First-person reports from the stands
I chose this match mainly because it was part of the fun-filled cricketing weekend I had planned with family and friends. It did not disappoint as it swung to either side and was either team's to win.
I was backing Pakistan since I tend to go for the underdogs, and would have loved to see them win despite all the upheaval in their cricket recently. I also love the passion that their players and fans bring to the game. As a West Indian fan, it is easy to enjoy a fantastic cricket match when I don't have to worry about the agony of watching my home team lose again.
If Pakistan had won, I would have definitely said Abdul Razzaq was the Player of the Match. He stabilised the Pakistani innings and almost took the game away from New Zealand. Mohammad Sami also bowled very well for Pakistan. But since New Zealand won, I am going with Ian Butler, because he bowled that last delivery off which Pakistan needed two to win. He was not afraid to tempt Abdur Rehman to go for a big hit, getting him to send a simple catch to square leg.
One thing I'd have changed
I'd have had Pakistan win.
The last ball. I screamed as I watched the catch being taken. It must have been agony for Pakistan to be so close yet so far, but brilliant for New Zealand. Neither team was ever completely out of the game, and it kept the crowd involved all the way through.
Shot of the day
The murderous hit for six by Razzaq in the 15th over.
Sami fielded at the boundary near us and we tried in vain to get him to turn around for a photograph. I don't remember who fielded there during the New Zealand innings, I just remember wishing Daniel Vettori would come this way. For the most part, the crowd where I was sitting left the players alone since we were entertained by a local band from Barbados.
There was a big crowd, though the stadium was not sold out. There was a fair mix of West Indians, Indians, English, Pakistanis and some New Zealanders. I really enjoyed the Pakistani crowd. They danced and waved for the entire match and I was happy to see the Indians supporting them. The English were firmly behind the New Zealanders, as were most of the West Indians. I was sitting in Hewitt and Innis, right behind the boundary line, and we partied for the entire game, even joining in with the band near us. Fancy-dress index
There were quite a few people with body paint, face paint and body art. The dancing girls in carnival costumes seem to be a feature that all the men love. There were stilt walkers in the party stand and all around the ground there were people waving flags of all descriptions.
There were drums, rattles, horns and makeshift percussion instruments all over the ground. There were several bands, and the DJ played Caribbean soca, which kept us jumping during the breaks. Allison Hinds, a popular soca singer, and a steel pan orchestra provided entertainment for the crowd at the end of the match.
ODIs or Twenty20s?
I still prefer ODIs even though Twenty20 is clearly the game of the future.
Marks out of 10
8.5. It was a great atmosphere with very good cricket. There is nothing like cricket in the Caribbean. As one banner said: "Sun, Sand and Cricket… that's the life".
Want to do a Fan Following report? Read our FAQ here
Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article