Choice of game
To watch a World Cup final at the MCG has a high tick in my bucket list and I did not want to let it pass. Attaining nirvana by watching India as one of the finalists however vanished with the smoke out at Sydney. That's another story.
Although I was neutral since my favorite team was not playing, the heart rooted for the underdog - the Kiwis - if they can be considered so
Without doubt Mitchell Starc was outstanding. He set the tone with the first over scorcher and although there was a brief revival from Grant Elliot and Ross Taylor, it was quickly nullified by a flurry of wickets from James Faulkner
One thing you'd have changed
I would have loved to see Brendon Mcullum blaze away and set a target of 280-290. It would have been a befitting score for a final considering the build-up to the big game.
The final flourish by Clarke when he slammed four consecutive boundaries off Tim Southee. What a way to exit ODIs - on the highest of highs with the World Cup.
There were no specific close encounters on the field but we were seated next to the celebrity interview corner. Got a close view of Viv Richards, Adam Gilchrist and Steve Waugh.
Shot(s) of the day
Clarke wading into Tim Southee with four successive fours. But the best straight drive was played by the ICC when Sachin Tendulkar was invited on the stage for presentation.
The record crowd of 93013 was obviously very animated with the crowd break up, in my estimate, comprising 60% Aussies, 25% Kiwis and rest Asians. Quite a well-behaved crowd but it could have been a more noisier MCG had India qualified for the final.
There were the usual painted faces but we could also see Superman and some other comic stars
The DJ was keeping the audience in high spirits with appropriate music ranging from 'Get Lucky' to 'Get Shaky' when NZ were batting. During breaks, the MC goes around cornering unsuspecting couples as they are flashed on the big screen for 'kiss cam'. Unlike Sydney, where Hindi pops songs were played, the music here reflected the local hits. The DJ at Auckland, in the first semi-final, was more enterprising and keyed on to the game while playing very apt music. When there was a run out, he played the Beatles - "you say yes, I say no, you say good bye, I say hello...." And when Brendon Mcullum lost his shoe while batting, the song blared " these shoes are meant for walking"....
Banners, camera and flags were the standard accessories taken for the match
Banner of the day
After the NZ innings, a banner flashed - 'C'mon Aussies, give the Kiwis a chance'
Fantastic arrangements for the crowd ... Never felt that we were in the midst of 93000+ people. The entire experience for someone coming from India is surreal with the orderliness and smooth execution of all plans. Hordes of volunteers made life easy for every spectator whether inside or outside the ground. Car owners were requested to leave after 20 mins so that the pedestrians could move out easily
Marks out of 10
Match rating - 5 out of 10 as it was predominantly one-way traffic with Australia being runaway winners.
Stadium atmosphere and arrangements - 9 out of 10.
The swansong for Michael Clarke, Kumar Sangakarra, Mahela Jayawardene, Misbah-ul-Haq and possibly Daniel Vettori and a few others makes it a very poignant World Cup and the DJ played the song 'It's a long way to the top' with the winning hit. Yes, these greats have come a long way.