ODI: India vs. South Africa at Newlands

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We were so excited when we got our tickets to the ODI at Newlands between South Africa and India because the energy at the stadium is always enjoyable. If you live in Cape Town and haven’t yet been to see a game at Newlands Sahara Park you’re really missing out.

The game started at 2:30 and by 2pm the traffic in the surrounding roads already begins to become a frenetic challenge. Guarded parking space is available for R50 (during the five-day test it was R30), and is an excitable five-minute walk from the stadium.

The sheer size of the grounds and stands is enough to make anyone impressed, and a little anxious about finding allocated seats. But the Newlands grounds men are always ready to help out, sending you in the right direction, and after we’d picked up a bottle of water and a few beers we took our spots in eager anticipation of the game.

The stands were packed and spectators were wearing crazy hats, face-paint and their respective team colours. The sight of the thousands of free South African flags that were given out waving around throughout the stadium was amazing to witness.

And when you get a little bit hungry there’s plenty food to choose from. The stalls proffered everything from hot dogs, gatsbys and Chinese to snacks, sweets and even cups of corn. You can also get just about any beverage (alcoholic or not) to quench your thirst.

The atmosphere was awesome to be a part of with fans cheering on fours and sixes, and the whole stadium taking part in an energetic Mexican wave that ran around the grounds more than three times. We made a few signs that read, “I came here to see Steyn bowl!” and “This batsman won’t be ‘Stey’n’ long”, and the friendly camera-guy in front of us made sure we got our 30 seconds of fame.

During the lunch break we were entertained by some on-field activities that saw some of the cricketers themselves scrambling through the obstacle course that was set up.

Even though India won we had an amazing time, it’s an experience that every true South African needs to have. Whether you like rugby, cricket, soccer or scuba-diving, attending a national game of cricket at the beautiful Newlands Sahara Park is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

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