Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

England v Sri Lanka, ICC Champions Trophy, Johannesburg

Who's this Collingwood?

England's blocker attacks, the DJ plays crap music, and spectators pretend it's summertime in Jo'burg

Gregory Anderson

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Kumar Sangakkara stumps Owais Shah, England v Sri Lanka, ICC Champions Trophy, Group B, Johannesburg, September 25, 2009
Thanks for ending the agony, Sanga © Getty Images
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Choice of game
The voice on the telephone said: "We have tickets for England v Sri Lanka, you keen?" Of course! As for a prediction, following Sri Lanka's annihilation of South Africa, and England's recent forms against the Australians, Sri Lanka seemed the likely victors.

Team supported
Supporting South Africa in this tournament feels like staying with a repeatedly unfaithful girlfriend, but the heart overrides the mind.

Accesories
Field glasses - an inspired choice for all without bionic eyes. Highly recommended. Watch those batsmen and their feet moving around in the crease. It's hypnotic.

Key performer
Paul Collingwood, famous for using his trusty bat "Blockingwood", accidentally walked onto the field with the wrong bat and proceeded to be possessed by the spirit of a batsman who scores at almost a run a ball. (In response, Shah blocked his way into the Cricket Boredom Hall of Fame.)

One thing I'd have changed about the match
Sri Lanka lost their top four for a cumulative total of 12. You'd think it was South Africa in a semi-final. The advantage would not have been handed to England if at least one of them had made a worthwhile contribution.

Face-off I relished
The prospect of watching Tillakaratne Dilshan flay the best efforts of England's bowlers was tantalizing, but his two runs were an anti-climax.

Wow moment
The instant Kumar Sangakkara's lightning-fast catch and stumping ripped Shah's innings out of ultra slow motion into high speed. Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan deserve humanitarian awards for ending that innings.

Shot of the day
Collingwood's pull shot for six off Lasith Malinga. Who is this Collingwood?

Crowd meter
Percy, Sri Lanka's 13th man, rallied the troops against the Barmy Army, who by all accounts were mostly AWOL. There was also an attempted Mexican Wave, which soon became a Joburg Ripple. If anyone else did anything noteworthy, it was well hidden.

Fancy-dress index
To the man in shorts and a t-shirt, you prove the theory that no matter how cold it gets in Joburg, some lunatic will delude himself into believing it's always hot, while sane people wonder what the first signs of hypothermia are.

Entertainment
"Hang the DJ! Hang the DJ! Hang the DJ!" Combine this lyric with 1990s club anthems and it all makes sense. Totally random, arbitrary songs. At one point there was a Bob Marley tune, which proves that even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

ODI v Twenty20
Twenty20 is cricket's drive-through. It's still fun, but at the cost of ODIs? Soon it'll just be a coin toss.

Marks out of 10
6/10. To win by six wickets is impressive, but good grief, couldn't England have done it with some flair? Overall positive, but marks deducted for Sri Lanka's batting collapse and lethargic fielding, England's stodgy batting (Mr PC excluded), and the ghastly overage teenybopper PA muzak. However, it was amazing to see these world-class players outside of the bright box in my lounge

Gregory Anderson was born in Johannesburg in 1974 and began to develop an interest in cricket post-isolation, around the time Lance Klusener and Jonty Rhodes were in the South African team. He recently graduated from the Rand Afrikaans University with a degree in Marketing Communication and is currently studying French. He hopes to write a magnificent hit song and live off the royalties, travelling the world and watching Test cricket.

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