Critic goes to the Cricket

Critic goes to the Cricket

(say that 5 times)

On Wednesday Critic didnít go to the cricket because we had to help write for Critic and had class, also it was raining. On Thursday Critic had to do Critic again and also had work so didnít have time for the cricket. This made Critic angry because it was a lovely day and the cricket was interesting. By the time Critic made it to the cricket (on Friday) two days of tough play had been and gone and strangely things were pretty even.

On a shortened first day Chris Martin, the only professional sportsmen who is also a smoker and a level three vegan, had tricked most of the South African top order into getting out to his looping in-swingers. After a slow start New Zealand finished the day with SA 7 down for 180 odd and could consider themselves marginally ďin frontĒ.

Day 2 was a cracker of a day which I missed because I had shit to do all day combined with issues over getting hold of the media passes we had organized. Thanks SOULS boys, you know who you are Ö Anyway. NZ mopped up the SA tail in reasonable time and set about struggling to bat SA out of the game. Turns out they couldnít take advantage of their efforts with the ball and ended the day 9 down with a lead of just 5. Yet another example of the Black Caps having an opportunity to take hold of a Test match and crumpling under the pressure. Happens every time.

I am a deep sleeper so getting to the ground in time for the first ball on Day 3 was never going to happen. I made time for an excellent fry-up courtesy of the genius that is Nick Honey (real name) and a bit of time spent organizing our method of sneaking booze into the cricket. This time we went for the old ďpour a bottle of vodka over the ice in a chilly bagĒ trick which is virtually fool-proof. All you have to do is chuck in a couple of big bottles of fizzy and a bag of chips to cover it up and your set for the day. Take a couple of cups with you (we went for those frat-boy red ones) and you can scoop up the ice-cold liquor, all day long. The plan hit its first snag when the friendly security guards insisted on enforcing the ridiculous rule that you cant bring in any bottles over 1-litre (our cokes were 2.25), stupidest rule ever. We got around it by decanting our coke into pump bottles, got really sticky hands from the pouring though which was annoying.

Once in the ground, we settled in the main stand and drinking commenced. It was a really sunny day so shirts were optional but sunnys and hats were a must. Our genius plan hit its second snag when the chilly bag we were using to smuggle liquor was found to not be watertight and was creating a boozy puddle under our seat. Luckily we were onto it quick as a flash and carefully poured all the vodka out into yet another bottle. There was a little wastage and the vodka had become quite watery but it worked pretty well.

I had a grand plan to wander around the ground and take photos of scarfies having a fun day at the cricket. They would have accompanied this article and readers could have tagged yourselves in them which would have been fun. I couldnít be bothered doing that because it was too hot, Iím a terrible photographer and I got drunk pretty quickly and would have fallen over and broken the flash-as Critic camera. Andrew (art director) would have been angry and I would have got fired. Instead, I just sat in my seat got wasted and took vague photos of things that were going on around me. I donít know how to work the camera very well so none of the photos turned out to be good enough for Critic to put their name too. Ah well.

On the field the field Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis treated the crowd to high quality test match batting. People around me were saying how boring it was but these are two of the best batsmen in the world. They were both in complete control, patiently waiting for the bad ball and then putting it away. It was a real treat to watch two players dominate a game on their own terms. They both reached 100 at some stage in the afternoon. Things were getting a bit blurry by then and I think one or both got out before the end of the days play. Later on I had Mexican food and may have shat myself, yah.

Day 4 was slightly chillier and I was extremely hung-over. I went down to the ground for a couple of hours in the afternoon. SA had built a 400 run lead and had put New Zealand back in with 4 sessions to chase it down (or be bowled out). NZ made good progress to be 137 for 2 at stumps with Brendan McCullum and Ross Taylor batting nicely.

On Day 5 it rained all day and I stayed in bed. Test match drawn.

- Gus Gawn

This article first appeared in Issue 3, 2012.
Posted 3:11pm Tuesday 13th March 2012 by Gus Gawn.