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First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
Much like the climbers of Everest, I went along because it was there. Although after New Zealand's dismal effort in the last Twenty20, I was quite tempted to stay home. But my need to see live cricket won out and I headed along to the stadium. And hey, winter is coming.
The often awful, always inconsistent, occasionally amazing Black Caps.
AB de Villiers. He managed to do what all the New Zealand players had not, and carry on to make a big score. Although one of my companions thought he was boring and really needed to get out, he quietly made a run-a-ball century and took South Africa home. And there were a couple of lovely sixes in that.
One thing I'd have changed
I would have kept Brendon McCullum in. He was going well, thanks to the review system, until his nine lives ran out. I would have loved to see him go on to make a big score, as he's well overdue.
Face-off I relished
Tim Southee versus the World. He's been growling and snarling at the South Africans, and while it hasn't really improved his bowling much - he was rather wayward again - it was fun to watch him get in the faces of everyone he bowled to, as well as occasionally glaring at the fans who constantly yelled for him to give them a wave. However, we may have found the reason for his aggression - hunger. When a fan tossed a doughnut to him at third man, he picked it up off the turf and took a bite. Clearly the Black Caps support staff need to be feeding him more regularly.
Nathan McCullum's lovely six just prior to getting out. While we all thought it went much further than it did, it was a bright shot in what had been a rather dull innings.
We had seats right next to the dug-outs, which meant we were able to observe the players closely - we spied Ross Taylor looking almost recovered, Andy McKay looking after the drinks with a towel round his neck, and Tom Latham, who looks as though he should be off lobbing a ring into a volcano.
Shot of the day
Faf du Plessis strolled down the wicket to Doug Bracewell and slogged him over midwicket for six. It was a brutal shot and marked the South Africans finally putting NZ out of our misery.
I note that it is no longer just the preserve of batsmen to offer a little congrats on good play. The NZ fielders have this thing of slapping hands, bumping fists or patting backsides after particularly sharp fielding efforts. I approve, a little more love never goes amiss.
The crowd was small but boisterous, with several stag parties, a bunch of kids cricket teams, and the Beige Brigade.
The DJ at the stadium deserves a high-five. Although his abilities in finding rain-related songs were not needed today, playing Creed's "With arms wide open" to celebrate one of Morne Morkel's wides was brilliant.
While most of the stag parties had an unfortunate groom in drag, one had him all kitted out as a large, er, phallus. I don't want to know where they bought the costume from.
I'm pretty sure the only other person to have ever been that encouraging to Andy is his mother. When the American fan began a freestyle rap on Ellis' choice of water over Gatorade, I laughed so hard I cried. It was beautiful.
It wasn't really much of a game. It progressed along to the Black Caps' demise in a sedate fashion, which would have been terribly boring if they weren't an entertaining lot in themselves, especially in the field. With the low total South Africa didn't need to go after it hammer and tongs, so we were starved of action in the chase too.
Marks out of 10
8. That two off was because we lost, and we played pretty ordinary cricket doing it. But that American chap absolutely made my day. If you're reading this, four for you my friend. Four for you.
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