Considering that this was to be my first day of cricket in the new season, the day did not start well. The day actually started very badly. Around 5.30 in the morning we took a call from the Duchess of Castlebar, Daisy’s mum, who had been hyperventilating for several minutes and had, in distress, called an ambulance. My first thought was that my day of cricket might be at serious risk. My second thought was that the Duchess might be at serious risk.
In fact, neither of the disaster scenarios came to pass. By the time we got to the Duchess’s residence, 15 minutes after she called us, the wonderful ambulance crew were already there assessing her condition. After a thorough examination, the conclusion was that it was actually a minor turn and that she need not go to hospital unless she wanted to. She didn’t want to.
I was off the hook and soon on my way, albeit an hour or more behind schedule at the end of all that. I decided to abandon my planned session at the gym before Lord’s, instead resolving to walk rather than part-tube it. I got the bread and bagels from the bakers, made up the picnic, including the Richie Benaud-inspired Alaskan salmon, grabbed a fine bottle of Austrian Riesling from the fridge and set off on Shanks’s pony to meet Charley “The Gent” Malloy at the Grace Gate.
“I’ve not had a good start to the day,” said Charley.
“What happened?” I asked. “Considering that you are here and in one piece, I find it hard to believe that your start was worse than mine.”
“I got out a really nice bottle of red wine, as promised… and forgot to put it in my bag. I realised my mistake when I was halfway here.”
“No matter, Chas,” I said. “We can get by with one bottle. I don’t want to drink too much today, in any case.”
“I was thinking, I can buy us both a glass of red in the pavilion at the end of the day,” said Chas.
“Even better!” said I.
We took up position in Chas’s favourite spot for the start of play; death row – right at the front of the pavilion. I told Chas what had befallen me that morning, which made him feel even worse, as I had made the picnic, forgotten nothing and even got to HQ pretty much at the appointed time.
Perhaps it was the psychological discomfort, or the ongoing pain from his recent tumble, or a combination of those and the regular physical torture from sitting on those infernal pavilion benches, regardless of any other cause… but Chas was soon keen to move to more comfy seating.
We followed the sun around the ground, eating our picnic in stages and eking out the sole bottle of wine. In the Grandstand, Chas asked: “So have you got me a ticket for the Thursday or Friday of the New Zealand test?”
“Afraid not, Chas,” I said. “Daisy and I are off on holiday to Ireland, as you know. When the forms came around, I thought we might be still be away that week. Although we are actually now coming back on the Tuesday before the Test. Don’t suppose there’s anything worth buying at this stage for day one or two.”
“Humph,” said Chas. “I don’t feel so bad about the wine now.”
Although very early in the season, it was a gloriously sunny day. It was the kind of April day that makes your mouth water at the thought of a whole summer of cricket ahead. Even though you know that on your next visit you will be probably be wrapped up in woollies, with a hat, scarf and gloves. But in that moment, the whole summer is surely to be that kind of sunny day.
Yet the sun loses its strength early in the day, April time, so we started to feel cold and ventured back to the pavilion before stumps. The Bowler’s Bar was the obvious place to take sanctuary. The Test match was on the TV and the County Championship match was out the window. “Glass of Rioja please, Chas, thanks very much”. Bliss.
“Crikey,” said Chas, carrying two glasses of Rioja and a fist full of change. “I handed over a score, expecting at least an Ayrton and some back.” [Translation note: the gentleman proffered a £20 note, expecting the change to include at least a £10 note]
“Six pounds eighty a glass,” said Chas, to make sure I understood his point. “You can get a whole bottle of wine for that.”
“Indeed yes,” I said. “Lidl Claret is said to change hands for as little as £5.99 a bottle. But that isn’t fine MCC Rioja and it isn’t served at the home of cricket with live first class cricket out the window and the Test match on yon telly.”
“You are right,” said Charley. “This is bliss.”
There was a pause.
“…but six pounds eighty a glass.”7 Appeals
The last time Ireland played England in a one-day international in Malahide, Dublin, in 2013, I injured my back whilst emptying the dishwasher (at home, not in Malahide). This year, to avoid any such health and safety issues, I took myself along to the rematch instead, with a number of colleagues in tow. Having booked the tickets last autumn on the back of a cursory check of the long range weather forecast, we were somewhat disappointed in the run up to the match itself to see a storm brewing over Dublin, with its eye seemingly centred on the Malahide cricket club around noon on Friday. Oh well, we thought, they’re never right about the weather, those forecasters.
