On Sunday, Rahul watched the 2nd T20I between India and New Zealand live from the stands. Here's how his day panned out, in his own words.
This is it. Today is the day. After a 20-year-long wait, I’m finally going to watch a Cricket match live in the stadium, for the first time in my life. Words can’t describe how excited I am. I’ve just woken up, and there’s still 11 hours left for the game, but I can already sense it: this is going to be the best day of my life.
But 11 more hours, duh! Can it be 7 PM already?
Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Finn Allen, Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway. Fuuuuuuuuuuu… I CAN’T CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT! I’m already in cloud nine simply imagining the sheer number of sixes these players will be hitting today. 10? Maybe 15? Whatever the count might be, I hope I get to catch one.
But you know what? More than the batters, I’m super, super excited to watch Umran Malik bowl live. Being an aspiring quick myself, I absolutely loveeeeeee Umran. He gets me pumped up like no other cricketer in the country does, so I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT to get a glimpse of him. What if he breaks his own record and records 157 or 158 kph? OMG! 🥵
The face-off between him and Lockie Ferguson is going to be maddddd! I cannot believe that in 11 hours’ time, I’ll be watching two of the fastest EVER bowlers go up against each other. Fingers crossed they deliver 48 balls of thunderbolts between them.
Ideally, I would love for India to bat first, post 200+ and win comfortably, but I also wouldn’t mind a nail-biter. But all I’m hoping for, really, is a run-fest.
10.30 hours later — New Zealand win toss and bat; India drop Umran Malik
Ugh, Umran is on the bench. But it’s fine. At least Lockie is playing, so I’ll still get to see 4 overs of express pace. Shame India aren’t batting first, but didn’t New Zealand score 170-odd in the first game? Yeah, I’m confident that they’ll post a healthy total.
OKAY! LET’S GOOOOOOOOO!
New Zealand 33/2 in 6 overs
What. A. Start. I’m loving this.
I cannot believe how well India have bowled so far. To contain THIS New Zealand batting line-up to just 33 in the first six overs? UNBELIEVABLE!
The pitch doesn’t even look that bad either. This is champion stuff from the Indian bowlers!
If Hardik can trouble the NZ batters this much, can you imagine the damage Arshdeep will do? I’m sure he’ll be introduced into the attack anytime now. Oh, and Mavi too!
And I’m sure Phillips will DEFINITELY look to counter-attack.
Boy, this is going to be fun! 🤩
New Zealand 48/4 in 10 overs
KULDEEP, YOU BEAUTY! This ball to Mitchell alone has made the trip worth it! Surely, I’m blessed? To have got the opportunity to watch THIS magic ball live from the stadium?
Hardik is such a troll haha, bowling 2 overs of Hooda and all. I’m sure that’s it for Hooda, though, it’s going to be Arshdeep time now — I can sense it.
And I’m sure New Zealand, despite the poor start, will fight back too. We saw this in the ODIs, didn’t we? Bracewell is going to walk in too. And I know Chapman can hit a long ball.
These next 10 overs are GOING TO SLAPPPP!
New Zealand 71/5 in 15 overs
Ummmm, weird tactics from New Zealand but okay. Sometimes these things happen, right? Maybe Santner and Bracewell are purposefully taking it deep so that they can launch towards the end without worrying about the wickets. Surely, that must be the case.
This is good news for me because it means sixes will galore in these next five overs.
BRING IT ON!
And Hardik, please bowl Arshdeep? It’s been 15 overs bruv 😭
New Zealand 99/8 in 20 overs
Well, that was underwhelming. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I just overestimated the Kiwis.
But hey, on the flipside, this means I can return home early haha.
A target of 100? For a batting line-up consisting SKY, Kishan, Hardik and Tripathi? Pffffffttttt. I’m saying this is ending in 14 overs, MAX!
And man I can’t wait for this innings break to end and for India to come out to bat. I’VE BEEN STARVED OF SIXES! I NEED TO SEE SOME SIXES!
I can’t wait for the Indian batting line-up to school the Kiwis on the art of six hitting haha.
You know who I’m banking on? Ishan Kishan. The last time India played here he hit 89 and my friends, who watched the knock live, wouldn’t stop raving about just how good a hitter Kishan is. I know he’s had a dry run, but he is due a big score. Today is going to be his day.
And don’t forget. Lockieeeee Ferugsonnnnnn is going to start bowling thunderbolts anytime now!
BUCKLE UP, BUDDY!
India 29/1 in 6 overs
Oooooh, that was a tight powerplay! What a shame Shubman got out, he was looking so good :(
I’d have loved to have seen more action but it is what it is.
The good thing is that INTENT-MERCHANT Tripathi is here and he’ll definitely start going after everything anytime now.
And while Kishan’s score might be 11 off 20 balls rn, he just hit his most confident stroke of the day. It could very well be the release shot he needed.
Perhaps I’m witnessing the calm before the storm. Kishan might just be a volcano that’s ready to explode.
And yes, surely the introduction of Lockie is in the offing too.
Action-packed hour ahead, lezzzgoooo!!
India 49/2 in 10 overs
Man, I absolutely despise run-outs. Wasn’t to be Kishan’s day after all.
Not the first 10 overs I was hoping for, but you know what? I’ll take this boring phase if it means we get a SKY-Tripathi masterclass 😍
If there’s anyone who could light up Lucknow rn, it’s THESE TWO!
And IDK, I just have a feeling that both these players are going to put the foot on the accelerator right away.
51 needed in 10 overs with 8 wickets in hand? A loss is out of the equation. No reason to not go BANG BANG from now-on.
Hit one towards me, please? Thanks thanks!
India 73/4 in 15 overs
Not sure what’s going on. And not sure what to expect, either!
I’m trying my best to hold it together.
All I wanted was a few sixes, a few rockets from Lockie and a good, entertaining contest.
These players are killing me, man 😭
15 overs up and they still need 27 more, CHASING 100! No sixes and Lockie hasn’t bowled a single ball either. SERIOUSLY?
For the love of god, Hardik and Surya, DO SOMETHING IN THESE NEXT 30 BALLS! PLEASE, I BEG YOU!
India (101/4) win by six wickets with 1 ball remaining
Yay! India won! No, no yay! Yay-ing for this feels like an insult to the yay emotion.
I swear to god, I swear to freakin god, if I see any journalist, website or newspaper describe this dumpster-fire of a cricket match as a ‘thriller’, I will lose it. I WILL LOSE IT.
WHAT THE? No, seriously. WHAT WAS THAT? This was not what I signed up for. This was not what was supposed to happen.
Taking 119 balls to chase 100? And no sixes across 39.5 overs? And, on top of all that, the frontline fast bowlers from both sides bowl a total of 35 balls? What a sick joke. GIVE ME A BREAK!
I better NEVER SEE anyone on Twitter make arguments in favor of low-scoring games in T20s. EVER AGAIN! ‘LoVeLy tO sEe lOw sCoRinG tHriLLeRs’. No. Heck no.
I was at the stadium today and I can tell you, nobody liked what they saw. People, including myself, paid money to watch sixes and be entertained. Not for the cOnTesT beTweEn bAt aNd bALL.
Wicket is turning a lot, is two-paced and causing the batters trouble? Cool. But I don’t care. I really don’t. I wanna watch fours and sixes. Keep your minefields and green tops to Test cricket, please.
God damn it, my day has been ruined.
I’m never watching a game of cricket live in the stadium again!
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