Sunday, 22 June 2014

Headingley - Yorkshire CCC

21st June 2014

England v Sri Lanka 

(Second Day of Second Test)

It had only been ten months since I last saw England play, but in that period almost half the side had gone.  I do appreciate there had been the disastrous Ashes Series in Australia (and all the associated blood-letting) since, but even so this did appear to represent a significant changing of the guard.

Nothing wrong with that I reflected - all very good to allow a few young English-born players the opportunity to play for their country and progress.  Except I noted that three of the new faces Sam Robson, Gary Ballance and Chris Jordan first saw the light of day in Australia, Zimbabwe and Barbados respectively.  Up and coming home-grown players must occasionally wonder why they bother.

This transitional England side had nevertheless made a reasonable start to the Brave New World, with perhaps only a slightly conservative declaration preventing them winning the First Test of this two match series with Sri Lanka.  And in the opening day of this (the second test of the series) England had dismissed the tourists for 257, and had successfully batted themselves for a spell in the evening.  This it was, this second day saw England resume on 36/0.  

The home side began to nibble into this lead, but goodness me it wasn’t half hard going to begin with, with a mere 29 runs being added during the first hour.  

However the run-rate inexorably picked up and England even survived the early loss of Captain Alastair Cook as the aforementioned Robson and Cook resolutely stuck to their task.  Robson eventually attained his maiden test century just after the tea break, with England eventually closing the day on 320/6; a modest lead of 63.

Headingley, Leeds - Yorkshire CCC

Headingley, Leeds - Yorkshire CCC

What do you mean, you do not have a favourite radiator !!

This, I assume, is the press box.

The Carnegie Pavillion, Headingley.

The Old Pavillion

Headingley, Leeds - Yorkshire CCC

This was the first time I had been to Headingly and was intrigued to see what sort of monkey business the (once notorious) West Stand fancy-dress brigade would get up to.  But everything appeared to be all rather good-humoured across there.  

They entertained themselves by wolf-whistling the busty girls charged with the task of collection the empty plastic glasses, constructing the traditional snakes from those glasses they succeeded in hiding from the girls, initiated the dreaded Mexican Wave, and occasionally watched some cricket.

In what was a diverting rather than engrossing day’s sport, I noted other individuals took different approaches to dealing with the occasions where interest waned during Robson’s grinding Boycott-esque efficiency.  Some filled in Sudoku grids whilst others simply nodded off.

When interest waned some had a nap............

............and others turned to more cerebral pleasures.

No shortage of umpires at Headingley.

It's a BIG one !!

I assume you need a snake-builder at either end?

Gary Ballance - England v Sri Lanka June 2014

Gary Ballance - England v Sri Lanka June 2014

Rangana Herath bowls to Sam Robson.

I am fairly sure this was Gary Ballance as well.

This rather unorthodox-looking shot brought up Sam Robson's century.

Sam Robson accepts the applause after his 100. 

England v Sri Lanka - Second Test June 2014

Behind one of the stands can be found The Headingley Carnegie Stadium -
home of Leeds Rhinos rugby union club. 

Headingley, Leeds - Yorkshire CCC

Update:  England posted a first innings total of 365, which was trumped by Sri Lanka's second innings 457 all out (which included 160 by Angelo Mathews).  Chasing a total of 350 run to win, England fell short by exactly 100 runs.

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