A quick peek at Seddon Park
End names: Members End, City End
Home team: Northern Districts
Test history: 22 games – 9 home wins, 6 away wins, 7 draws
The ground is located close to the centre of Hamilton, New Zealand’s fifth largest city 150 kilometres south of Auckland, and is renowned for it’s village green-style setting, affording a picnic atmosphere for spectators.
Known as Seddon Park, having been named for former New Zealand Prime Minister Richard John (King Dick) Seddon, the track has a history of favouring spin bowlers.
Originally outfitted for cricket, Seddon Park is a well-grassed stadium with a centre block of nine pitches, running approximately North/South.
It is usually a very good batting track depending on preparation and which side of the ground the strip is on.
Seddon Park has nine pitch strips. The five strips on the city side of the wicket block are Patumahoe clay, the four on the Frankton side of the ground are Waikari. Out the back the nets are also split and are prepared to as closely replicate the wicket block as possible.
The Waikiri side is known to be slower and favour spin while the Patumahoe side is quicker.
There is a grass embankment going around three-quarters around the venue.
Last time out
Rain ruined the contest between New Zealand and South Africa with the hosts seemingly on the brink of victory.
Quiton de Kock’s 90 rescued the Proteas from a tricky situation in their first innings but Kane Williamson’s 178 stole the headlines.
Rain washed out day five and allowed the Proteas to sneak a series win.
Happy Hunting ground
Kane Williamson has scored 584 runs at the venue in ten innings including a big ton in his last outing here.
Tim Southee’s 34 wickets at the venue make the returning quick the leading wicket-taker at the ground in the current squad.
Kraigg Brathwaite’s hit 52 runs in two innings here in 2013, he is the only Windies player in the current squad to have played in Hamilton in Test cricket.
Groundsman Karl Johnson warns against the notion that the grass on the pitch will allow ample seam movement: “Asian teams and even the West Indians, they see these pitches and they wonder whether our mowers are broken down.
“People think they’re going to seam round, but they don’t. We run ryegrass on them, and that assists the pace of the ball, when it kisses off.
“At this stage I’ve got it to where I need it to be, and I don’t want to add any water to it now. It’s a bit of a holding pattern at the moment. Tomorrow It’ll probably get a sneaky little roll early in the morning, because if I roll during the heat of the day it can actually change the colour of the grass really quick.”
The weather looks well set to play along and allow a result this time around.
The pitch is expected to play true but it should offer some assistance for the fast bowlers with the new ball.
Once batsmen are settled they should find it reasonably easy to score.
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