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First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
I have been itching to see some international cricket live again, and since poor Christchurch hasn't had any for a long time, I travelled to Auckland instead, and was keen to see the small Eden Park boundaries for the first time.
I cannot deny the silver fern on my heart, but I was looking forward to seeing Stuart Broad and James Anderson bowl live.
The English pace attack of Anderson and Finn, with their constant good lines and pace left New Zealand nothing to play with.
One thing I'd have changed
The perfect weather had the scene set for a series-ending showdown. I wish the Kiwis had put up more of a fight. And if Ross Taylor wasn't suspectly given out, it also would have changed the complexion of the game.
Tim Southee got the biggest cheers of the day for returning an inflatable ball to the crowd that security had just confiscated.
Broad was on the boundary near us and was booed after coming down to field following Taylor's dismissal, but there were many English supporters to overpower this with their cheers.
Shot of the day
Brendon McCullum hit Graeme Swann back over his head for six to long-on. Poetry in motion.
The stands weren't nearly as packed as I imagined they would be on a hot Saturday afternoon. The English presence was defiantly felt with red crosses decorating much of the stadium.
Taking the cake on the freakish meter would be a guy wearing white lingerie, pink gloves and a pink bow on his head, just topping the pink bunny that was ejected from the stadium on the other side of the field.
"Waiting is the hardest part" played while we waited for Rossco's demise. It probably didn't fit the tense situation. Each 20-second song snippet in short breaks was gyrated to by a group of sombrero-wearing drunk Poms. These fine lads provided those round them with rather bawdy talk when the on-field action was getting rather slow.
Snacks, sunnies, a black cap and a nifty battery-powered fan supplied for free just inside the gates.
Banner of the day
A spectator holding up a banner reading: "BJ OR ROOT?" I'm sure he was just meaning who's the better player, right?
Marks out of 10
3. Awesome weather, some good hitting from Baz, but overall an awful showing from the boys.
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Marc is a cricket enthusiast from Christchurch. In his spare time he enjoys playing music and travelling. Marc has a Bachelor of Arts in English, works at the University Bookshop, and always seems to find the time to have a tab open to Cricinfo at his desk.
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