Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

Wellington v Northern Districts, Twenty20, HRV Cup, Basin Reserve

The Bradley bunch

Who took over the Basin in their baby pink outfits. And the mystery of the messed-up scoreboard finally revealed

Trish Plunket

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BJ Watling walks through the airport as New Zealand depart for Dubai, Auckland, October27,  2009
You need restraint of Herculean proportions to not pinch these cheeks © Getty Images
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Choice of game
It was the Hell Firebirds versus the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights who wear pink. I couldn't miss a game like this, especially not with the stunning day Wellington turned on. (So ner ners Scotty Styris.)

Team supported
I was again supporting the HellFirebirds, though it was a bit of an effort, as I do like pink, and am a fan of a lot of the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights. I was very restrained however. I let BJ Watling escape with his cheeks unpinched.

What's in a name?
Four of the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights are named Bradley. A third of the team. Does naming your child Bradley increase his chances of cricketing success? Was it just a trendy name however long ago? Are Bradleys more partial to pink?

Key performer
Brad Hodge, Peter McGlashan, and Anton Devcich all did horrible things to the Hellfire Birds' bowling attack. At one point the PA had to remind people that the ball is hard, and thus you need to watch to make sure it doesn't kill you.

One thing I'd have changed
What the Hell Firebirds? Again I have to change the top order's inability to bat. And Matthew Bell isn't around to blame it on this time. In fact, looks like the whole team forgot how to bat.

Detective work of the day
After my suspicions last time that the keepers of the scoreboard were in fact drunk, I confirmed it today. Wine spotted in the windows at the bottom of the scoreboard! How's that for investigative journalism? (Or just being really nosy?)

Wow moment
Wow the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Bradleys are an amazing outfit. And not just the pink. Scoring 200 runs and giving an exhibition of batting the likes of which the Basin has not seen in a while.

Player watch
Completely overshadowing the return of Jesse Ryder is the supreme confidence of Anton Devcich. Rocking the baby-pink broad brimmed hat (which looked remarkably bonnet-like) while all his team-mates stuck to their caps… Fierce.

Shot of the day
While it wasn't the biggest six, it was the most terrifying. Devcich slammed a shot over the long-off fence, where it flew over the head of a small child by approximately three inches. Child remained blissfully unaware; all of us who saw it felt the need for a stiff drink.

Crowd meter
Biggest crowd so far this summer, and why wouldn't it be. It was hot, the breeze was pleasant, the cricket was fantastic. The bank was full and a few people had even spilled up into the museum grandstand. Can't beat Wellington on a good day. (Note: that saying is about the weather).

Entertainment
It seems they've managed to pick out someone with an actual sense of humour to run the music and address system. The music as Wellington tanked grew progressively more depressing. I think "Sending out an SOS" probably summed up everyone's feelings as we got to seven down.

Accessories
Today I took several mates, an ugly, ugly blanket, and a top with the NZ flag printed on it. I figure there needs to be some support for the local boys among all the ring-ins. I attempted to purchase a Hellfire Birds top, but they were going for $135 and I couldn't locate a small child to sell.

Overall
It was glorious. The summer is in full swing, Christmas is coming and the cricket is great. Well, the XtraBradley! Pink Knights are great. The Hell? Firebirds? Are their lovely inconsistent selves.

Can I make any more terrible puns out of the team names?

Marks out of 10
8. Minus two for losing and not getting a cheek to pinch.

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Trish Plunket is a descendant of the guy who named the Plunket shield. This affords her no special privileges whatsoever. She lives, plays and works (when closely supervised) in Wellington, New Zealand. When not supporting cricket teams who specialise in top-order collapses she studies psychology and writing, referees rugby union, and tries to convince people to employ her.

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