On the morning of the match, it was dry, if a little overcast. I arrived at the entrance to the grounds just as the announcer, well, announced the arrival of President Higgins to greet the two teams. Thankfully, there was no ensuing crush from those outside the ground eager to see the President, although I was worried how he was going to clear the boundary. I took my seat at 10.45am precisely, alongside the first two of my colleagues who were already seated with a pint in either hand. They were proud to tell me they had been second in line at the bar at 10.30am, just behind an English supporter who was berating the staff for not serving him at 10.29am. Having vowed not to have a drink before 11am, I contented myself with a cup of tea and a couple of chocolate digestives, a packet of which I had brought along with me with a view to sharing, but they don’t go with beer, seemingly. We agreed that the darkening clouds overhead suggested the forecasters might just have got it right for once.
One of a group of English supporters in front of us was wearing a full wet suit, snorkel and goggles as a commentary on the forecast. We gathered it was his stag weekend. They were ribbing one of the programme sellers, whose perm did make her look a little like 1970s-era Kevin Keegan, so there were some “I will love it if we beat them, love it!” type commentaries, which she either ignored or didn’t understand. I had a pint. We were slagging off the announcer, who in between every over ended his unnecessary score updates (we can see the scoreboard, thank you) by saying, v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y indeed, “… at this, the Royal London One Day Cricket International between Ireland and England at Malahide Cricket Club.” I think he was worried that somebody might be at the wrong event.
We had all brought our sunglasses to encourage the weather to do its best but in the end they weren’t much good against the rain, which arrived around 12.15-ish. We repaired to the beer tent and had another beer. Then we repaired to the food tent and had some food. I almost mastered the art of holding a pint, an umbrella, a burger and a basket of fries at the same time. Not quite the cuisine or the setting I had imagined for this, my first cricket match. We did spot the usual gang of Richie Benaud impersonators, who looked miserable enough wandering around the ‘tented village’ in their cream coloured linen jackets, although at least their wigs were keeping them dry, if somewhat itchy.
Eventually we decided to walk down to Malahide village for some proper drinks, knowing we’d only be a few minutes walk away for the inevitable resumption of play. However, the ridiculous and unnecessary abandonment of play around 3pm-ish intervened, although at least it meant that we didn’t have to stir from the pub, which was just as well because it was really tipping down outside. We agreed that the guy in the wetsuit had the right idea. We got a train around 5pm and I walked a couple of miles home in the rain to clear my head, arriving just in time for dinner.
Saturday and Sunday turned out to be dry and warm, either one of which would have been just perfect for cricket. Bloody cricket administrators.
Send your match reports to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.9 Appeals
It was a strange, bittersweet day, 10 April 2015. I woke up looking forward to buying in provisions ahead of Monday, which was to be my first day of cricket of the year – a traditional early season visit to Lord’s with Charley The Gent Malloy. Indeed, this year the tradition continues even down to the same two teams at play. But soon after rising, I learnt that Richie Benaud had died that morning, which put rather a dampener on my spirits.
Still, by late afternoon I had got my work done and also had convinced myself that Richie would have wanted me to lift my spirits and prepare for the new cricket season, as planned. So I dug out my picnic bag, stuck the picnic crocks in the dishwasher along with the breakfast things, donned my new titfer and headed off in the direction of the shops.
Charley is very particular about his favourite picnic foods. A few years ago he became partial to my wild Alaskan smoked salmon bagels or sandwiches, but these last couple of years I could never find an example of the Pacific species of salmon in M&S or Waitrose. I raised this important matter with Daisy over the Easter and she informed me that Tesco seems to have bought up the entire UK import quota of the smoked stuff.
But could I bring myself to set foot in a Tesco Metro en route to the Mini M&S? And would such a place stock the cherished sockeye comestibles? As I got near to the grocery-store block, I asked myself “what would Richie have done?” and concluded that he would have given Tesco Metro a try in these circumstances. I entered. The place seemed quite unfamiliar – nothing like the Little Waitrose and Mini M&S. Where on earth might they put the wild Alaskan smoked salmon, if indeed they stock it at all in this size of branch?
