On the spur of the moment, our good friend Fosdycke invited us to go to the cricket.
The husband person is a very keen cricket fan, and a leg-spin bowler himself, so he was excited to go; Betty is big on sitting still, and wanted to see what it was like, so she was excited too. Plans to bring nice things along, like a salad in a Mason jar, and a homemade lemon-stevia-and-matcha drink, which Betty was looking forward to, were quashed – it turns out that Eden Park security suspect that any glass receptacles will be repurposed as guided missiles later in the day, and they flatly refuse to let you bring them in. Fosdycke, who is a teetotaller, had to pour out two plastic bottles of cordial brought from home; they refused to give them the sniff test, or Miranda them in any way, and would only point sternly to the wheelie bin provided. (Of course, glass bottles of Tui are readily available inside.)
Even so, the atmosphere in the stadium was still quite lovely.
The fans were very well-behaved. This turned out to be mostly due to the fact that anyone having any fun was quickly asked to leave. Large billboards warned people against racist comments, which was nice, except for the pointed anti-Pom advertising displayed close by.
This chap started several Mexican waves and was escorted out by orange-vested guards.
He got a standing ovation and a kiss, though, so perhaps it was all worth it…
And in the stands opposite, people were having a grand time batting around a large bouncy ball, one of those floaty transparent balloony ones; security took it off them, but one of the Black Caps managed to scoop it out of the sin bin and give it them back; much applause.
About the game itself, there is little to say. New Zealand lost the toss and, rapidly, the game. Fosdycke was beyond despondent. At the very end, Mr Mills here caught the ball on the full and was transfixed by his own greatness, and the entire northern half of the stadium chanted for him to give a little wave, and after a while he was able to do so.
This was the last of the games that go only from two till nine-ish, but in a few weeks Betty and the husband person plan to go to one of the week-longs, in part. Betty will bring a plastic container and make her lemonade inside. They don’t take your folding knife, so that’s OK.