Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

New Zealand v Australia, third ODI, Auckland

Bloody hell, Haddin

A remake of the 2007 thriller at Seddon Park? Not quite. Blame the wicketkeeper

Luke Pallesen

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Mitchell Johnson appeals, New Zealand v Australia, 3rd ODI, Hamilton, March 9, 2010
Mitchell Johnson: New Zealand's favourite love-to-hate Aussie © Getty Images
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The game
I've been kicking myself since 2007 for missing the Mac Attack game where Craig McMillan and Brendon McCullum chased down 347 at Seddon Park, so naturally I bought tickets for this one three months in advance.

Team supported
The Black Caps all the way.

Key performers
Brad Haddin's century was excellently paced and he definitely deserved the Man-of-the-Match award.

One thing I'd have changed
I would have liked it to be a little more competitive. It was disappointing after the first two matches had ended so close. One particularly dark omen at the start was when McCullum was out and the speakers boomed out, "You can't always get what you want".

Face-off I relished
Styris v Johnson. Unfortunately Styris only ended up facing five of his deliveries. When Johnson began his third spell the crowd gave him plenty of grief. He responded with a fiery bouncer, which Styris sensibly avoided.

Player watch
Doug Bollinger was fielding down on the boundary in front of us and got off pretty easy. There was a bit of banter but most of it was harmless and in general the crowd seemed to like him. We all had a good laugh when he hurt himself on the boundary, but he was clapped when he resumed his post. Good on you, Dougie!

Shot of the day
Haddin's sixes over long-on. The man seemed to put no effort into the shot and got maximum result every time.

Crowd meter
The crowd was incredibly vocal and never let Johnson off the hook. Whenever he came on to bowl or went back to field on the boundary he was greeted by a chorus of jeers and chants.

The first ball from Shane Bond that hit the pad was appealed for by the whole ground.

The Mexican waves were also a success. One was started on our bank and went around the crowd four times before it stopped. You had to be sharp to catch the plastic bottles that were launched into the air.

Entertainment
The sound system stayed relatively tolerable until towards the end of the night. Thankfully only one Lady Gaga song found itself on to the mix. During half-time, a big load of kids from the Milo Kiwi Cricket clubs played several games scattered around the boundaries. Almost as entertaining as the match itself.

Banner of the day
I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw one saying "Clarkey, where the bloody hell are ya?"

Marks out of 10
6. While it was a very enjoyable day at the cricket, New Zealand never put enough runs on the board and the game fizzled out in the second innings. That detracted from the experience a bit. However, I still believe they have got what it takes to level

Luke Pallesen is a 23-year-old living in Hamilton. He is a bartender who gained his first experiences of the job while living in England. Currently he just plays Twenty20 twilight cricket, but he hopes to gain some better hours for the opportunity to play more club cricket

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