The Wellington Cricket Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium situated in the capital city of New Zealand.
Owned and operated by the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust, the 34,500-capacity stadium is home to the Wellington Firebirds men’s and women’s cricket teams, both highly successful in New Zealand’s first-class domestic circuit.
Also known as the Sky Stadium due to commercial reasons, the ground hosts various other sports as well apart from cricket. As far as football is concerned, the venue is home to A-League team Wellington Phoenix FC, with their supporters labelling the stadium as "The Ring of Fire".
The New Zealand national football team plays its home games at this venue. Moreover, the Sky Stadium is set to host several matches for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.
Talking about cricket, the venue is yet to stage a Test match in its 22 year-old-history. The Wellington Cricket Stadium hosted its first-ever international game on 8th January 2000, five days after it was officially opened.
The inaugural game at this ground saw the Kiwis face the Windies in the fourth ODI of the West Indies tour of New Zealand 1999-2000. The hosts emerged victorious by eight wickets.
The Wellington Cricket Stadium has hosted 15 T20Is so far. Here’s a look at the T20I records at the ground.
Wellington Cricket Stadium T20I records
Highest total: The highest total in a T20I match at the Wellington Cricket Stadium is 219/6 made by New Zealand in the first T20I of the India tour of New Zealand 2019. Kiwi all-rounder Daryl Mitchell made their international debut in the 20-over format.
Wicket-keeper Tim Seifert scored a breezy 43-ball 84 to help his team post a mammoth total. In reply, India could only score 139/10 in their quota of 20 overs, facing an 80-run defeat in the process.
Lowest total: The lowest total recorded in a T20I match at the Wellington Cricket Stadium is 101/9 made by Pakistan against New Zealand in January 2016.
New Zealand’s Corey Anderson scored a fiery 82* off 42 balls as New Zealand set a target of 197 for the Men in Green. Thereafter, the hosts’ pace-bowling duo of Adam Milne and Grant Elliot took three wickets each to restrict the visitors to a mere 101/9, leading their team to a 95-run victory.
Highest individual score: New Zealand wicket-keeper batter Tim Seifert holds the record for the highest individual score in a T20I at this stadium.
He smashed a 43-ball 84 against the Indian team in the first T20I of the India tour of New Zealand 2019. The knock, played at a brilliant strike rate of 195.34, featured seven fours and six maximums.
Best bowling: Aussie spinner Ashton Agar holds the record for best bowling figures in a T20I match at the Wellington Cricket Stadium.
In the third T20I of the Australia tour of New Zealand 2021, the visitors posted a massive total of 208/4 courtesy fifties by Josh Philippe, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and skipper Aaron Finch.
In reply, the Kiwis were bundled out for 144 in 17.1 overs as their batters were no match to Agar’s lethal spell of 6/30. In the end, Australia won the match convincingly by 64 runs.
Highest partnership: The English pair of Michael Lumb and Alex Hales holds the record for the highest partnership of 143* runs at the Wellington Cricket Stadium.
In the third T20I of the England tour of New Zealand 2013, the hosts posted a total of 139/8 in 20 overs.
Chasing a target of 140 runs, Michael Lumb and Alex Hales stitched an unbeaten opening stand of 143 runs as the Stuart Broad-led side won the one-sided contest by 10 wickets, with more than seven overs to spare.
The only other instance of a 100-run partnership at the venue was in the fifth T20I of the Australia tour of New Zealand 2021.
Openers Martin Guptill and Devon Conway scored 71 off 46 and 36 off 28, respectively, to guide their team to a seven-wicket win in the final T20I of the tour, winning the series by 3-2.
Featured photo: MARTY MELVILLE / AFP