I gave Gemma 2 tickets to the ICC World Cup 2015 Semi Final for her birthday. Back in February, she had just been whittling about wanting to go, so it seemed a good idea. Thinking about it now makes me think of when Homer Simpson buys Marge a bowling ball with his name on.
Anyway, we both booked the day off work in anticipation for our first one day international and cricket world cup. New Zealand were unplayable leading up to the semi, topping their group and helping to knock the woeful England out. I know a few South Africans over here so was happy to hear when the fixture was NZ v SA.
We both had a nice lie in, which is always a nice surprise on a weekday. I woke up to a cuppa and some fruit, and I wolfed them down before heading out for a walk to the stadium (we live 5 minutes away from Eden Park) to buy an orange ‘Catch A Million’ tee shirt. If you catch a six with one hand whilst wearing this tee shirt, you win a share of $1 million dollars. I suppose it’s worth a shot.
I grabbed the tee shirt and a couple of early beers in the sun before heading back to the flat where Gemma was looking lovely and ready to go. I put my bright tee shirt on, checked we had the tickets and we went searching for a pub.
We found the Faltering Fullback was perfect. Busy enough for atmosphere, but the bar was actually visible. After some good light hearted conversation with a Kiwi or two, we found they were very confident of the win. Most of the crowd were now in the ground, so we supped up and headed through the gates around 2pm.
We had great seats, and the atmosphere was electric. South Africa were batting first, and they did a pretty good job. The crowd were going wild for every wicket, and even those that were “nearly” out! I bet Gemma that New Zealand would win, and she was happy to go for South Africa.
Just after half way through their planned 50 overs, the New Zealand rain began falling, creating a misty effect in the stadium. As with all cricket, this stops play and everyone in the cheap seats comes running to our bit! We grabbed a bite to eat (chips) and waited for over an hour for the rain to clear and play to resume. Due to some crazy rule the game would now be 43 overs, leaving South Africa only 4 more overs to get slogging.
New Zealand had a mountain to climb once they were in bat, and after Brendon McCullum’s fantastic 60 odd runs off 30 balls, he got caught, and the run rate inevitably decreased. Our bet was beginning to look more and more in Gemma’s favour. After a few 6’s towards the end, the last over had 2 balls remaining and NZ needed 5 runs to win. The last over had the entire country on it’s feet, so you can imagine what the stadium was like.
Watch the video until the end to see what happens!
What a fantastic finale! Everybody went crazy and fireworks were exploding left, right and centre.
We both had a great day, and I even managed to stay relatively sober. We would recommend ODI cricket to all, as it can be great fun. Be warned though, not every game will be this spectacular. Some games are very one-sided, but this one was great. If the ICC World Cup is in your country, try and get a ticket, because it might never come again!
Find more photos here.