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Cheers, catches, pressers, nights out

The best fans, the most jaw-dropping fielding, the most entertaining Q&A sessions and more

A Pakistan fan cheers her side on, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009
The Best Atmosphere award, to the Pakistan fans © Getty Images

The last 21 days have flown by in a blur of matches, practice sessions, press conferences, train journeys and extremely late nights. I've been running on little sleep and a lot of adrenaline, and it's been absolutely memorable.

The first impression I got was that London's response to the World Twenty20 was lukewarm. That changed when I saw the clamour at The Oval as India took on Pakistan in the warm-up match.

The best atmospheres, in my opinion, were created by Pakistani, Indian, English and Irish fans in that order. I wasn't at Lord's when thousands of Dutch supporters revelled in the joy of beating England. The most ecstatic fans I saw were the Pakistanis at Trent Bridge. They created bedlam after the semi-final win against South Africa. Thousands of them singing "Dil dil Pakistan" was one of my moments of the tournament.

The first Pakistan game I watched was the one against England, and Pakistan were awful during an insipid chase. The second was the one against Sri Lanka in the Super Eights, and Pakistan were awful, conceding an unbelievable number of extras. The third was the semi-final, and they had gone from being awful to outstanding.

My biggest disappointment of the tournament was India. They simply didn't turn up after making it through to the second round by beating Bangladesh and Ireland. Their ineptness against the short-ball attack launched by West Indies and England was startling.

My best moments in the field were Angelo Mathews' never-seen-before boundary-saving effort against West Indies at Trent Bridge, and Niall O'Brien's lightning reflexes to stump Mahmudullah off Alex Cusack's medium pace. Kyle Coetzer's catch to get rid of Mark Boucher was sizzling but I missed it.

Sri Lanka was the team I enjoyed watching most. Their endless supply of bowlers with names beginning with M could defend any target. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene dropped jaws with their imaginative batting.

I had the fortune of attending eventful press conferences. The Indians put on a public show of unity in one, MS Dhoni nearly lost his cool in another, and Jamie Siddons did lose his cool after Bangladesh were eliminated by Ireland. The Indians had the longest press conferences, at an average of 25 minutes.

My best nights out were in Nottingham. The city's tourist board took us journalists out for dinner and drinks one night, and we visited Ye Olde Tripe to Jerusalem, a pub cut into the sandstone rock beneath Nottingham castle. It claims to be the oldest inn in England, established in 1189 AD. However, I walked past another inn called The Bell, which claimed to be the oldest inn in Nottingham.

The World Twenty20 is over and London's getting ready for Wimbledon. The station at Southfields had a carpet resembling a grass court and from the train you can see people pitching tents in Wimbledon Park.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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