NZ vs England cricket: Inside a reporter's notebook

2:10 pm on 5 July 2019

RNZ award-winning reporter Ravinder Hunia was at the Riverside Durham, England to see the Black Caps take on England at the Cricket World Cup. Take a look inside her reporter's notebook, as she took in the spectacle.

Cricket fans cheer during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between England and New Zealand at the Riverside Ground, in Chester-le-Street, northeast England

Cricket fans cheer during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between England and New Zealand at the Riverside Ground, in Chester-le-Street. Photo: AFP

Weather conditions: Temperatures hit 21 degrees, sunny with cloud about perfect condition for cricket.

At least 40 journos in the press box, two are women (including myself). Easy lines to the bathroom.

Almost 15,000 people are here, both England and New Zealand supporters - busloads of supporters entering stadium but NZ obviously outnumbered.

Comments being made on the number of New Zealand supporters wearing the vintage beige NZ shirts.

A good surface for NZ batsmen to find some form in the final qualifier - in particular Martin Guptill and Tom Latham.

England win toss and chose to bat (what they wanted); the three games England have lost they have been chasing.

No Lockie Ferguson, no Ish Sodhi for NZ Southee and Matt Henry in while England an unchanged line up.

It's Wimbledon on here in England. Novak Djokovic on at 4.15pm (he went on to win his match in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 against an American.)

A big 'Anti-Discrimination' sign flashes occasionally at the grounds advising spectators that racist, homophobic and any other abusive comments will not be tolerated at the grounds - it's an official ICC World Cup warning.

Taylor Swift's Shake it off playing at the ground.

100 runs in 14.4 overs - Bairstow & Roy

Roy reaches 50 - crowd uproar

Bairstow hits 50 ... going to be a long day for NZ fans...

England, 150 in 21 overs

Finally a wicket - Roy gone for 60

RNZ's Clay Wilson (L), Ravinder Hunia (ML), Joe Porter (MR) and Zoe George (R) at the 2018 T P McLean awards.

Ravinder Hunia Photo: Supplied

26th over: Joe Root complains about his eyes, medic runs onto the pitch. Twenty-one 4s scored so far, no sixes.

27th over: One guy in media box gets up and yells "boring"

First 6 of the match. Gwen Stefani's Sweet Escape playing.

Wimbledon check ... Roger Federer used to play cricket

30th over - Crowd on their feet as Jonny Bairstow reaches 100 runs. The Greatest by Sia playing.

Celebration cut short with the next ball Joe Root caught out - gone to DRS ... he's out to NZ fans delight.

Joss Buttler comes in, it's usually Eoin Morgan, a clear promotion for Buttler.

31st over: Bairstow salutes the crowd as he leaves the pitch for 106 after being clean bowled by Matt Henry.

Captain Eoin Morgan approaches the crease. 207/3

34th over: Big cries from the crowd as England wickets fall. Butler out for 11 c. Williamson, b. Boult

NZ FIGHTING BACK AT THIS POINT and getting our hopes up!

England make 305 at the end of 50 overs.

The crowds have officially soaked in a lot of sun and ale at this point - real festival vibe around the grounds. I found a Māori man playing Sweet Caroline on the guitar ... ahhhh the sounds of home, makes me a little homesick!

Ale is pouring ... but so too is the ice cream - it's a scorcher here in Durham.

And where there is a lot to drink, there is a lot to eat! Burgers going for around 5 pounds, and it wouldn't be England without a tea stand.

NZ chase is now under way.

Henry Nicholls out for a duck in the first over.

English singing is echoing through the grounds now.

"Ooh ahh Liam Plunkett, ooh ahh 6 or 4 ... ohh ahh Liam Plunkett he just keeps on getting balls."

Mark Wood writes for Barmy Army about teammate Liam Plunkett

Guptill breaks NZ hearts caught and bowled for 8 runs.

Now a streaker is on the pitch ... now ... impressive that he has made all the way to the pitch with no chaser in sight. The streaker (wearing only a green clown wig) almost looks like he doesn't know what to do now he has been out there for so long (is this a new world record? This wouldn't happen in NZ!). The players look so awkward just letting him do his thing as strikes a pose. Ahh, here they come, come on mate let's get on with the game.

A streaker disrupts play during the Cricket World Cup fixture between England and New Zealand.

A streaker disrupts play during the Cricket World Cup fixture between England and New Zealand. Photo: AFP

Painful moment listening to English commentary trying to make sense of a "Stay Woakes" banner for Chris Woakes. "Is that street? Is that fleek?" they say ... make it stop.

Williamson run out by a fingertip touch for 27.

NZ media seemingly walking in and out of the press room now; one has gone for a beer. English press are fully engaged and many of the other nations' media propped up in the back are laughing and not paying any real attention to the game at all; sums up the experts' predictions.

The ICC win predictor has NZ at a 1 percent chance of winning *sigh*

NZ are playing mediocre cricket with a possible semi-final against Australia next, while England are growing and improving against the top teams - and so too are their supporters! It was only a week ago home fans (and tabloids) had lost faith in their side, a bit like NZ right now - oh what a difference two dominating wins can make!

It's barely the 40th over, I'm preparing to do a live cross for First Up for "atmos" (or atmosphere) in the grounds but crowds are already leaving confident that their English boys have done the job.

And it's over.

Now we wait. It looks likely that we are in the semifinal against, probably, Australia in Manchester next week, so long as there aren't pyrotechnics from Pakistan in these last few pool games. And then we'll do it all over again next week.

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