A friend invited me to a cricket match yesterday, the one day international between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. He was very surprised to hear that in seven decades I had never been to a live cricket international. I enjoyed the experience, well, for a few hours anyway. It was a blazing hot day by Nelson standards, and the new Saxton Oval looked great.
I took my camera along, to see what sort of shots I could get from our seat in the stands. Sri Lanka were fielding. Watching in person gives a much better idea of just how hard the fast bowlers have to work: they take an enormous runup and really put some effort in to each delivery.
I can see why, like racehorses, they have a tendency to break down. The white ball is quite visible, and the stumps light up when the wicket is hit. Unfortunately this happened to Kane Williamson, one of our star batsmen when he “played on” (hit the ball onto his stumps) :
Not too long afterwards, the relatively new player Nicholl also gave me a good shot:
The Sri Lankan supporters just along from us in the stand kept up a steady chorus, led by this gentleman (here relaxing between performances)
Lots of kids in the crowd, getting autographs and appearing on TV:
(these two were being shot by the flying camera jockey on her Sedgeway)
I loved the dead rabbit on top of the camera – must be some sort of mascot? (Yes, I know what it really is.)
Not used to sitting in one spot in direct sun for hours, I lasted the first innings and then was forced to retire hot. After being thumped in their first two games, Sri Lanka played really well here and deserved their win.