When Peter Bocock arrived at the Basin Reserve yesterday, he had no idea the task that awaited him.
The Northern Districts wicketkeeper was expecting to run the drinks and fill in as a sub fielder on the final day of the second test against Bangladesh, but a hamstring injury suffered in warm-ups by BJ Watling saw him handed the gloves.
It was a shock promotion, and an important one at that, with the Black Caps still needing seven wickets to seal a series-clinching victory. While Tom Latham was considered to take over, it was decided that New Zealand would be short on slip fielders if he took the gloves, leaving Bocock with the surprise honour.
"I definitely didn't think I was going to be donning the gloves when I was having my morning coffee, that's for sure," grinned a delighted Bocock after the Black Caps wrapped up victory by an innings and 12 runs.
"About 15 minutes before the start of play, we were out there warming up, just throwing a couple of balls to the batters, I could hear them saying 'Oh, Boey can catch it', so I looked over, and BJ said to me 'just get ready'."
So, Bocock rushed to get prepared, taking Latham's gloves and Watling's pads and shirt, and quickly turning to his slips cordon for advice.
"I was just asking them 'where's BJ been standing?', or 'what's BJ's plan to this bowler?'. Especially to a bowler like [Neil] Wagner, BJ stands down the legside quite a lot, the couple of times I've kept to Wagner I haven't stood down the legside to him very often, maybe just a couple of balls."
Bocock put in a tidy display behind the stumps as the Black Caps took the required seven wickets before lunch. There was one half-chance for a runout where he couldn't quite rein in a slightly off-line throw, while he claimed impressive takes on the many bouncers that flew past the batsmen's heads.
A catch would have capped off a dream morning, but one review for a caught behind off a Wagner bouncer showed nothing on replay. As a result, Bocock couldn't quite get his name in the scorebooks, laughing that he wasn't confident enough to get involved in the review process.
"It was nothing to do with me, I gave them nothing – but yeah, it obviously would have been lovely to get a catch. I was pretty close a few times, just missing the outside edge, and a few from Wagner close to the gloves."
Bocock, who likely wouldn't have even got to field in Wellington if not for an injury to usual local sub Peter Younghusband, instead left with a memory for life.
And, if the 27-year-old can keep up the promising domestic form which sees him average 35 in one-day cricket at a strike rate of 118, and strike at 133 in Twenty20s, perhaps he could once again take the gloves in an international.
"I think every kid dreams of walking out onto the field with the Black Caps. I'm lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the environment with the boys as a sub fielder, and to do a more decent job of what I do for ND – it's a big highlight for me."