Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2013, Mumbai

Starry-eyed at the Wankhede

A good night out for a Mumbai fan who saw his team win and caught the eye of his favourite actress

Krishna Anand

Text size: A | A
Kieron Pollard takes another brilliant catch at the boundary to dismiss George Bailey, Australia v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Canberra, February 6, 2013
Kieron Pollard - taking jaw-dropping catches for various teams in many formats of the game over the last couple of years © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links

Choice of game
I bought tickets for this game, firstly, because King XI Punjab were one of the few teams that beat Mumbai Indians at home last season, and more significantly, because I am a die-hard Preity Zinta fan.

Team supported
I was born and brought up in Mumbai and that's where my loyalties lie. I believe this city is the home of Indian cricket.

Key performer
Going by recent games, I thought Rohit Sharma and Mitchell Johnson were going to be Mumbai's key performers. Rohit seemed to relish the responsibility of being captain and the in-form batsman of the side. Johnson, I believed, was the key, because this Wankhede wicket was like no other currently in the country. It was almost like Mohali of old, full of bounce and swing . And given that most teams have figured Lasith Malinga out this season, Johnson was going to hold all the aces. And surprise , surprise, the main men proved their mettle and put forward some amazing performances to bring home the win.

Face-off I relished
I was rooting for Kings XI's young Indian top-order batsmen against Mumbai's opening bowlers, because their success would bode well for India in the future. I was also looking forward to see how Mumbai's middle order would do against Kings XI's slow bowlers. Would they be able to do what most other teams haven't managed and score well in the middle overs? The answer was an emphatic yes. After a slow start, the Mumbai middle order, led by Rohit and Kieron Pollard, paced its innings to perfection and ensured an extremely competitive score for Mumbai.

Wow moment
Pollard's catch: hands outstretched at the long-on boundary, he jumped high to pluck the ball out of thin air to dismiss Shaun Marsh. That catch seemed to revitalise the spectators, who had, until then, braced themselves for a tough chase from Kings XI.

Shot of the day
Rohit's six in the 16th over soared over square leg and into the top tier of the Wankhede.

Crowd meter
The Wankhede crowd can create a great atmosphere for the home team and a hostile one for the opposition. Just ask Virat Kohli. I feel it is only right for the home crowd to support its team, whether that's India or Mumbai. That attitude was prevalent in this match as well, with the crowd trying its best to get on the nerves of the Kings XI players and to intimidate them.

Celebrity watch
An IPL night game in Mumbai is the perfect occasion to spot celebrities. I saw music director Anu Malik and actors Amisha Patel and Amit Sadh, but no one had the presence of Kings XI's charismatic and beautiful owner, Preity Zinta. I sat right behind her and got to see how excited she was and how seriously she took her cricket. An example of beauty with brains.

Banner of the day
I have to say that my banner became an instant hit with the Garware pavilion crowd. So much so, that when Preity Zinta walked in and took her seat right in front of me, she smiled and took a photo of my banner that read: "Marry me Preity".

Marks out of 10
10. Sitting behind to my favourite actress, watching a Rohit Sharma masterclass, and a last-ball finish: this match had everything I expected from an IPL experience. This league just keeps getting better and better.

Want to do a Fan Following report? Read our FAQ here

Krishna Anand recently completed his MSc in Finance from the UK. While there, he had the honour and privilege to witness live sport at some of the most famous arenas including Wembley, Wimbledon and Old Trafford. He has followed ESPNcricinfo over the years, and is a huge fan of Harsha Bhogle's editorials.

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in Fan Following
RSS FeedAll
  • Late highs fail to mask wretched year
    2014 in review: Save for the rout of Zimbabwe, 2014 was a year of suspensions and demoralising defeats for Bangladesh
  • Enough with the on-field chatter
    Ian Chappell: One of these days there's going to be an ugly altercation between players on the field
  • Walking up the down escalator
    2014 in review: Player strikes, defeats against fellow minnows, and mountains of debt for the board marked another grim year for Zimbabwe
  • The first Boxing Day classic
    Ashley Mallett: Nearly 150 years ago, the MCG saw the start of a much-loved tradition, with a match starring Aboriginal players
  • Hangovers and headaches
    2014 in review: Embarrassing defeats, a beleaguered captain, a bitter former star, alienating administrators - England's year was gloomy. By George Dobell
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet