Thursday, 11 August 2016

Lord's - Middlesex CCC

2nd August 2016

Middlesex v Surrey
Royal London One-Day Cup

This trip to worship at the altar of the self-proclaimed “Home of Cricket”, did not quite go to plan, as inclement weather (once again not foreseen by my friends at BBC Weather) delayed the start of this Royal London One-Day Cup tie by a whopping five hours.  With the result, what I ended up witnessing was exactly what I had tried to avoid: to whit a t20 Blast.  Although this one (actually a t16 to be accurate) was mercifully shorn of all the irritating brain-dead additional “entertainment” which appears to have be bolted onto t20 these days.  Or at least had been at the one tie I attended at Hampshire last season.  Perhaps those chaps in the stripy blazers at Lords do not allow such stuff as Sweet Caroline karaoke and Bongo-cams

If results elsewhere went their way (in the event they did), the winners here would progress to the last eight of the Royal London One-Day Cup.  No Result would probably eliminate both, so you can imagine both sides were really rather keen to play some sort of match…any sort of match.  Irrespective of the conditions.

Surrey won the much delayed toss and chose to field, Middlesex captain James Franklin admitting he would have done the same.  It swiftly became apparent why, as the home soon were soon sitting at 23 for 3 after just three overs.  I felt sorry for poor Dawid Malan who, after having waited five hours for a bit of action (like the rest of us, admittedly) was out to the first ball he faced.

With aid of a fine knock of 29 (which had included three fours) by John Simpson, Middlesex eventually limped to treble figures (just), by the end of an innings which had been further reduced to 16 overs by another downpour.  Visiting bowler Tom Curran shipping ten runs in the final over certainly helped. 

In Surrey’s reply, Jason Roy disappeared first ball with Steven Davies following moments later, which left the visitors briefly on decidedly ropey looking 2 for 2 after a mere two overs.  Australian Aaron Finch stepped up to steady the ship, but even with his big hitting, Surrey always appeared (to my arithmetic calculations anyway) to be persistently lagging just shy of the required run rate.  When Finch was bowled by Ollie Rayner with the total at 35-4, I did feel the pendulum had just swung even further towards the hosts.  But the visitors to their credit never panicked, just stuck to their game plan and Ben Foakes and Zafar Ansari plodded on, keeping their side in contention. 

The whole complexion of the match changed, however, in the 13th over during which Foakes bashed poor Nathan Sorter for 15 runs.  This left the Surrey batsmen the luxury of a relatively modest over-rate target to overhaul the Middlesex total; Ansari winning the match - with the only boundary of his innings - with four balls to spare.

Pretty much the whole of the Middlesex innings had been played in a light drizzle throughout – although players did have to go off for a short period when the precipitation became rather more serious.  But nevertheless, it did make me think: what is all this Rain-Stopped-Play nonsense we hear about, when clearly the game is eminently and safely playable in the wet.

Bas relief frieze showing cricketers with The Ashes outside of Lord's Cricket Ground in London,

Lord's Cricket Ground

Grace Gates, Lord's

Lord's Pavilion and Warner Stand (work in progress)

As it says.....

W.G Grace and friend Mohamed al Fayed

MCC Cricket Academy and Gymnasium

From the rear the J.P. Morgan Media Centre looks considerably less impressive.

During the five hour rain delay folks used different methods to while away the time.
This chap indulged in a bit of juggling.....

.....whilst members of the Surrey team launched a number of balls from the pavilion to be caught by a team member down on the pitch. 

This clown gleaned pleasure from initiating groans from the long-suffering
crowd by opening his umbrella at inappropriate moments......

.....although, this cameraman had best idea.
He hooked a hammock onto the railings and settled down to play with his phone.

Can you tell I was desperately looking for anything remotely interesting to photograph during the delay?

These wig/head band things were being given away.  NOT a Good Look.

Panorama of Lord's Cricket Ground.

The good people patiently waiting

J.P Morgan Media Centre

Compton Stand, Lord's

The umpires have given the go-ahead, and the race is on to get the wickets in place...

...and to make a few final adjustments with a hammer.

First ball of the day (finally). Surrey's Jade Dernbach to Paul Stirling

Middlesex opener Dawid Malan out for a duck fifth ball of the match.

Panorama of Lord's Cricket Ground.

Lord's Grandstand

Nick Gubbins - Middlesex

Lord's Pavilion - completed in 1890

I am fairly sure this is Middlesex's George Bailey.

Ben Foakes - Surrey

Aaron Finch - Surrey

Panorama of Lord's Cricket Ground

Middlesex v Surrey - One-Day Cup - August 2016

Middlesex v Surrey - One-Day Cup - August 2016

Surrey's Zafar Ansari hits Toby Roland-Jones for four to win the match

Middlesex v Surrey - One-Day Cup - August 2016

Panorama of Lord's Cricket Ground.

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