For now, at least, gone are the days when batsmen can just rock up at McLean Park, Napier, to revive their flagging forms on a driveway wicket.
Unless, of course, you are Central Districts Stags opening batsman Greg Hay, who didn't seem to be in any hurry as he carried his bat to seal a six-wicket victory over the hapless Otago Volts on the final day of their round six, four-day Plunket Shield match yesterday.
Hay was unbeaten on 134 runs, including nine boundaries, for his 10th first-class century with No 6 Tom Bruce, who was 31 not out from as many balls, including five fours.
It was a sedate knock for the 33-year-old right-hander from Nelson who had faced 269 balls in 387 minutes on an uncharacteristic but, refreshingly, laissez-faire wicket that head groundsman Phil Stoyanoff and his staff had prepared. Although that will become a thing of the past with drop-in wickets groomed across the road at Nelson Park from next summer.
"It is one of the best [tons] in terms of doing it when the team most needed it, chasing 260 to basically keep us in the competition," said Hay, mindful the Wellington Firebirds had another don't-argue win on Saturday to keep their three-point lead on the table ahead of the Stags.
A no-frills kind of guy, a reservedly satisfied Hay said the game had progressed considerably on day three on Saturday.
"We had a long, long time to chase 260 so the run rate wasn't important at all," Hay said.
"It was just a matter of sticking out there and getting yourself in and once you got going making sure you went on to get a big one."
The right-hander said most of the Stags were "free-scoring guys" so there was no danger of batsmen not freeing their arms to hit the ball hard, especially after making it into the grand finals of both the white-ball formats.
"I said before the game that my role was to be out there as long as I can."
Hay gave the wicket a thumbs up although he found it had a lot more moisture in it than he was used to at McLean Park.
"Obviously to have a game that goes into the fourth day and to have a result is what you're looking for in any wicket so it was certainly a nice wicket to bat on today [Sunday] and yesterday [Saturday] because it had dried out quite a bit."
Hay, who suspected he had scored two other first-class centuries at the venue, found the wicket was "a little bit more trickier than in the past".
"Sometimes you'd get here and it was an absolute road and an absolute pleasure to get on to play your shots."
A grinning Hay said that as a batsman he had no qualms with the pelter of a wicket but understood eking out results like yesterday's was also crucial to the collective.
He praised the bowlers for yanking Big Mo back into their corner in their second innings.
"We let ourselves down in the first dig and were well behind the eight ball, by about 100 runs, so they pulled us back into it and we owed it to them to finish the game off as batsmen."
Hay was hopeful his fellow batsmen had shrugged off any white-ball hangovers heading to Auckland.
The weather, he said, was going to be the joker in the patch in the next round against the Auckland Aces at Eden Park outer oval, starting on Friday before round eight against the Firebirds in round eight.