American fans shouting “Pakistan Zindabad”, Pakistani fans leading reverberating chants of “South Africa Zindabad”, Sri Lankans dancing in the aisles despite the fluctuating fortunes of their team during a match, the 2012 World T20 has served up quite a few surprises and a lot of flavour.
Traditionally, the West Indies supporters have been known to bring quite a carnival to cricket matches. But anyone who has experienced the buzz around the sub-continent is well aware that Sri Lankan fans can really go the distance as well. Add to that mix hordes of Pakistani and Indian fans, and some great encounters on the field and you experience an atmosphere described by a traveling ESPN writer as “insanity”.
Shoaib Tariq, a photographer from Karachi attended the matches in Sri Lanka and captured many of the fans and celebrations during the Super Eights to provide a Dawn.com exclusive gallery of the stands.
An enthusiastic Pakistani fan points to his shirt and cheers at the camera just before the Pakistan Australia Super Eights match outside the R Premadasa Stadium in Columbo.
An Indian fan paints himself with the colours of his country's flag, along with the message "Miss you Tendulkar", just before the beginning of Australia India Super Eights match.
A Pakistani supporter and Indian fan stand together arm-in-arm during the Pakistan South Africa Super Eights match.
Pakistani fans in various costumes and customised team shirts cheer during the Pakistan South Africa Super Eights match.
A South African fan wearing the team's flag celebrates the wicket of Shahid Afridi during the Pakistan South Africa Super Eights match.
Two fans pose together at the Pakistan South Africa Super Eights match, one of them is the "Pakistani superhero", who is the newest mascot in the long line of die-hard Pakistani supporters who are seen at most matches that the team plays. The first of these was "Chacha Cricket" who began to make a regular appearance at Pakistan matches almost fifteen years ago.
Pakistani fans celebrate their team's win against South Africa in their match during the Super Eights.
A full house teems with energy at the India Pakistan Super Eights match as India and Pakistan flags pepper the stands.
Fans of Shahid Afridi pose for the camera at the Pakistan Australia Super Eights match while holding a shirt bearing his nickname "Boom Boom", and an old photo of the Pakistani all-rounder.
Fans wearing Sri Lanka shirts, Australia shirts, and even a few holding South African flags cheer together, as a huge Pakistan flag waves above at the Pakistan Australia Super Eights match on October 2.
A local band playing traditional Sri Lankan music during the Pakistan India match in the Super Eights.
Sri Lankan fans at the Pakistan India match dance and celebrate in the stands, while a local band plays traditional Sri Lankan music.
Indian fans dressed up in traditional clothing for the big match, Pakistan v India, at R Premadasa Stadium in Columbo. Indian fans traveling to watch the matches call themselves the ?Bharat Army?.
This fan wearing a t-shirt that read: 'I back the Pak' during the Pakistan South Africa Super Eights match confused many fans as it was unclear whether this was an Aussie supporter backing Pakistan for the day, or just a South African gone rogue. Wright Thomson of ESPN actually shed some light on his identity in an excellent feature: "Andy and Melissa Heger live on a quiet lane in central Colombo, moving here after falling in love with it during a sailing trip around the world, somehow ending up in the inner circl