There is something about seeing a player in the flesh for the first time; especially when it is a player making his first appearance on the international stage following a few years of being talked up around the domestic traps.
Tom Bruce has been mentioned as a future international from the day he made his first class debut, and that is not just because he grew up in Te Kuiti; hardly a hotbed of New Zealand cricket.
Here he came in with his side in trouble, at 46/3 in the sixth over. Munro was crouching and bouncing his way along OK at the other end, but the spinners were on and New Zealand had just lost a couple of quick wickets.
He started conservatively enough; 9 singles from his first 11 balls, with orthodox limited overs batting.
Then seam returned to the attack in the form of Rubel Hussein and we got to see what the fuss is about. A short-arm jab of a pull shot effortlessly cleared the ropes, and he was away. A couple of Yorkers were then worked away from twos.
The role from there was back to one of supporting Colin Munro as he went through his full party bag of lap shots, off side lofted drives, and reverse sweeps. When the player at the other end is scoring 28 off an over you are not there to dominate the strike.
There were a couple of muscular heaves over extra cover for boundaries, a delicate flick over fine leg, and a perfectly placed back cut.
When he brought up his half century (32 balls, SR 156.3) it went almost unnoticed given the Munro carnage that had gone on at the other end.
A conventional sweep for four followed along with a (failed) reverse sweep. He finished on 59*off 39.
An innings like that in a player’s second international would normally be a headline grabber.
It was leg side dominated, as you would expect from a batsman known for his achievements in the shorter versions of the game. And we learnt in the Bangladesh chase he can fill in with the gloves if he needs to as well; match-winning catch and all.
This is IPL Auction time. New Zealand has yet to have a player who has been picked up in that particular market who has not been an established test player. For now.