With chants like "Trenty, Trenty Boult" and "Neil is a Wagner", a large group of students dressed in whites was almost as entertaining as the Black Caps playing South Africa in Dunedin yesterday.

One of the students, who declined to be named, said they had declared yesterday a "self-proclaimed public holiday for students" so they could share their passion for cricket.

"Friends, flatmates, beer and a love of cricket unites us.

"It's a magic day for it. I can't think of a better way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.

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"It's definitely better than going to lectures - no offence to the lecturers. I'm sure they understand."

The students spent much of the day chanting about individual Black Caps, such as Boult, Wagner, Mitchell Santner and Jimmy Neesham, in the hope the players would turn and wave to them.

"It's all designed to get that wave."

The Black Caps did not disappoint them. They obliged on several occasions. For other cricket fans in the 2277-strong crowd, it added to the entertainment of the game.

"They're actually quite amusing," one fan said.

Dunedin police said the crowd was well behaved and there had been no incidents or arrests.

DVML's new Village Green venue, which aimed to create a festive atmosphere next to the oval, was popular during the breaks in the cricket, offering spectators food, drinks and a little shade.