Tradition and today come together at the Bay Oval this season
The country's newest international ground and the traditions of the game will come together at the Bay Oval, on four occasions this summer.
Northern Districts Women, will play back-to-back Halliburton Johnston Shield fixtures against the Canterbury Magicians, on the 9th and 10th of December 2023.
The Halliburton Johnston Shield dates back to the 1935-36 season, when New Zealand politician Halliburton Johnston, presented a trophy to Auckland as a first-class challenge trophy. The first match was played in February 1936, with Wellington taking the new cricket prize home courtesy of a ten-wicket win.
Today the Halliburton Johnston Shield is the premier NZC women’s domestic prize, played as a 50-over per team competition.
Northern Districts Women won't lack motivation went they walk out on the Bay Oval in December, having never won the Halliburton Johnston trophy, with second behind Auckland five seasons ago their best result.
The NZC website tells us "The Plunket Shield first-class championship is one of the country’s most demanding sporting competition. It consists of hard-fought four-day cricket played at first-class venues right across New Zealand". "This is the red ball arena, the place where future Black Cap test players are discovered".
The twists and turns of four-day cricket were never better displayed, than the match-up between hosts Northern Districts and long-time rivals Central Districts in a Plunket Shield match, at the Bay Oval in March 2023.
The home side batted first and posted an impressive total when they were dismissed for 513. Mitchell Santner (136) Jeet Raval (119) and Bharat Popli (105) all reached three figures before dismissal. Northern Districts were in the box seat after they removed the visitors for 245 to lead by 268 runs. Brad Schmulian top scored with 108.
A number of quick wickets taken by the Central Districts bowlers, resulted in the hosts declaring, at seven down with 194 runs on the scoreboard. Central Districts looked to be shut out of the game in chasing 464 for victory.
Greg Hay and Tom Bruce came together with CD in real trouble at 74/4. The pair stuck like glue out in the centre of the Bay Oval, putting on a fifth-wicket partnership of 270, before Hay was removed for 150.
Doug Bracewell continued the momentum with a quickfire 50 off 33 balls. When Tom Bruce's wicket fell at the 161 run mark, his side was just 36 runs short of a colossal upset.
Prior to the advent of the one-day fifty-over per side cricket in the 1971-72 season, the country's six major associations existed on a diet of four day cricket.
The introduction of One-Day cricket changed the cricket scene forever. The first One Day International was played between Australia and England at the MCG when the first three days of the scheduled test match were washed out.
Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which broke away from the cricket establishment, introduced a number of innovations, such as coloured uniforms and games at night under floodlights.
The 18th February 2024, will see NZC Major Association One-Day cricket return to the Bay Oval after an eight-year absence, with a rare Ford Trophy match. Northern Districts will host the competition's most successful side, in Canterbury, who have won the NZC One-Day title race on 15 occasions.
Halliburton Johnston Shield
9th&10th December 2023. ND Women v Canterbury Magicians
29 February-3 March 2024. Northern Districts v Central Districts
18 February 2024. Northern Districts v Canterbury