My corner of the oval

… thoughts from a Kiwi cricket fan

Impressions of Karori Park

on December 15, 2012

I was most disappointed this week, actually, to be stuck in the office at work … while the Wellington Firebirds and Central Stags were doing battle in the Plunket Shield domestic men’s 4-day competition at Karori Park in Wellington.

Since making it’s first-class cricket debut at the end of last season, the staff and grounds staff at the facility have gone out of their way, it seems, to make any cricket the Firebirds (and opposition) play at the ground, a pleasurable and enjoyable experience.

Fortunately, Wednesday evening after work, it was such a beautiful sunny afternoon in Wellington, that I was able to hasten from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping in the CBD … and found myself in a little piece of cricket paradise for the last hour or so of the day’s play:

Village cricket in Karori?

Village cricket in Karori

I actually arrived at the ground just in time to see the last Central Stags’ batsmen (in their second innings at bat) lost his wicket to a catch to Josh Brodie, which set the home team a target of 247 runs to begin to eat into over the next day (and 12 overs remaining in that evening).

I was fortunate to be able to find a vacant park bench on the side of the boundary … fortunate, in that the game was definitely well attended by fans seated along the “embankments” of the ground, as well as people walking their dogs around the pathways that run around the outside of the ground; people jogging and riding bicycles … it was a casual, laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, that was extremely enjoyable to watch cricket in!

Josh Brodie and Steven Murdoch for the Firebirds fell cheaply to the opening bowlers of the Stags, and it was Michael Papps (77 not out) and Scott Kuggeleijn (142 not out) who ultimately batted intelligently and, on the final day, saw the home side to victory.

It was also very pleasing to see a “cameo” from Jesse Ryder as he ambled to the crease (he always seems to be so relaxed, does our Jesse! 🙂 ) at number 4 in the batting order, going through a few “swings and misses” before finally connecting to a couple of deliveries and scoring four boundaries (including a 6 over the ropes) in his 19 runs off 12 balls.  Hopefully his good form with the bat can continue right the way through the summer, whether he is playing for his domestic team or gets called back into international duties later on – he deserves to keep batting well for a lot longer yet!

Of course, while I miss the convenience and top-rated environment of the Hawkins Basin Reserve … and can’t WAIT to be back there when these two sides once again battle it out on the cricket field, this time in a 20/20 fixture on Boxing Day this year … we would seem to be incredibly fortunate and blessed to have THREE top class cricket grounds in Wellington these days!

Wellington Firebirds v Central Stags, 10-13 December 2012, Plunket Shield scorecard

Enjoying the cricket at Karori Park

Enjoying the cricket at Karori Park

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