As well as Football and the Olympics, I do enjoy a bit of cricket. Those of you who have been reading for a while will have read several blogs from matches I’ve seen in India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Australia (twice) and of course matches across England.
A few weekends ago, in the middle of a project dress rehearsal, I discovered that I could still get a ticket for the second test of the England v Sri Lanka series, at the home of cricket, Lords. Unfortunately, Test Cricket in England doesn’t come cheap, and £75 lighter (£5 booking fee), I received my confirmation email that the ticket was mine.
From where I live, just off the Old Kent Road, a trip to Lords it actually pretty straight forward, with a quick jaunt up the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle. So, with picnic packed, I was in situ at Lords at around 1000 in the morning, with an hour to kill before play started. Now, a day at the cricket isn’t complete with out a sun hat, a copy of the Daily Telegraph and a bit of sunshine in the sky… so armed with my broadsheet, the first hour passed by swiftly.
Lords Cricket Ground (the home of cricket) is an odd ball collection of stands which surround the famous pavilion (the same pavilion that Matt Prior broke a window in following his second innings dismissal – oops). As someone who loves his history and also his order to things, I find Lords a delight and a frustration all at the same time. There are at least four stands there that (if it was up to me) I’d knock down and extend other (more modern and better designed) stands around in their place – increasing capacity, without creating a giant concrete bowl. Unfortunately for you & the world, my power here is limited for a time.
I was watching Day Two of the test, with England having opened the batting with a mixed bag early on, to recover to a decent position by the close of play on Day One. As play started in front of me on Day Two, Matt Prior claimed his Century, before England were bowled out in the first session before lunch. Then came the Dilshan show… Sri Lanka proceeded to bat the rest of the day, with no wickets gone by 1730, when frankly, I’d seen enough runs & wanted some wickets… so with less than an hour scheduled for the rest of the day I headed for the train… to find out that England took a wicket about 20 minutes after I left. So my day at the test included about 350 runs and 5 wickets.
As I write, the test finished a draw with the weather taking too much time out of the game on Sunday and Monday to provide an opportunity for a decisive result.