When I purchased tickets to the World Cup last year, my friends and I wanted to support not only the New Zealand team, but the tournament, cricket and Christchurch city. So we bought tickets to all the Hagley Oval matches. On form, I thought Pakistan would win comfortably.
I was neutral with my support but if I had to lean one way it would have been with West Indies, as they were the underdogs.
Andre Russell's swashbuckling 42 from 13 to finish the West Indies innings pushed the tempo firmly in their favour, and their opening bowlers capitalised with Russell himself taking 3-33.
I, along with many at the stadium, was really looking forward to seeing Chris Gayle tee off, but it wasn't to be.
I had never seen a team in the position of 1 for 4 before, and with West Indies bowling with their tails up, it looked like Pakistan would be rolled for a record low total.
A large Pakistan contingent cheered any fielder manning the boundary. Mohammad Irfan took his cap off and waved to the fans which went down well.
Andre Russell's shot which landed on the roof of the Hagley Pavilion, an almighty blow!
Darren Bravo didn't have the happiest day at the office - after diving to make his crease taking a run, he copped a sickening blow to the head from the fielder attempting a run-out. Not long after, he took a run and pulled up short with what looked like a hamstring problem and had to leave the field on a cart. To add salt to the wound, he was left on 49. Luckily, the rest of his team-mates finished the job and made it a brilliant day for the team.
A great turnout from the Christchurch public, along with fanatic fans for both teams. The Pakistani fans outnumbered the West Indies group, with green-clad supporters waving green and white flags with pride around the stadium. A Caribbean lady several rows back had the whole stand laughing and cheering her beloved boys along with her, screaming for the team at the top of her voice and running in the aisles waving her flag. The weather was a lot warmer than game one, and everyone in the crowd showed up to party and enjoy the match, which provided an excellent atmosphere.
Plenty of Pakistani supporters clad head to toe in green were seen wandering the grass banks. One man chose to dress as Superman and ran along the embankment in the latter half of the game. Another chose this fixture as the destination for his stag party, with his friends dressing him up in a red dress, a red cardigan with STAG emblazoned on the back, red knee-high socks and a cowboy hat - or perhaps it was his choice.
The song interludes between plays in the game were quite amusing - With Arms Wide Open by Creed for wide balls, and Are You In? by Incubus for the third-umpire decisions.
Sandwiches, a wide-brimmed cricket hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and the all-important orange Tui Catch-a-million t-shirt.
8/10. Great weather, great atmosphere, some excellent cricket from West Indies, but it ended up being a one-sided contest.
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