I considered asking a member of staff, but then went through my “what would Richie have done?” thought process and concluded that Richie was a real man. Real men NEVER EVER ask directions, not even in Tesco Metro. Anyway, there was little or no sign of staff to be found. And then, as if guided by a celestial spirit, I happened upon the very aisle and the very refrigerated shelf in that aisle which contained the smoked variety of the Oncorhynchus in question (nerka). I considered letting out a bestial roar at that juncture, but that didn’t feel very Richie. I also considered gently adjusting my trousers and shaking hands with a few nearby fielders, but that didn’t seem quite right in Tesco. Had it been Waitrose, then handshakes and polite applause for the departing salmon (unfortunately caught) would have seemed perfectly in order.
Yet there was still one more fiendish ordeal for me to negotiate before I could progress to M&S for the rest of my shopping. The queue for the regular checkout was extensive, but the dreaded self- service checkout machines were unoccupied. What would Richie have done in this circumstance? “You have to take chances in this game of life,” said my inner Richie. “Those machines are 90 per cent luck, 10 per cent skill, but don’t try it without the 10 per cent skill.”
I convinced myself that I must have at least 10 per cent of the skill required to operate such a machine, so put my basket down, bracing myself for the automated reprimands about bagging areas and unexpected objects. As if from nowhere, the one free-floating member of staff appeared beside me and asked me not to use that vacant machine but to use one of the others, because she needed to do something on “my” machine. This intervention seemed excessive, given that I only had one item to buy, but I was exiled to the other bank of vacant machines, to be robotically reproached by a machine other than the one of my choosing.
Yet I emerged having purchased my goods and progressed to M&S. There I bought the other items I needed and also bought some little packets of wheat-free tortilla chips. I always thought that tortilla chips were made of corn anyway, but apparently wheat free ones are a special thing. Old friends of me and Charley will know of a legendary shopping trip while at Edgbaston a few years ago, when Charley and I debated vociferously the relative virtues (in Charley’s case) or evils (in my case) of Doritos as picnic food. “Like an old married couple rowing” was the cruel but perhaps not unfair description. Anyway, these little bags are not Doritos, they are M&S wheat free tortilla chips with lime zest etc. – which is an entirely different thing. Guaranteed to raise a continuity smile, if not a laugh, come Monday. Richie Benaud would have liked that touch.
Send your match reports to email@example.com. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.12 Appeals
It was the last day of the cricket season and I was working that day – mostly from home. I got urgent stuff out of the way first thing, with a view to going to the gym mid to late morning, ahead of my one meeting of the day. I was hoping to catch some of the match at the gym while I toiled.
My plans to follow the match at the gym were confounded two-fold. Firstly, the seemingly endless gym refurbishment had moved on to the corner where the Sky equipment is kept, so there was no Sky Sports on the screens.
“No matter,” I thought. “I can still hear the game on the Freeview radio channel.”
I switched to channel 706. The screen said, “Cricket – Lancashire v Middlesex,” but the sound was golf commentary. I tried some channel hopping and stuff but to no avail – golf on two BBC bloke channels and cricket on none – what was going on? It took about 10 minutes for someone to announce that they were broadcasting the golf in the cricket slot because there was rain and early lunch at Old Trafford.
My exercise completed, I went on to my one meeting of the day, which was lunch with Jessica – a journalist friend and neighbour of mine. We met through comedy writing “back in the day”. She wanted to pick my brains about economics and finance, as she has been commissioned to give a talk to a bunch of German bankers, in German, on “whither finance?” or some such topic.
Jessica had offered to cook me lunch for this small slice of my brain, which seemed like a decent deal given the lack of inconvenience involved – I walk past her place on the way to and from the gym.
I informed her that nobody has any idea where the world of economics and finance is going, but some people are deluded enough to think that they do know what is going on. I also suggested that she relentlessly bash French bankers when talking to German bankers in London, much as I would advise her to bash German bankers if she were giving the talk to French bankers in London. This limited but sage advice was apparently plenty to justify a rather splendid home cooked lunch, centred around a very tasty chicken pie.
Rather than venture straight home, I checked the score and thought I had better get some grub in for after-theatre supper this evening, so I looped around via Big Al DeLarge’s place to get some posh nosh – Daisy should expect nothing less. I tried to banter with Big Al about the cricket match, but he was unaware of it. Once I explained the context and current match position, he said that he would follow the match on the radio for the rest of the day. Still, he seemed more pre-occupied with the impending fate of his beloved Burnley FC and suggested, surprisingly cheerily, that relegation battles had become the story of his sporting life.
