Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

England v Sri Lanka, World Twenty20, St Lucia

Pietersen and Piton for a good time

Plenty of food, booze, music and friends make this one-sided semi an enjoyable experience

David Michael Bachan

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Kevin Pietersen was in imperious mood as he led England to the finals with an unbeaten 42 from 26 balls, England v Sri Lanka, World Twenty20, 1st Semi-Final, Gros Islet, May 13, 2010
Pietersen: belligerent as ever © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Lasith Malinga | Kevin Pietersen
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20

The game
My childhood friend Andy invited me to spend a week in St Lucia with him to watch cricket. I had no idea who was going to be at this particular semi-final but once I found out, I thought Sri Lanka had enough fire power to overcome England.

Team supported
After West Indies, Sri Lanka is my favourite team probably because of all the Lankans that I hang out with in Toronto.

Accessories
I had field glasses, sunglasses, a baseball cap, a transistor radio, a camera and an endless supply of Piton, a local beer.

Key performer
Paul Collingwood's handling of the bowlers was simply superb. His spinners Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy bowled very tidily during the middle of the innings. His quicks, particularly Stuart Broad and Ryan Sidebottom, kept things under control at the beginning and end of the innings.

One thing I'd have changed
I met Sanath Jayasuriya two nights ago while I was having dinner. He seems like a nice man. If I could change anything, I would have given him another life so that I could see him bat beyond the second over.

Face-off I relished
I was licking my lips over a Pietersen-Malinga confrontation. All eyes were riveted on the big man when he walked out at 68 for 1 after Malinga had dismissed Craig Kieswetter. You could almost see steam coming out of Malinga's ears. He was pumped. But he never got the better of Pietersen, who hit him for a six and a four to finish the game.

Wow moment
With 30 runs to go and enough balls to make the total in, the English fans formed a conga line and started dancing around the stadium. They were singing the Brazilian football "Ole" song and it was quite a sight to see. There were older fans mixed with young ones. I can't wait to see what the fans do if England win on Sunday. It's guaranteed to be a great time in Barbados.

Shot of the day
This would have to be Pietersen's 100-metre long six off of Suraj Randiv. It was majestic - a straight bat and a perfect follow-through.

Crowd meter
The stands were not as packed as for the West Indies-Australia game but it was a good crowd. I would say the majority supported England but there were a number of Sri Lankan flags all over the stadium. Pietersen got the biggest cheers.

Fancy-dress index
There was a Superman, a Wolverine and an Iron Man but my favourites were the cute young English ladies wearing cowboy hats and with the St George symbol painted on their faces.

Entertainment
The DJ's choice of music was soca, the local music in this part of the Caribbean. There were also drumming groups at various points in the stadium, beating their drums and tamboo bamboo.

Banner of the day
Someone held up a one asking Mother England to please win and help restore some pride to the Caribbean.

ODIs or Twenty20?
Twenty20 because the game ends in three hours and is ideal for me to take young kids with limited attention-spans to.

Overall
A great experience. There was so much food available in the stadium; Accra and Float (saltfish and a locally baked type of bread), stuffed Jack fish, chicken roti, rice and peas, dogs, burgers and lots more.

Marks out of 10
8. Great job St Lucia. You are a beautiful people living in a beautiful land.

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David Michael Bachan is a telecommunications analyst residing in Toronto. He has loved cricket since he was a little fella, playing on coconut matting in the fields of Trinidad. He tries to attend as much international cricket in the Caribbean as possible and still remains happily married.

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