First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
After three weeks of exams, revision and worst of all late-night library sessions it was time for me to head to Trent Bright along with a mate, and seemingly half of Nottingham University's students. I had finished my second-year University exams the day before, and this was a wonderful way to kick-start my vacations.
England were meandering along, having scored at under four-runs-an-over for most of their innings. All that changed when Jos Buttler walked in. He showed more aggression and a wider range of shots in 16 balls than England had shown in the entire innings until then. He not only propelled the innings - turning what seemed like a 250-odd score into 287, but he also injected energy into the match, into the crowd and into the evening. He completely transformed the atmosphere inside the ground.
Biggest cheer of the day
It was at precisely 7.11 pm that the sun finally came out. Until that moment it was a coldish and rather gloomy day - the sort of day for a cup of tea rather than a glass of Pimms. A massive cheer went around the ground as the sun emerged for the first time from behind the clouds, accompanied by numerous sarcastic bows of sun-worship from the crowd. The woman in front of me pulled out a box of cherries from her bag and even cracked open a miniature bottle of champagne! It happens only in Britain - then again we don't see it all that often over here do we?
Funniest crowd moment
James Franklin was receiving a few light-hearted jibes from the crowd down at fine- leg and I recall how Franklin's 'tormentors' were struggling to remember his first name. Someone then piped up and said 'I think it's Benjamin, I think his name is Benjamin Franklin boys'. This information was received by someone else, who replied 'Yes Benjamin Franklin sounds familiar, that must be his name'. The crowd heckled Franklin under the assumption that he was called 'Benjamin Franklin' (until they were corrected about two minutes later). I thought that it must be the first time that a New Zealand cricketer had been confused with a famous scientist.
One thing I'd have changed
Our seats were right in the middle of the Fox Road stand, so in order to get to and from them, we had to awkwardly and apologetically clamber over other patrons. Unfortunately for us, there happened to be a grumpy old man close to the stairs. He seemed to take particular issue whenever anyone asked him to let them past. On each occasion he would stare at the passé- by with the gruffest expression etched across his face, before complaining to that, "People just can't sit still these days".
My favourite moment of the day was when I won a free pint off my mate: Buttler was on strike and was just beginning his assault. Brendon McCullum clearly hadn't done his homework because he brought fine-leg up inside the ring. I turned to my friend, and I bet him a pint that Buttler would play the ramp shot over fine leg at some point in the over. Of course Buttler played the physics-defying shot, and I had a Guinness.
Marks out of ten
Had I have been in a neutral state of mind then I'd have probably gone with a 7. But this was a special day - Buttler's onslaught and the appearance of the sun, on what was the first day of my summer holiday, and in my mind at least, it was the first day of summer, 2013. - Ten out of ten.
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Conrad Hazlitt is a 19-year-old student studying Philosophy at the University of Nottingham, as well as a passionate (and almost obsessive) cricket fan.
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