By Simone Mundy
Last Friday night in Adelaide was one of the hottest nights of the year and I had tickets to one of the hottest events in town – The KFC Big Bash! We caught the tram in and joined the masses on the journey over the foot bridge to the iconic Adelaide Oval. The crowd was a sea of blue with everyone ready to cheer on the Adelaide Strikers against the Melbourne Stars. I love Adelaide Oval and all bias aside, it truly is the most beautiful sporting ground I’ve ever been to.
At each of the home games the Strikers have special giveaways for the fans; previously they’ve had flashing sunglasses even inflatable strikers guitars. Friday was no exception and at the entry gates we were all given our inflatable clappers, Strikers hats and the essential “4/ 6” score cards so we were all set to join in the action.
You’re allowed to bring your own food in which is great for families on a budget, so we headed over to the hill to meet up with a few friends and threw down a rug on the grass for a pre-game picnic.
There was no shortage of entertainment on the hill to get everyone in the spirit of the game – children getting their faces painted with Strikers war paint stripes, playing on the bouncy castle in the kid’s zone, and those with a good aim took turns throwing balls at the water tank trying to dunk the players! The atmosphere was a lot of fun with families beating the heat by spraying each other with water pistols while some got their own game going while the Junior Blast teams played on the oval.
A Welcome to Country ceremony was the signal that the game was about to start so we made our move into the stands to find some seats. The Strikers won the toss and emerged from the tunnels to bat with all the fan-fare and fog machines! They got off to a good start smashing a few 6’s over the fence, but it was the batting partnership of (Captain) Hodges and Ross who quickly made 100 odd runs that got the crowd on their feet – every four celebrated with fireballs coming from the stands and fireworks for every six! The crowd armed with their score cards and clappers made sure the Strikers knew we were with them every step of the way and the cheerleaders barely had a break as the batters kept the runs coming hard and fast!
It was still hot at half time so we refilled our water bottles with the free cold water provided at the oval and easily made all the necessary pit stops. We got back to our seats just in time for the Jeep ‘Big Catch’ giveaway where a guy took a one-handed catch putting him in the draw to win a Jeep at the end of the season!
During the break the sun and moon swapped places in a spectacular blue, pink and purple sky show before the Strikers came back out to defend their score and the crowds’ enthusiasm hadn’t diminished. The lights had now come on and there was a crowd of young girls set up next to the cheerleaders joining in with every dance routine.
Although the Melbourne Stars got off to a good start with some cracking shots, our leg spinner Rashid held them down and we loved the light up Zooper Dooper wickets and chants whenever the Strikers got the Stars out! The catches were met with roars from all over the stadium helping keep the pressure on Melbourne. The crowd was every bit a part of the entertainment – joining in with the cooee calls, clapping games, the wave and my favourite – the YMCA. We got to meet the mascots who were making their way through the crowd regularly – although I was feeling for Smash, it was a hot night and judging by the sweat marks on his outfit, he had it tougher than some. Getting towards the end of the game I looked around and could still see Mums and Dads dancing with their kids and smiles all round right up until the Strikers won. After the game the cheerleaders came over with more giveaways and posed for photos with one very excited nephew of mine! I have to give those dancers credit – despite the heat they danced their butts off all night!
The event staff were great, taking family, couple and group photos of the crowds. I did have a giggle at the poor dad who was booted out of his family shot because he wasn’t cute enough – Lucky he was having a giggle too! In fact, all the event staff deserves a thank you for helping create a very family friendly atmosphere.
On the way home the trains and trams were full of families with sleepy children, happy from an exciting night’s entertainment and a Strikers victory. If you missed the game there’s a double header on New Years Eve with some special entertainment planned so you can still enjoy the fun this school holidays! Go on #giveitabash
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