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Australia v Sri Lanka, Trent Bridge

'Enjoy Leicester Ricky'

A World Cup volunteer takes time out to watch Australia exit in the first round

Tillakaratne Dilshan slams another four during his fifty against Australia, Australia v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20, Trent Bridge, June 8, 2009
Tillakaratne Dilshan: hammer and tongs © Getty Images

Why I picked this match
Actually, I didn't pick this game, but the ICC picked me up as a volunteer for all the World Twenty20 matches being played at Trent Bridge. My duty was for the Bangladesh v Ireland match in the afternoon and I decided to stay on and watch the Australians play the Sri Lankans. I badly wanted an Aussie win in this group of death.

Key performer
Kumar Sangakkara played a captain's knock and held the Sri Lankan innings together at a time when they slowed down a touch after the explosive start Tillakaratne Dilshan provided them. But for me the real playmaker was Ajantha Mendis, who snatched the crucial wickets of Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Michael Hussey, and kept the Aussies under 160.

One thing I'd have changed about the match
I would definitely have increased the number of Aussie supporters in the crowd. The majority in the stands were either Sri Lankan supporters or Irish fans who were still in the gallery following the excitement of their team making it into the Super Eights. Where were the Aussie fans? Did they go home with Symonds?

Face-off I relished
Ajantha Mendis bowling against the Australian batsmen was a treat to watch. He completely baffled them with his repertoire of tricks and was the standout in the Sri Lankan bowling. Each over he bowled conveyed the feeling that a wicket was imminent. I haven't seen him bowl with such spirit since the Asia Cup in 2008.

Wow moment
When Dilshan accelerated with four boundaries off a Shane Watson over. He was hammering it if it were a tennis ball. That was the over that really changed the course of the game.

Shot of the day
Dilshan scooping a four over the wicketkeeper's head off Watson. I wonder how he had the audacity to sweep a fast bowler.

Crowd meter
Trent Bridge was at nearly 75% capacity. The Sri Lankan flags were waving high from all parts across the ground. There were a few Bangladeshi fans who still couldn't digest their team's exit from the competition. But it was the Irish fans who made the stadium come alive, cheering fours, sixes and wickets, irrespective of whether it was from the Aussies or the Sri Lankans. The English fans were also seen cheering the Sri Lankans against their Ashes opponents.

Fancy dress index
I spotted a Batman, a Superman and a Spiderman, all with Irish flags.

Entertainment
The remix of Guru Josh Project's "Infinity" by Klaas and Michael Jackson's "Beat it" rocked the stadium from the DJ box when a wicket was fell or a boundary was hit.

Banner of the day
"Enjoy Leicester, Ricky!" was the best I spotted.
"New captain, New Beginning" was another one from the Sri Lankan fans.

Overall
An excellent experience. Though I was supporting the Aussies, I am pretty pleased with the result at the end of the day. After all, when was the last time you last read "Australia out in the very first round in a cricket world cup"? I was there to witness it.

Marks out of 10
8. It lacked a nailbiting finish.

Vishnu Radhakrishnan is an MBA student at Coventry University. He considers himself a perfect cricket fan who loves the beauty of Tests, savours the captivating one-day format, and relishes the fun and drama of swashbuckling Twenty20. A cheerful follower of Indian cricket, he considers himself lucky to be a part of the ICC World Twenty20 Management Team at Trent Bridge

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