It was my privilege to receive a ticket to the first One Day International between the Black Caps and Sri Lanka at the Bay Oval. It is only time before this cricket ground becomes the test venue of choice developed on a foundation of quick-draining sand, sun-filled summers, a pleasant environment and a cricket field of genuine quality.
Within the 697 runs scored on the day, we marvelled at Jimmy Neesham’s superb batting skills in taking 34 runs off Thisara Perera’s over. The difference between the two teams on the day.
Many young sportspeople would struggle to process the punishment absorbed by Thisara in that contest. How good it was to see Thisara Perera respond by scoring 140 runs off 74 balls in the second ODI! His example of resilience on the sports field, evident in his response to adversity, was an excellent message for any young person prepared to learn a little about life from competitive sport. Thisara Perera and the Sri Lankan cricket team reminded us yet again that you can be beaten on the day but you should never lose. The Black Caps have played excellent cricket to hold the edge. However, a Sri Lankan team in the process of rebuilding have revealed tenacity, strong resolve and character in contributing significantly to thoroughly entertaining cricket contests.
Gordon D Paterson, Ohauiti.