Green wicket dominates day one in Napier
McLean Park played tricks on the batsmen on day one of the Plunket Shield match between the Northern Knights and Central Stags.
Fifteen wickets fell in Napier today on a wicket that is regarded as a batsman's paradise. The visitors were rolled for 195 before the hosts struggled to 109-5 in reply at stumps in the scheduled four-day encounter.
Knights coach James Pamment said the wicket posed problems all day for the batsmen.
"It was very green, very seam-bowler friendly conditions this morning and we toiled manfully to get to about 80 for one," he said last night.
"They did get good line and length before lunchtime - it was very demanding. None of our batsmen made critical errors, it was just they were victims of the surface assisting the bowlers."
None of the Knights batsmen managed to register a half-century as the visitors were dismissed in just 60.3 overs, with skipper and opener Daniel Flynn top-scoring with 41 after the Knights were asked to bat first for the fifth time in six first-class matches this season.
Pamment said the small score certainly wasn't due to any hangovers from his team's HRV Twenty20 title win in Hamilton last Saturday.
"Not at all - they've prepared very well," Pamment said of his troops.
"There was no ill-discipline at all. There were two or three guys who genuinely played forward defensive shots and just got outside edges - Daniel Flynn and Daryl Mitchell among them.
"They worked very hard on a demanding surface and hopefully in the second innings when it is a little flatter they can play with the equal amount of discipline and cash in a bit."
With the ball still nipping around into the evening session, the Stags were reduced to 71-5 before Greg Hay (29 not out) and Kruger van Wyk (17 not out) steadied the ship somewhat.
"We bowled good areas and asked a couple of questions," Pamment said.
"They scored a lot of their runs behind the wicket too.
"The two players batting at the moment are very similar players; they both score their runs in very similar areas. We'll have to be disciplined and make them play down the ground and not give them anything free short."