Home via the dry cleaners to collect my clean clobber from Irma la Douce. I don’t think Irma is into cricket and today didn’t seem the right day to broach the subject for the first time. Through my front door and on with the TV, but with so much to do and so little time left in the afternoon in which to do it, I thought I had better go straight up to the office and get work stuff done now, before the denouement of the match possibly became unavoidably thrilling.
It was hard to concentrate on work during this part of the day but I did my best, keeping half an eye on the Cricinfo score ticker. By the time I was ready for another break and went down for a cuppa, Charles Colvile was waffling on about some minor details of match post mortem, as the game had ended.
Daisy and I had been very much looking forward to theatre and after-theatre supper all week – indeed both proved to be excellent. But, as I said to Daisy when she arrived at the flat before the play, I’d probably had enough drama for one day already.
Send your match reports to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.6 Appeals
My baby was due to enter the world on February 18th, just a few days into the tournament. Not ideal timing, but at least he wasn’t interrupting The Ashes.
In the end, he was late. Five days after the scheduled start of his innings, at risk of being timed out, things began to stir. We were just getting used to the comfortable preliminary round, experimenting with fielding positions and fine-tuning the batting order, when the situation suddenly became a bit more serious. Flashing lights, pained expressions, screaming and shouting – we were now well and truly into the knockout stages.
You can do all the net practice you like, but out in the middle it’s a different matter entirely. I proved myself a useful partner at home, picking up singles and keeping the partnership ticking along, but once in hospital I froze. All padded up with nowhere to go, I stood paralysed at the non-striker’s end as my darling wife held firm in the face of an almighty onslaught. Time and again she went down; the physio told her to retire hurt, to accept a runner, but she would not budge. She stared back at the bowler with a determined glare, took a deep breath and re-marked her guard.
The moment of triumph, when it came, was strangely muted. Despite having had my eyes fixed on this life-changing landmark for so long, I hadn’t really considered how I might react when it finally arrived. Should I look to the heavens and thank the Almighty? Get down on my knees and kiss the pitch? Or embark on a lap of honour, arms aloft, twirling my bat to the four corners of the stadium?
Nothing has been the same since. They say you never forget your first – a monkey off the back, an unsullied glimpse of a dazzling future, your place in the world secure forever. There will undoubtedly be low points – dips in form, tantrums, bad decisions, horrific collapses, entire days lost to bad weather. But a platform has been set, and now we must make hay while our son shines.18 Appeals
Late season, I always try to take in a day of county cricket with my old friend, Charley “The Gent” Malloy. It helps us both to prepare for the inevitable winter withdrawal symptoms to come. The cricket season starts earlier and ends later each year, yet it seems to fly by faster than ever, in the batting of an eyelid. Where do the months go?
In order to investigate this temporal phenomenon, which I shall paraphrase as ‘in search of lost time,’ I decided to add a large packet of madeleines to the picnic. I had bought a large pack of shop madeleines for day two of the Sri Lanka Test, but the combination of The Lord’s Throdkin and other delicacies had rendered them unnecessary that day. Each time I looked at the packet subsequently, I wondered about shop madeleines with at least three months on the best before date and decided to leave them for another day. But that September expiration date was fast approaching. Besides, as any fool knows, when in search of lost time, what you need more than anything else is madeleines.
Charley and I spent the morning session in the pavilion, where we met a delightful chap, originally from Halifax, who lived in Sussex but preferred the delights of Lord’s to those of Hove. He spent most of the time on his gadget looking at the Yorkshire score when he wasn’t talking to us.
Both Charley and I were suffering under the inevitable back strain arising from the traditional pavilion benches, as explained in match reports passim. On this occasion, Charley had done his back gardening (side strain) while I had done my neck by falling face-first on the macadam while playing tennis with Daisy a few week’s previously. We both agreed that the relative comfort and sunshine of the Mound Stand would please us more, as soon as lunch was called.
