Cricket: Matting delays match

Player power prevailed but a stand-off resulted in play in Otago's first-class match against Auckland at the University Oval delayed by 15 minutes yesterday.

The visiting team, captained by Gareth Hopkins, was not happy about the matting protecting the test wicket and wanted it removed before beginning play.

New Zealand Cricket grounds and facilities manager Ian McKendry entered the discussion, before umpires Phil Jones and Ashley Mehrotra asked ground staff to remove the offending covering.

The other talking point was the colour of the pitch. It was left blotchy after rain got through a hole in the covers almost two weeks ago.

It did not affect the way the surface played, though, with Auckland winning the toss and electing to bat.