Fan Following

AB's fireworks, and then some

A one-sided game provides a few entertaining sidelights like Nannes and Nehra's bowling, and de Villiers' assault on Tendulkar

Michael van Wyk
09-May-2009
AB de Villiers smashes it through the offside, Chennai Super Kings v Delhi Daredevils, IPL, 9th match, Durban, April 23, 2009

AB de Villiers was the star South African, following his great fielding performance with 50 not out  •   Anesh Debiky  /  Getty Images

Team supported
Mumbai Indians because there are more international stars in their side, but I mainly went to the ground hoping for a high-scoring but close game.
Key Performer
Man of the Match went to Ashish Nehra but his opening bowling partner, Dirk Nannes, needs a mention as well. The two seamed the ball around at the start, and with two wickets apiece were mainly responsible for the low Mumbai score.
One thing I would have changed about the match
The Mumbai Indians' low total. Buffalo Park is a small ground so 200 was on batting first.
Face-off I relished
Lasith "Slinger" Malinga vs. David Warner. A contest that failed to take off. The Daredevils were chasing a low score, so Warner just knocked the ball around as opposed to his normal cavalier approach to opening bowlers. I was also keen to see Malinga's death bowling but the game was virtually over by the time he returned towards the end.
Star-spotting
Apart from myself there were no real celebrities!
Wow moment
4, 6, 4, 0,4, 1 - AB de Villiers slaughtering of Sachin Tendulkar's over. The spin bowling of Harbhajan Singh and JP Duminy seemed to get the Mumbai Indians back in the game so Tendulkar thought he would give it a bash and was duly caned for four boundaries through cow corner.
Cheerleader factor
The Mumbai Indians' cheerleaders were so good they were dishing out autographs to young fans!
Crowd meter
The ground was about three-fourths full - a disappointment, but the chilly weather definitely played a part.
Local hero
AB de Villiers was the star South African, following his great fielding performance with 50 not out.
Entertainment
Local South African pop group Jamali performed. The Mexican wave (or should that be Indian wave?) bombed out. But the highlight, apart from AB's innings, was the fireworks display after the game.
Overall
A big anti-climax considering the excitement in the town in the days leading up to the game but it could have been worse I suppose. Anyone watch the 2007 World Cup final?
Marks out of 10
6 due to the low scores, but still better than the normal games held at the stadium. The IPL is a lesson for Cricket South Africa: put some effort in to the games and the crowds will come. Fireworks, decent cheerleaders, pop groups, decent sound systems, all go a long towards making the crowd feel they are getting total entertainment and helps when the cricket is a letdown.
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Michael van Wky is 27 years old and lives in East London. He plays club cricket here and is a decent offspinner and patient, (eye-pleasing!) lower-order batsman. He is looking forward to IPL matches in East London as the town has been starved of top-level cricket for a few years. He'll be backing the Royals to win it again because of the Smith and Warne factor.