Wide-eyed boys punched the air and cheered on their idols as the Black Caps batted their way to another victory at McLean Park yesterday.
Officials reluctantly turned people away from the match against Afghanistan as gate sales quickly ran out.
Families on picnic rugs were dotted among orange-clad fans hoping to catch a share of the $1 million on offer from the Tui promotion.
Sharyn Heibner from Hastings said her boys loved cricket and it was "pretty neat" seeing their idols up close.
Josh, 12, dreamed of bowling like Tim Southee one day.
"He's fast and cool."
The Havelock North Intermediate player spent a lot of time practising in the backyard against his dad and younger brother.
When asked who won, Josh was quick off the mark to say: "I do", although brother Beau, 8, strongly disputed this, claiming he once made 105 backyard cricket runs.
Beau and grandmother Claire Francis, from Taranaki, were enjoying their first Black Caps game.
It was another thing ticked off the "bucket list" for Mrs Francis.
She had been the wicket keeper for the senior ladies' team in her day.
Her Taranaki hockey team started playing cricket to keep the team together and in shape, although it didn't last long, she said.
The crowd erupted as Daniel Vettori took his 300th one-day international wicket.
Even the boys waving Afghanistan flags cheered.
Oman Khwaja, 18, spent an hour painting his body red, green and black to show support for his home country.
He and his cricket-mad family had spent Saturday at Eden Park supporting Pakistan before coming to Napier to see Afghanistan play. He wasn't too fussed if his adopted country won, as he was a big Brendon McCullum fan.
Napier mayor Bill Dalton said the city had turned on a fantastic day.
"It's been well supported by the people of Hawke's Bay and it has been a great showcase for the region.
"It's a great day for Hawke's Bay and a great day for cricket."
The general manager of operations for the New Zealand Cricket World Cup, Anthony Crummy, said yesterday afternoon he was pleased with how the match was running.
"It's great to see a full house at McLean Park. The bank's full, there's no space at all, which is great, there's a good family atmosphere and everyone's really embraced the day."
He encouraged fans to also pack out the park at the UAE vs West Indies match this Sunday, which was the last match in New Zealand before the knockout phase of the Cricket World Cup.