Once comfortable in The Mound, we tucked in to one of my traditional picnics. An especially good smoked salmon sandwich (Scottish, not Alaskan, although we debated whether the next batch of Scottish salmon would be a foreign import if the referendum next week were to go “yes”). A fine bottle of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. Some fresh fruit. A delightful prosciutto sandwich, which went well with the last of the wine.
Then, finally, the madeleines. No sooner had the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses. Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it?
And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings nanny would hand me, after dressing me in my little sailor suit, when I went to say good morning to mama in her boudoir.
“Are you getting involuntary memory from these?” I asked.
“Yup,” said Charley. “I can recall the rare occasions in that grim North-Eastern mining town, when mum would put a small pile of cakes on the table and the whole family would fight like wildcats in the hope that a few crumbs might touch yer palate.”
“Hmm”, I said. “I think we might both be getting false memory rather than involuntary memory from these shop madeleines. Must be the lack of lemon zest. Still, they’re surprisingly good. I’ll have another.”
“Me too”, said Charley.
Indeed, we ate three or four each and Charley took the remainder home to share with his wife and bairns. Bless.
As the end of the season approached, it dawned on me that the pile of reading I had hoped to take with me to Lord’s and read on sunny days was mostly still waiting to be read. Not that there had been a shortage of sunshine in the summer of 2014 – indeed it was one of the best that I can remember, but there had been a shortage of midweek first-class cricket at Lord’s during that quieter (work-wise) part of the summer. Indeed Middlesex played no first class cricket at all, anywhere, between 22 July and 31 August.
I had arranged to take Charley The Gent Malloy to see the Durham game the following week, so needed to shop for some picnic food and did have space at least to take an afternoon at Lord’s at the end of the Warwickshire game. I grabbed a book, which I felt I really needed to read for work, then wandered over to HQ, arriving around half-two. I held little hope of making too much headway into the book before stumps in those circumstances, but I needn’t have worried.
I once wrote a book review for Strategy magazine, in which I elucidated a scale I named the FDA (faintly decent article) scale. My theory is that most business and management books inhabit a sort of limbo or purgatory, in which material worthy of perhaps two or three faintly decent articles has been relentlessly padded out into a whole book. Sadly (or perhaps happily in these circumstances), the book I had taken with me to Lord’s was worth a mere two-and-a-half on the FDA scale. Thus, I was able to finish reading it (or rather discern all that was useful to me from it) and close the book just before the stumps were pulled out of the ground.
Sated (book-wise if not cricket-wise) I wandered home via the Porchester Waitrose, in order to buy the picnic food for next week. I very rarely visit any supermarket, let alone one that close to Lord’s. I vaguely hoped that I might see Tim Murtagh weighing up the relative merits of Golden Grahams and Special K in there. Or possibly even Sam Robson asking an assistant to direct him to the shelf where he might find quinoa with bulgar wheat. But no cricketers were to be seen in that supermarket. Shameful. So I quickly bought the small number of items I needed for next week’s picnic and went home.
Some years ago, one of this site’s regular correspondents set what I imagine he thought would be an all-time altitude record for match reporting. He claimed that the match was taking place at an altitude (and I quote) of 3,500m.
Now there is something rather strange about this, don’t you think? What are the chances of that altitude being exactly 3,500m? Given that there are 100 possible combinations of digits for the final two places, what are the chances of them being zero-zero? In other words, what are the odds of this one thing happening out of 100 chances? I’ve done some calculating, and I can tell you that the odds are less than one in a billion, which is therefore zero.
What this means is that the reported altitude of 3,500m is almost certainly a rounding (or as it is also known, a lie). Now nobody would round down, so it is virtually certain that the actual altitude was less than 3,500m. Given that there are far more numbers less than, for example, 3,465m than there are between 3,465m and 3,500m, the odds heavily favour the actual altitude being lower than 3,465m.
So, to business. I’ve just been on my holidays, and I took this photo of Kapil Dev playing cricket at the Jungfraujoch, at an altitude of 3,466m. This is therefore the new altitude record for cricket match reporting on this website. Thank you very much.
Kapil Dev, being an international captain of much experience, had elected to bowl on a fairly green wicket. In a rather unusual move, he had set a field comprising almost entirely of extremely short mid-ons and mid-offs. John Embury was clearly finding it difficult to find his rhythm with such a field, as can be seen in this photo of him playing a rather flat-footed straight drive when nobody is bowling.
