very impotent best dressed competition on the field we decided the hill was the place to go as Bob went off to the media area to have another crack at getting in. I pointed out Craig Hutchison doing his best in one the hospitality areas saying he might do you a favour.

Whilst the hill was a more laid back and laconic part of the ground Glenn Phillips was given the ball and started to smash the Aussie line up with his almost grade cricket way of bowling. After running in to Travis Head’s father who proclaimed he also still ‘proud of his sperm’ for his catch on day two the South Australian was out cheaply again.

Then the big Byson came to bat. We were primed on the hill, a few beers in, and ready to watch a WA partnership dig Australia out. Again.  The colossus of a human being who decided to go for a golden duck. Then it was another cheap dismissal to Carey who played a weak shot to the kiwi captain even for a number seven.

We still had Cam though….well, he did have Cam. He was soon gone with GP, who hadn’t bowled a ball in the first innings, have five. The storm clouds were literally and figuratively swirling around. A group of boys from Kyneton next to us defended Australia when any comment was made by a Kiwi dressed as a giant hot dog or a Kiwi bird for fancy dress but the home crowd now had some hope when if had forced the follow on could have been wrapped up.

The best bowler of the first innings, Henry, skittled both Starc and Captain Pat to wind up the innings. In the innings break discussion was on what what have beens. What if we didn’t have that ninth wicket stand? What if Lyon didn’t step up as night watchman.

With 369 to catch Lyon was introduced early delivering with a wicket maiden removing Latham. Out came Kane to atone for his ridiculous run out. Kane lasted for a couple of nicely worked fours before Lyon also had him. A quiet in-taking of breath around the ground from the Kiwis seeing their hero go cheaply again punctuated by a few ‘see ya Kane!” From the Aussies.

From here Mitchell was a support act to Ravindra who got his and the team’s rhythm back hitting our bowling around to put a full stop on a day won by the hosts who put on some pressure after drooling at the moon with donkey-like wonder the first couple of days.

Another topsy turvy and unpredictable day of excellent cricket. New Zealand still need to a miracle, it’s just a minor one now.


About Dennis Gedling

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


  1. Ta Dennis, good seeing these updates from ‘Windy Wellington’. It looks like another Aussie victory. However the win papers over the weaknesses in the side, weaknesses that need addressing prior to taking on India later in the year.

    Yes we beat India in the World Test Championship earlier in 2023, however India has won the last two series in Australia. To knock them off now our batting needs to lift. Take away Cameron Green no one else passed fifty in this match, the next highest scores being extras in the first innings, Nathan Lyon in the second innings, both tallying 41. Not much else to recommend about the batting.

    The questions about Stephen Smith as an opener remain unanswered. Usman Khawaja is steady though you wonder about what is left in the tank. Travis Head is a feast or famine, Cameron Green is in superb form. Mitchell Marsh did well in the first innings, then there’s Marnus Labuschagne.

    Since the start of 2023 Marnus has only scored the sole century with six half centuries, this in thirty plus innings. In this match he’s failed twice. Is it time for Matthew Renshaw to get a recall? If not now when? Matthew Renshaw in for the second test of this series is certainly worth considering. You’d hope our upper order is settled prior to playing India.


  2. Mickey Randall says

    Thanks for these Dennis. I’d love to get there one day. In my mind the Joe’s Garage bar is part homage to the Frank Zappa triple album and another reason for me to get over there!

  3. Whilst Smith has been less than convincing so far, somehow I believe the Selectors will stay with him for the next test. Green certainly has risen to the challenge and is in excellent touch. Manus appears to have the yips. Head is going through a horror patch and looks likely to get out every ball he faces at the moment. For all that, somehow I very much doubt if the Selectors will see fit to change a winning team. Time, of course, will tell.

  4. Malcolm Rulebook Ashwood says

    Thanks Dennis yes our batting is a huge concern – Head pair in Brisbane then bizarrely,CA don’t let him play either of the next couple of shield games and plays the 3 hit and giggle games

  5. Thanks for the comments guys.

    On relation to head he seems to be very boom and bust. Green stayed behind to do a shield game at Belrieve and look how that worked out.

    Smith at least carried his bat at the Gabba so we can persist.

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