ICC Test Cricket leads the Bay Oval 2023-24 season lineup
Bay Oval cricket fans, will welcome two international teams and the return of the hugely popular Black Clash to the Western Bay of Plenty Cricket ground, in the fast approaching 2023-24 cricket season.
Leading the lineup, is an ICC Test Match, where "our own" Black Caps will meet what is sure to be a powerful South African eleven, in the first test of the two match series.
The five day test, kicks off on Sunday 4th February 2024, with a return to the traditional 11am start after the first day/nighter against England earlier this year.
The African nation remains unfinished business, as New Zealand have never won a Test series either at home or in South Africa, since their first meeting in the 1931/32 season. South Africa has won thirteen of the sixteen series with three drawn results.
Further fuel to the Black Caps desire to beat the South African visitors is provided by the ODI two zip loss to South Africa in October 2014. The two game contest at the Bay Oval marked the Black Caps debut at the world's (then) newest international venue.
Game One, saw South Africa win the toss and elect to field. New Zealand struggled against the South African pace attack. It was left to Luke Ronchi, batting at seven, to restore respectability to the home side with a hard fought 99 off 83 balls, as the Black Caps were bowled out for 230.
The tourists strolled home to a six wicket win, with AB de Villiers showcasing his world class batting technique, belting 89 runs at a tad under a run a over.
Game Two, produced another emphatic South African all round performance, in winning the series with a game in hand. This time, New Zealand won the coin toss and asked the visitors to bat.
A century by Hashim Amla (119), did the damage as South Africa reached 289 for the loss of nine wickets. Luke Ronchi, again stood up to be counted with 79 runs, as the Black Caps were removed 73 runs short of their target.
One of the real success stories of the Bay Oval is the large crowds that flock to the Western Bay cricket venue during the holiday period. This season, the main Christmas holiday attraction is Bangladesh, who will engage with the Black Caps in T20 International hostilities.
This will be the third occasion that Bangladesh has paid a visit to the Bay Oval. While the Black Caps posted solid victories in two T20 International encounters in 2017 - their last appearance at the Western Bay international ground sent shockwaves around the cricket world.
The Black Caps entered the New Year's Day Test in 2022, as the ICC Test champions, while their opponents sat well down the pecking order in test match rankings.
New Zealand batted first and posted what looked to be a solid total when they did dismissed for 328. Bangladesh entered the batting duel full of confidence and held a 130 run lead after they were bowled out for 458.
Abadat Hossain, then ripped through the Black Caps second turn at bat taking six wickets for 46 runs, as New Zealand were humbled for just 169. The Bangladesh victory was a mere formality as they posted the required 40 odd runs with eight wickets to spare.
A guaranteed Bay Oval sell-out will announce the annual Black Clash between Team Rugby and Team Cricket, on the 20th January 2024. Outstanding entertainment mixed in with the game of cricket, provides a huge party atmosphere for cricket fans, many who travel from all compasses of the country to take part in the carnival atmosphere.
Two seasons ago, the Black Clash roadshow arrived at the Bay Oval with Team Cricket leading the annual game series 2-1. Team Rugby's, Kieran Read, blasted 84 off just 55 balls to the delight of the rugby supporters, to even the scoreline.
Team Rugby will again want to even up the tally in 2024, after Team Cricket prevailed in the 2023 edition, fought out in Christchurch.
2023-24 Bay Oval Games Schedule:
29 December 2023 | Black Caps v Bangladesh - 7pm
31 December 2023 | Black Caps v Bangladesh - 1pm
ICC Test Match
4-8 February 2024 | Black Caps v South Africa - 11am
2024 Black Clash
20 January 2024 | Team Rugby v Team Cricket