Westpac Stadium

Published: Saturday, January 1, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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A multipurpose venue, the Stadium was built to replace the aging Athletic Park rugby ground. Its circular nature offers more consistency with scoring areas unlike the traditional rugby grounds used for cricket. It has only been used for one-day internationals so far, as test matches usually coincide with other codes. Its dome shape provides an electric atmosphere and therefore viewing is consistent throughout the ground. It was established in 1999 and held its first cricket match on January 8, which was rain affected.

The Wicket:The wicket is Patamahoe clay, and produces a good even surface providing the weather stays fine. History shows that batting first will inevitably have an advantage, as the wicket tends to slow up as the game wears on. However, sides batting second have often given a bit of a fright to the bowling side, such as South Africa and Pakistan in 2004 and New Zealand's narrow failure to chase a score in excess of 320 against Australia.

The Outfield:As noted earlier the dome shape provides no distinct advantages for batsmen, the boundaries being of similar size. The outfield generally remains even for scoring, as good drainage has been put in place.

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