This had the feel of village green being played at a 35,000 seater stadium under bright lights.
The first sight that jumped out was the sight of a KFC zone all decked out, yet completely barren. Its siren still sounded when the ball went there however which, if anything, seemed to rub it in more.
When play got underway it got even stranger. The players walked out to Go Bang by Pnau but to no ground announcement. They almost seemed to take the field apologetically.
They even forgot to do the National Anthem.
The music throughout was familiar but different. It wasn’t belted out at nightclub volume like you would normally expect; it had more of a chilled Saturday afternoon BBQ feel to it. Except for when they turned it up for a bit of AC/DC.
It is unclear whether Maxwell walking out to “Freakshow” was his choice.
When New Zealand went out to bat it was to the sounds of Solar System by Sub Focus. Devon Conway walked out to some Shapeshifter.
There were about 15 or so ballboys (for want of a better term) scattered around the stadium. They were mostly next to the aisles connecting the ground to the concourse. You would not want a long delay while players tried to find a ball that was hiding under a disused Fritz Weiner stand.
They were placed there partly to ensure there was no repeat of Finn Allen’s sixfest at the Basin last weekend in Day One of Level 3 when players had trouble finding the ball.
In the end Australia won comfortably, they gave a debut to a seriously quick bowler, and only one seat was broken. Even Finch got runs, and Ashton Agar took 6 wickets bowling in shirt three sizes too big.
And with no other noise around it can be confirmed that, even at international level, there’s always that guy at Third Man who yells out “Catch it” when the ball is lofted in the direction of long on.
Having no streakers was good.