A colourful crowd and striking sunset greeted world champions India to McLean Park yesterday for the first ODI in their tour of New Zealand.
The cricketing gods appeared to smile down on McLean Park as the Napier pitch basked in sunshine and 30C-plus heat, while the game turned into a nail biter, enthralling fans until the final overs.
Again the Indian superstars of world cricket attracted their fanatical supporters.
However, the crowd also included a plethora of Kiwi punters trying for a one-handed catch to win $100,000.
Cricket tragics had the opportunity to have their photo with and fingerprints left on the Cricket World Cup trophy as the golden prize makes its way around the country before next year's World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.
Children also continued the tradition of backyard cricket behind the stands, as a kids play area was set up with catching, bowling and batting games.
The crowd was treated to some of the best limited-overs players in the world, witnessing another classy century by Indian star batsman Virat Kohli, while New Zealand allrounder Corey Anderson continued his fine form with some lusty blows to round out the first innings.
The Black Caps won the game largely thanks to a late wicket-taking spell by Hastings-born fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan.
That left Kiwi fans walking away from the park with a smile on a near-perfect day.
Anderson was man of the match and received cheques from ANZ bank of $500 for himself and $500 for a cricket club of his choice. He chose Taradale Cricket Club.