- Outside the stadium India fans were singing a song which I swear was vaguely to the tune of Achy Breaky Heart. I didn't catch the words except for one which was very clear: "Pakistan" :-)
- In true stadium tradition, prices for food and drink were outrageously high. Of course, what with the exchange rate, this meant that a glass of Pepsi was 75 cents...
- India batted first, and after a little while the crowd started chanting "We want 6!" (a 6 is the equivalent of a home run). And lo and behold, the batter hit a 6 on the very next ball!
- Asking the crowd to yell as loud as they can is a pretty standard practice. But the announcer at this game kept telling people to _whistle_ as loud as they can, which was downright annoying.
- One thing I didn't get a good sense for on TV is how much positioning of the fielders matters. The "power play" lasts for the first 6 overs, and there can only be two fielders in the outfield, while usually there are 5 or so. The fielders also often got repositioned, especially when the batsmen switched.
- Our ticket came with a snack box, which was basically a boxed dinner.
- I didn't 100% understand what was going on, but every time a particular Indian fielder looked in our general direction people cheered.
- The way T20 cricket works is one team bats until they're done (either because they're out of overs or everyone is out), and then the other team gets to bat. This means that it can be tough to tell who's ahead. Handily, the scoreboard shows the Duckworth-Lewis method of the batting team's target, so you can always have an idea of how they're doing.
- Whenever the wicket gets hit, it blinks bright red. This is helpful for the umpire determining whether the wicket got hit before the batsman ran back behind the line, but it also makes for a striking visual contrast when an out happens.
- The game was crazy exciting! India scored 146 runs, which is OK but not great. The Indian bowlers did a good job of not letting the Bangladesh hitters run away with things, but for most of the game they were ahead of the D/L score, or right on track. By the last over, they only needed 11 runs from 6 balls. India had already taken 6 wickets, so Bangladesh was down to their less-good hitters, but 11 runs from 6 balls is not that hard to do. (case in point: today the West Indies got 24 runs from 4 balls to finish the game) It's a higher run rate than usual, but in the last over you can throw caution to the wind and swing for the fences. It also means that all they needed was one 6 and the rest singles, which seemed very possible.
For the full effect, watch this video of the last over!
On the first ball, Bangladesh got a single, so they now needed 10 runs from 5 balls.
Next ball they hit a 4, so they needed 6 runs from 4 balls.
Next ball they hit _another_ 4, so they only needed 2 runs from 3 balls. At this point, we got up to leave, because 2 runs from 3 balls is ridiculously easy. The stadium was quiet except for the Bangladeshi fans cheering.
Next ball the batter hit it in the air, but not far enough and it was caught! But Bangladesh still only needed 2 runs from 2 balls. But we did stop on our way out to watch the end.
Next ball the batter hit it in the air again, and an Indian fielder made a running catch! It was a nice defensive play, and now Bangladesh needed 2 runs from 1 ball. (if they scored only one run then it would go to an extra over)
So now the stadium was rocking waiting for the last ball. The Indian bowler threw a nice pitch and the batter missed the ball, but the runner was already running from the other wicket. The Indian catcher got the ball and raced toward the wicket and hit it as the runner crossed the line. So there was an instant replay and the stadium was extremely loud!
It looked to me like the runner was safe, but the whole Indian team crowded around the umpire as the instant replay happened. Then they all started cheering and celebrating, so we did too! The "Out" decision followed shortly on the scoreboard. What a game!
<- Brightly-colored India fans :-)
<- India batting. The Bangladesh bowler is about to release the ball!
<- My ticket. The punchline is that seats on row M only go up to number 195. So...yeah.
<- The crowd celebrates an India 6!
<- At the innings break, out comes what I dubbed the "cricket Zamboni"! It has two steamrollers on it for double awesomeness!
<- India celebrates a catch! I like how everyone comes over to participate - they have time because a new batsman has to come out.
<- During an instant replay, the fields mill around and the screen says "Decision Pending" and makes heartbeat sounds. It's intense!
<- We celebrate India's nail-biting win!