The hush and the roar on a day to remember at the Wankhede

The crowd, rooted in logic, lived every moment of the India vs New Zealand semi-final

Yash Jha
Overheard while walking into the Wankhede on Wednesday: "Yaar woh [Trent] Boult ka pehla spell nikaalna hai bas [They need to see off Boult's first spell, that's it]." Also: "New Zealand ke saamne pata nahin kya ho jaata hai inhe [Wonder what happens every time India meet New Zealand]."
They don't have the "knowledgeable" tag attached, but the Mumbai cricket crowd, by and large, is rooted in logic. So the nerves, while a bit relaxed after India won the toss and took first strike, are in evidence as the first semi-final kicks off. It takes one ball for them to ease - Rohit Sharma's flick has got the scoreboard, the day, and the crowd ticking.
But they have been here before. Two weeks ago, Rohit had started India's game against Sri Lanka with a first-ball four, only to see his off stump knocked back next ball by Dilshan Madushanka. It had hushed the Wankhede.
None of that today, though. Rohit defends the next two, and then crashes fours off the next two, and we have lift off. The Wankhede is roaring in relief.
Third ball of Boult's next, they are soaring as Rohit delivers the first six of the day. There are many more to come - 19 in India's innings alone, their joint-most in an ODI - but the collective "shot!" isn't to be bettered.
The voice doesn't drop for the first eight overs, as the man who became a cricketer in these parts puts India on course for a ten-over total that is second only to one in the history of men's ODI World Cup knockout games.
They are hushed for the first time when Kane Williamson clings on to a skier - not too dissimilar to his grab to end Ravindra Jadeja's act in the 2019 semi-final - and the silence is truly stunning, for it stays long enough for the fresh roar and crescendo accompanies India's No. 3 walking out to the middle. Virat Kohli has walked nearly halfway to the pitch when normal service resumes. Come to think of it, that's as fitting a tribute as the Wankhede could give to Rohit's effort.
Shubman Gill unfurls his range of strokes to keep Wankhede going, even as Kohli eases himself in. The crowd has some colourful chants in them - more to do with the personal than the professional - but they all sink as Gill has to leave the stage prematurely to cramps.
Shreyas Iyer takes off from where he had left in Bengaluru three days back, as indeed out here two weeks ago, and Wankhede swells in pride to the newest Mumbai boy doing it at the highest level. But Iyer's time will have to wait…
The "Kohli, Kohli" chants begin when he's on 49, and of course there's a huge roar when he gets to fifty. It's his first in ODI World Cup knockouts, but that's not the 50 they are here to see. And so, even though Iyer races to a 35-ball half-century himself, he has to make do with (relatively) quieter adulation, for Kohli is now within touching distance of that second 50.
And… at 5.08pm local time, with the Sachin Tendulkar Stand in front of him as he played the shot that would put him on uncharted ground, with the statue in the background by the time he has completed the run, and the man himself sitting in front of him as he hits the ground in celebration, Kohli gets to #50.
He has spoken in the past of how the Wankhede going silent when Tendulkar fell in the 2011 final made him nervous, and that he felt like no one expected anything from him. Then. Here he is now, ten years to the day Tendulkar batted for the last time for India, at the same cauldron, with all of Wankhede having expected - nay, demanded. And he has delivered. They erupt. As one.
World record witnessed, the crowd goes back to lapping up the son of the soil as Iyer notches up a 67-ball hundred. For him, they have got the chant that India's head coach might not approve of: "Dus rupay ki Pepsi, Iyer bhai sexy"! (Don't bother translating!)
They enjoy the death overs as India pile up the highest total in a men's ODI World Cup knockout game - even counting down to Tim Southee's ignominious century with almost as much glee as Iyer's a few minutes earlier.
With India's new-ball bowlers for once not striking early, the Wankhede is quieter than usual. But the introduction of Mohammed Shami is met with eager anticipation. "Shami aaya, Shami [Shami's here]," they go - and when he delivers first ball, they explode into "Shami, Shami".
While Shami's first double-strike of the night wakes them up, his second double lifts them after a tense passage where Williamson and Daryl Mitchell are bringing New Zealand back in the chase. India's leading wicket-taker of the tournament has the Wankhede properly buzzing.
There are moments through the finish. The most common refrain: "Everybody, back to original seats!" Also, "Let's wrap it up guys, let's wrap it up!" There's not much sympathy for Mitchell when he cramps up on 104: "Maxwell nahi banega bhai [you're not going to do a Maxwell]!"
It's fitting that the second act concludes with another milestone to add - the first seven-wicket haul in the history of men's World Cup knockouts - from the man they've been screaming for the loudest through the innings.
They got it all: a high-scoring World Cup semi-final, with their team winning, and a world record plus two World Cup records to boot. Twelve years ago, this was where India ended a 28-year wait; this time, we witnessed what India had been searching for, for over eight years - victory in a men's World Cup knockout, in any format. And that, they'll probably shout from the rooftops for years to come, makes this a Wednesday to remember for the Wankhede.

Yash Jha is a multi-platform content producer and presenter for ESPNcricinfo