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Fan Following

Gayle heats up chilly Oval

A 15-year old fan braves the cold to watch the West Indies openers take Australia apart

Jacob Stafford
Chris Gayle goes downtown, Australia v West Indies, ICC World Twenty20, The Oval, June 6, 2009

Tee-time: Gayle gets his swing going  •  Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Why I picked this match
I chose to go to the West Indies v Australia match as, when I purchased the tickets way back in September, the thought of head to heads like Chris Gayle v Brett Lee were too good to miss out on. Also, the fact that I have school on weekdays meant I would have to go to a weekend match. Before Ricky Ponting won the toss, my money was on West Indies to edge it, but after Ponting opted to bat first, I thought the likes of David Warner and Shane Watson would prove too strong for West Indies. This was not to be the case.
Key performer
The key performer was definitely Chris Gayle. In the fifth over of the West Indies innings he had all but won the match for them, with some fantastic hitting that made Lee look average at best, not a spearhead of an Australian attack. Jerome Taylor also deserves a mention, as his two wickets at the top of the Australian order were key to Australia never being able to force the game.
One thing I'd have changed about the match
I would definitely have changed the weather. The harsh wind that blew into my face throughout the match was an annoyance to begin with. However, as the boundaries began to flow, I forgot all about it.
Face-off I relished
I was definitely looking forward to see how Gayle would cope with the pace and movement of Lee and Mitchell Johnson in English conditions. Gayle dominated Lee, in particular, in spectacular fashion and Andre Fletcher took Johnson to the cleaners.
Wow moment
Gayle smashing the ball straight over the roof of The Oval off Lee. A truly incredible shot.
Player watch
For the most part it was Michael Hussey, and due to his early dropping of Fletcher, he was duly heckled.
Crowd meter
The stands were relatively full, definitely around 80% of capacity, which was great, considering the weather. There was a general feeling of excitement as Gayle began to tee off, and from that moment on almost the whole crowd were Gayle and West Indies fans, with Dwayne Bravo also receiving murmured chants.
Fancy dress index
The most notable fancy dress on show was probably a Buzz Lightyear costume. Otherwise the standard was not that high.
The music over the PA was generally what you would have expected, with everything being very run of the mill.
I was engrossed by the game throughout. The late rally from the Aussies when they batted gave some life to the match, but the onslaught from Fletcher and Gayle up top meant it ended up being very one-sided. It certainly leaves some work to be done by Ponting ahead of Monday's game against Sri Lanka.
Marks out of 10

Jacob Stafford is 15 and is from Cumbria, but now lives and goes to school in Scotland. He is studying his Highers at the moment, and has just sat his Standard Grade exams. His favourite sport is cricket; however, he is also a Manchester United supporter and goes to as many games as he can. He plays cricket regularly for a number of teams, and his favourite player is Yuvraj Singh.