At the Cricket

The test between New Zealand and Pakistan was very evenly poised going into the last day, so we spent another afternoon in the sun at the Oval.

Petra lasted a couple of hours, hours during which it seemed that New Zealand was going to be batted out of the game. The Pakistani contingent in the crowd got increasingly vocal and active, running around the ground with flags waving.  The wickets didn't start falling until after we got home – I listened on the radio as the New Zealand fast bowlers whipped through the final five batsmen.  I bet the Pakistani crowd got quieter while the NZ supporters became rowdier and rowdier.

Cricket has gone into a decline in New Zealand during my years overseas.  Watching New Zealand play recently has required a special kind of masochism.  Until yesterday, they hadn't won a test match for a year.  The poor results have led to a huge drop in attendance at matches.  I used to go to Carisbrook along with 10 to 20 thousand others.  Yesterday, we were at the University Oval (a much smaller ground) as part of a crowd of just over 2200.  It was fun and atmospheric even so – but the reduced crowds are a bit alarming.

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