Pitch report: Seddon Park
End names: Members End, City End
Home team: Northern Districts
Test history: 21 games – 9 home wins, 6 away wins, 6 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
New Zealand trotted out comfortable winners over Pakistan in a match contested on the quicker side of Seddon Park on a sporting wicket with a healthy green tinge.
Pakistan, minus Misbah-ul-Haq who was suspended for a slow over-rate in the first Test, won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat.
The match proved to be a test of who could cope best with seam bowling with both sides sporting decent fast bowling options and the answer was New Zealand with Ross Taylor’s unbeaten second innings hundred proving decisive.
Happy Hunting ground
Kane Williamson has scored 406 runs at the venue in ten innings but his average here is below his career average and he has only struck one century in ten attempts.
Neil Wagner has 13 wickets at Seddon Park to his name and is the leading bowler currently available with Tim Southee, who has bagged 34 wickets there, out injured.
Hashim Amla is the only top-order batsman in the squad who played here in 2012 he made 16 and 46 not out in South Africa’s nine wicket win.
Vernon Philander claimed career best figures here in 2012 picking up a ten wicket match haul.
After inspecting the pitch Proteas coach Russell Domingo said: “Everyone was saying it was going to be a dustbowl, but it doesn’t look like a dustbowl at the moment.
“I know it’s three days out, but it looks a good wicket.”
Curator Karl Johnson said: We have had a lot of cricket on the rest of our wicket block, so we have obviously got some used strips. But the pitch that they’re going to play the match on has pretty good grass cover on it.”
It doesn’t look good to be honest.
Saturday: Rain becoming persistent
Monday: Rain with light winds
Tuesday: Showers with light winds
Wednesday: Showers. Light winds.
It could prove tricky to bat last on this pitch but that may be academic if the weather doesn’t play along.
For all the talk of how the wicket will play the grass cover should hold the wicket together while underneath is ultimately a sluggish surface that shouldn’t challenge the better batsmen.
We will need something special to happen to get a result.
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