Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

New Zealand v Australia, first Test, Wellington, second day

Barracking and BYC at the Basin

Clarke and Bollinger made it an Aussie day, but wood-fired pizzas and a chance to inspect the pitch gave this Kiwi supporter something to cheer about

Sam Grayling

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Michael Clarke unleashes a crisp drive, New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, 2nd day, Wellington, March 20, 2010
Michael Clarke gave a lesson in Test batting © Getty Images
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The game
It doesn't get better than the Trans-Tasman sporting rivalry. On day two I was optimistic of a quick couple of wickets to bring New Zealand back into the match, but was wary of Michael Clarke taking the game away early.

Team supported
New Zealand, always.

Key performers
Doug Bollinger, who took 2 for 21. He bowled opener BJ Watling for a duck, which gave New Zealand that horrible sinking feeling.

One thing I'd have changed
The weather didn't quite perform as well as the morning had indicated it would. And a life to Ross Taylor would have been outstanding.

Face-off I relished
Bollinger's short bowling, especially to Daniel Vettori. The bowler gave a couple of Kiwis a cherry or two to remember the day by.

A hat, sunscreen and sunglasses were a must, when there wasn't a cloud in the sky this morning. But a jersey for the late-day wind would have really improved things.

Filling the gaps
They let us on the field during lunch, so we went and had an inspection of the pitch. There were a few games of backyard cricket on the field too, which was a nice touch.

Player watch
Ryan Harris denied some kids autographs, and the crowd gave him plenty for it.

Shot of the day
For the first half hour Clarke was putting everything through covers and mid-off. I'd struggle to pick one in particular because they were all outstanding.

Crowd meter
The "Get your tie off" chant went round the embankment whenever a "suit" dared walk on that side of the ground. "Sign the bat Harris, sign the bat" went on when Harris was refusing the kids. Most of the crowd clearly supported New Zealand, but a group of Aussies were quite vocal. Clarke got a standing ovation and Bollinger managed to become a bit of a crowd favourite. But I think the crowd was at its loudest when chanting for a kid's game where some superb skills were displayed.

There was a good cricket competition for the kids at lunch. For food there were more options than the games I have been to in the past. There were some good quality wood-fired pizzas - a little pricey, perhaps - Indian food, good chips, carni-dogs etc

Tests v limited-overs
There is nothing better than arriving for the first ball of the day at a Test match. It doesn't have the cheap-thrills atmosphere of a Twenty20, and you know the crowd is full of fans who understand the nuances of the game.

Marks out of 10
6. Clarke gave a brilliant display of how to bat in a Test and Bollinger bowled superbly. It would have been nice to see a bit more from the New Zealand side. Nonetheless, it was promising to see Martin Guptill's patience.

It's always good to see the quality that some of the Australians bring to the game but in the end, the day lacked a really good contest.

Sam Grayling is a 21-year-old university graduate working on his accounting qualifications. He is new to Wellington and loves the amount of international cricket he gets to watch in the city. His proudest cricketing moment was leading the mighty Uni-grange Golds (4ths) to victory over the Uni-grange Blues (3rds) last year. He likes to listen to Crowded House, Split Enz and Shihad.

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