World Cup match at Trent Bridge - a day to remember for Shaunak Das

From landing a ticket to the highest scoring game of the tournament to the little things that made the day unforgettable, Shaunak Das recounts his experience of watching a World Cup tie at the historic Trent Bridge.

BAN vs AUS

Shaunak Das at the Australia vs Bangladesh World Cup game at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.   -  Special arrangement

Trent Bridge is a name known to most of us Bengali folk, because of Sourav Ganguly's century in the second test after his debut century at Lord's. A record so unique that only three batsmen in the world have claimed this record till date.

I had been nursing the dream to watch a game of World Cup cricket for a very long. In July last year, the ICC announced World Cup tickets going on sale by lottery. Call it good luck, but after seeing the phrase 'sold out' everywhere, I was surprised when I managed to win a ticket to the Australia vs Bangladesh game in Nottingham, for all but 20 pounds (Rs.1700 approximately). The actual cost of these tickets were around the 150 pound mark (Rs.12,800 approximately) as these were seats near the boundary line.

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The day finally arrived - July 20. I was headed to Trent Bridge, along the famous Trent River. My Nottingham-bound train left London Euston in the morning. It was hard to ignore the marked similarities between the platforms of India and England, a shared colonial history to credit here perhaps. After a couple of hours and a five minute delay, we arrived.

The facilities available in Nottingham were impressive. As I headed out of the station, a woman who identified herself as an ICC volunteer informed me that trams and buses were free for ticket holders on match days. I was standing there with a group of Bangladeshi fans who were also headed in the same direction. We all cheered. A five-minute ride in the tram took us to the stadium.

100

Shaunak won a ticket to watch a World Cup game in a lottery.   -  Special arrangement

I was finally there - the same venue where Sourav Ganguly scored that hundred. So much history. The game began with the national anthems of both countries being played. Australia won the toss and chose to bat first, which was good news for us in the stands as the team has a brilliant batting lineup. We weren't disappointed. At the end of 50 overs, the Australian batsmen put up 381 runs for the loss of five wickets. Warner starred with a 147-ball 166. In the 48th over, rain came and the match halted for 10 minutes. I had my KC Paul umbrella from Dharmatala junction in Kolkata.

We are usually discouraged from eating inside the stadium, in the seating spaces specially. Quite a few had broken that rule already. I looked around as I munched on hot dogs myself. As the Bangladesh innings began, I also saw several visitors entering the area to watch the game. ICC had organised things well so other spectators are not disturbed.

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Bangladesh made a good start chasing 381 but wickets collapsed quickly for a while. After 44 overs, they were at par with Australia and things were looking positive when Tamim Iqbal gave his wicket up, having scored 62 runs. Mushfiqur Rahim's unbeaten century helped Bangladesh to 333 in their 50 overs.

No brawl, no rush, no fuss, it was a smooth game from start to finish. I saw an Indian boy selling valpuri and fuchkas outside the stadium, an oddity and surprise outside England and in the English neighbourhood of the stadium. We had access to free WiFi throughout the game. Uber has also been roped in as a partner of the tournament so I managed to get a discount there too.

All in all, this was a great experience. I watched a game which saw the most number of runs in the tournament so far. 700 runs, two centuries and a great game of cricket on English soil - now that's a day to remember.

The writer is based in Kolkata and travelled to the UK for the game.

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