Chris Broad also played, hitting a six onto the glacier at one point. The six-over match was won by one of the teams – the one who scored more runs than the other.
Er, what else can I tell you. Oh, I know, Farokh Engineer was also playing. As were some other people.
Now I know that reporting of actual cricket is frowned upon in these parts, so some of you might have found the last few sentences somewhat disturbing. But never fear, because strictly speaking what I actually took was a photo of a photo of Kapil Dev playing cricket at the Jungfraujoch in August 2009, on a poster in the visitor tunnels. In 2009 I was on holiday in the Lake District, but I would certainly have been following the match closely if I’d known about it. In fact, I do recall having a vague feeling of slight cold one afternoon, which with hindsight can only have been due to a psychic connection with the crowd in the Berner Oberland.
These details in no way invalidate the altitude record, which is mine forever.13 Appeals
Bananarama Monkey-Face writes:
I’m originally from Pickering, so I always get very excited when I come up to North Yorkshire with Mum, Dad and brother Hippity. All the more exciting this time, because Mum and Dad had arranged, as part of their trip, to go to t’cricket at Scarborough for t’day.
It was first time for Mum and Dad, Scarborough cricket, but Hippity and I had been before some years ago, to report on a match for MTWD. I must warn you, if you click on that MTWD link, you might read stuff actually about cricket.
Mum and Dad were going to be all poncey in t’pavilion and that for most o’t’day, so Hippity and I said we’d stay on t’bed in t’hotel. But once Mum and Dad set off for t’ground, we hot-footed it using a short cut across t’beach, got to t’ground before them and secreted ourselves in t’sizeable crowd. We could get home before t’oldies same way, so they’d be none t’wiser.
Local folk in Scarborough are incredibly friendly and made us feel very welcome. There were lots of other youngsters there – school holidays had just started – so Hippity and I didn’t look out of place.
Towards t’end of t’day’s play, quite a lot of people from t’crowd left, apparently because t’local guest houses tend to serve tea (that’s dinner to you snobby southerners) on t’dot of six-thirty. A swarm of local seagulls saw their opportunity and swooped in to scavenge t’scraps, over-running large swathes o’t’outfield. For a while, seagulls stopped play, as t’umpires tried to get t’players to clear t’gulls, with only limited success. I think this photo will be allowed on King Cricket, as it was taken during that break in play. Anyroad, I don’t like rules and think that you’ll all like this picture.
Once t’umpires realised that t’gulls were staying for t’evening, they decided to resume play despite; soon after that it really was time for stumps.
Mum and Dad were in a cracking good mood in Scarborough before t’cricket and an even more cracking good mood after it – all of us were. We’d all thoroughly recommend a day of county cricket at Scarborough – it’s t’dog’s bollocks.
I sort of watched the T20 World Cup final. Here is roughly what happened.
A motley crew of myself, and myself’s pals William, Lottie and Millie assembled at my house for the purposes of watching something approximating cricket. This was convenient for me as it is closer to where I live than any of my comrades’ dwellings. However, I do not have Sky television and thus do not have the channel briefly known as Sky Sports Ashes, now referred to as Sky Sports 2, which broadcasts international cricket.
After much deciding it was decided that we would decide how to decide how to watch the cricket over lunch. I have the good fortune to live opposite a very nice pub called the Highwayman, so we went there to eat. They didn’t have Sky either. The Highwayman doesn’t have a TV – it’s not that sort of pub.
Three of us had roast beef and; I shan’t name any names, but Millie had something off the regular weekday menu. We ordered extra roast potatoes. Always order extra roast potatoes.
We returned to my house, thus far puddingless, to indulge in some fruit pastille ice lollies. ESPN Cricinfo reliably informed us (mainly just me and William) that fifteen overs of the first innings had already been bowled and that some runs had probably been scored. This meant, for unobvious reasons, that it was time to take my housemates Teasle and Moppet – who happen to be dogs – for a walk. We just went for a quick one up the road, because Teasle cut her paw recently and we didn’t want to aggravate the injury.
When we returned from the walk, we decided that it was such a nice day that we would have a drink in the garden. We had a drink in the garden (each, not between us). Between sips, the significance of the offside rule to cricket was explained for the benefit of some.
At the end of the day, some people went home, some people didn’t, and some people were already at home. I think Barcelona won after Kevin Pietersen scored the winner.