Pitch Report: Hagley Oval
Home Team: Canterbury
Test History: 3 (2 home wins 1 away win)
Last 3 Tests: 2 home wins, 1 away win
Last 3 tosses: 3 bowled first (2 wins,1 defeat)
While the first recorded match at the Hagley oval in Christchurch was in 1887, the historic venue had never hosted a Test until Boxing Day 2014, where the Black Caps took on Sri Lanka.
The ground’s international debut was nearly a year earlier, when it hosted Scotland and Canada in a World Cup qualifier. A week later, Scotland defeated Kenya here too, and until 26 December 2014, that was the only international mens’ game the venue saw.
The venue was badly damaged by the earthquake in 2011, when it was Lancaster Park, and it had to be rebuilt to its current form. There had actually been no Test cricket in Christchurch since 2006, at AMI Stadium, until 2014.
Getting the ground accredited as a Test venue was actually quite controversial and required a court case, as some felt the historic nature would be lost, and there are still no permanent floodlights at the ground.
It was approved as a venue for the 2015 World Cup too, where temporary seating and light towers were added. They had to be removed after the World Cup, according to the ruling by the environmental court.
Another earthquake struck the venue in the build up to the Test against Pakistan late last year but the ground was given the all clear to host the match.
Last Time Out
New Zealand inserted Pakistan and quickly skittled the tourists for 133 with Colin de Grandhomme taking 6 for 41 in his debut Test.
The Black Caps scrapped and fought their way to 200 thanks largely to opener Jeet Raval’s 55.
The Kiwi seamers made merry in the second Pakistan innings too bowling them out for 171 with three wickets a piece for Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner.
Kane Williamson hit 61 in the chase while Raval ended unbeaten on 36 as New Zealand won by 8 wickets.
In the build up to the Test against Pakistan New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said: “The pitch has good pace and bounce, which stays throughout.
“And I think it turns into a pretty flat surface. It’s one of those surfaces where you are going to need to have resources to bowl a lot of overs, rather than think you’re going to bowl them out in a session and a half. I don’t think it’s going to be like that.”
Happy Hunting Ground
Kane Williamson averages just over fifty in three Tests at the ground with his highest score the 97 he hit against Australia in February.
Boult has taken fifteen wickets in three Tests at the Hagley oval while de Grandhomme and Wagner are the only men to take five fors at the ground
Bangladesh have never played a Test at the Hagley Oval.
There is some bad weather around with day three on Sunday highly likely to see rain delays.
There should be a little something for everyone in this pitch, quality pace bowling could prove hard to handle but the bounce should be true making run scoring pretty straight forward once batsman are settled.
Bangladesh showed in the first Test that they will not shrink from the challenge of playing on seam-friendly wickets and gave as good as they got until their second innings collapse.
This should be an enthralling contest on a result wicket.
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