Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

New Zealand v Pakistan, second Test, Wellington, third day

The Chris Martin report

Warning: embarrassing amounts of drool and giggles ahead

Trish Plunket

Comments: 9 | Text size: A | A
Chris Martin celebrates with his team after dismissin Azhar Ali, New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Wellington, 3rd day, January 17, 2011
The man-love that makes Tests the premier cricket format © Getty Images
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Choice of game
Because despite my earlier attempts to destroy my liver, I'm still here. And so are New Zealand and Pakistan.

Key performer
Misbah-ul-Haq played probably the biggest role, putting Pakistan ahead, getting close to a hundred with some very nice fours, and then getting out in spectacular fashion in a way that even if we'd had the referral system, it still would have been gone.

One thing I'd have changed
I'd have given Daniel Vettori and Chris Martin the kick up the backside they clearly needed sometime in the middle session, rather than in the dwindling end of the last session. They announced that Vettori had overtaken Martin as leading wicket-taker at the Basin, and suddenly the competition was all on.

The interplay I enjoyed the most
There were indeed a few verbals, but what really stood out was the interplay between Vettori, Martin and Timmeeeeeeeeeeeee Southee. Tim seemed to either be working a piece of cricketing magic in annoying the bowlers into getting wickets, or he spent a dozen overs going "Can I bowl now? Can I bowl now? How about now? No? Please Dan? Now?" This is why we need better on-field mics.

Filling the gaps
Rather than spend the lunch break with the grown-ups lurking around the wicket going, "Yup, it's flat alright", I decided the best way to appreciate the groundsmen's efforts was to stretch out in the outfield and have a nap. And that really is some nice turf they have going.

Wow moment
Chris Martin took a catch. Let me repeat that. Chris Martin, a man who gets montages of his fielding stuff-ups, took a catch. A difficult one. And then there was man-love.

Player watch
James Franklin, in his implausible orange boots, was chased all around the boundary by stampeding kiddies. To his credit, I think he really did want to sign all the autographs, but there was a spinner on.

Crowd meter
There was a crowd. A moderately sized one. They were (unlike the weekend) well-behaved, except for the streaker in a Zorro mask wielding a plastic sword. Note to future streakers: pick a day when the prime minister has not come for lunch. You will find there are far fewer policemen for security to hand you over to.

Fancy-dress index
Being as it is just after Christmas, and lots of kids seem to have been given European football strips by Santa (maybe he got lost?), it was amusing to see how many EU nations were fully represented on New Zealand children.

Tests v limited-overs
I much prefer Test matches to ODIs or Twenty20s. Hey, five whole days. I can work (for the limited quantity of work which I do) from the ground. I'm not crammed into a stupid plastic seat at the Cake Tin. And Chris Martin plays Tests. Given how often I've mentioned him in this report, you may have noticed I am a completely gigantic bit of a fangirl.

What could have enhanced my viewing more than a couple of good mates? More man-love. Watching big tall fast bowlers get cuddly is a highlight of any cricket watching experience.

The cricket picked up a bit, the wind settled down a bit, and I managed to escape any further horrendous sunburn. And did I say that I got to see Chris Martin play? I did? Just thought I'd mention it. And then giggle like a schoolgirl.

Marks out of 10
π +4.2

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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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Comments: 9 
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Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Ankan on (January 19, 2011, 13:39 GMT)

haha...this is amazing. :D

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 19, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

@AndyZaltzmannsHair: Why do men think women are incapable of loving cricket? :/ It is depressing. :D Atleast in my country, cricket is not like baseball and football, that women watch it only to oblige others.

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 19, 2011, 8:28 GMT)

Chris Martin is brilliant to see, and his batting has improved! He didn't have the worst batting average in his team, and he got a boundary; not to mention he was the man to shake Dan's hand at 100. His bowling will get him 200 test wickets easily.

Check out his video called 'Learn how to bat like Chris Martin' on You tube today!

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 19, 2011, 3:30 GMT)

Haha...nicely done!

A pleasant change. Keep it up.

Posted by Ryo on (January 18, 2011, 21:42 GMT)

A woman following cricket??? And one that willingly went to the match and not just for husband/boyfriend/family obligations? Cricket really is changing.

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 18, 2011, 19:40 GMT)

The obsession with mentioning Chris 'Best batsman in the world' Martin is interesting, but it was a really good read nonetheless...well done Trish...

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 18, 2011, 17:45 GMT)

cool, witty fan following

Posted by Haroon on (January 18, 2011, 13:13 GMT)

A very different perspective on a cricket match. Good work cricinfo.

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 18, 2011, 7:13 GMT)

Hey, cricinfo editors, there was no drool! Hair twirling and lip biting yes, but drool - no.

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