Category: Match report (page 1 of 33)

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Essex v Australians at Chelmsford – match report

Ivan The Smart Phone - Not a Selfie

My name is Ivan. I am Ged’s smart phone. One of the few things I cannot do is take a selfie; my friend Ida took this picture. I wear a protective cover in the style of an old-fashioned calculator. I am told that this is a joke.

I went with Ged to see a cricket match in Chelmsford, the principal settlement of the City of Chelmsford and the county town of Essex, in the East of England. We travelled to the ground by train and on foot. I could explain all the detail of the journey to you; I planned it after all, but Ged says that I must not be too wordy in my match reports. He also says that I shouldn’t mention the actual cricket. I can follow rules.

When we arrived at a little park across the river from the ground, Ged asked a steward for help, as for once I could not answer Ged’s question. The steward pointed to a security check in the park, near which we saw some chavs knocking back bottles of Champagne at 10.45am.

Ged went forward for his check.

“Do you have any glass bottles or glasses?” asked the steward.

“No,” said Ged. “I read the ticket carefully. So I brought only plastic bottles and glasses.”

“Stroik a loit, knock me darn wiv a fever and shoik me ‘and, squire,” said the steward, putting out his hand for Ged to shake. “Yer the first proper gent today.”

I identified the accent as Dick van Dyke.

I kept Ged and Charley the Gent Malloy in communication during the journey, so Ged knew exactly where to go to find Charley. Unusually, Ged did not wipe his feet as he entered the pavilion, but he did wipe them as he left the building, heading for the viewing benches in front, where Charley had saved him a good seat.

“No chance of us trying your famous bottle of red wine today then, Charley,” said Ged, showing Charley his little plastic bottles of wine. “Glass prohibition and all that.”

“Oh I pay no attention to that guff,” said Charley, producing a proper glass bottle of wine. “But I thought white would be better than red today; it was so hot yesterday.”

I had taken Ged and Daisy to Wimbledon that day and indeed it had been so hot my circuits overheated. I had to sleep for most of the day. I am pleased to report that no such overheating occurred on this occasion. I should say, though, that the Wimbledon surroundings were somewhat more salubrious than Chelmsford. Still, Mrs Malloy had prepared a similarly splendid picnic, with chicken rolls, cheese ones and also some with corned beef – the latter I think Charley rather hoped would be rejected by Ged, but Ged enjoyed his fair share of everything, including the nibbles, biscuits and cake.

Towards the end of the day’s play, we all relocated to the other side of the ground to get a different view. During a short rain delay, a steward protected the field of play. He was jerking around with Southern Dragon Kung Fu moves, as if fighting his own demons.

“Are you all right?” asked Charley.

“These bloody flies at this time of the evening,” said the steward. “They’re awful.”

Ged and Charley had not encountered any flies, but decided to leave that area and return to the pavilion.

Soon after that, Mrs Malloy joined us for a few minutes at the end of the day, during which time Daisy phoned in from the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. All too soon, Ged and I were on our way back to the station, after agreeing that, one way or another, we had all enjoyed a splendid day in the country.

Send your match reports to 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.

Lord’s Cricket Ground tour – not a match report

Bert writes:

This website has a number of obsessions. Cricket is one, obviously, but there’s cats and fat cricketers and ankylosing spondylitis and all sorts of other stuff. And there is the apostrophe, with particular reference to the correct use thereof.

The thing is, I don’t think this is especially unusual. The link between cricket and punctilious punctuation, that is. There is something about cricket, its atmosphere and culture, that makes it a suitable place for those of us who care about such things. Next time you’re at the cricket, ask the person sitting next to you if correct apostrophe use matters – it’s very likely that you’ll get an affirmative response.

I found myself at Lord’s the other day, taking the kids on a tour of the ground. It occurred to me that I could confirm, or possibly refute, my hypothesis on apostrophes while I was there. I mean, one would expect that the Home of Cricket would also be the Home of Correct Apostrophe Use. So I paid particular attention to this as I took the tour.

Let’s start with something simple – the straightforward adding of a possessive s to a singular noun.


Yep, no problems there. In fact, the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the same correct usage is repeated at the top of the stairs. Well done the MCC. Now, what about plurals?


Ah, exemplary. How many boys? More than one, I’ll be bound. You’ll have to take my word for it, but that same perfection is repeated on each of the display boards in the case. As you might imagine, the children and I spent several happy minutes at this display, bathing in the warmth of the calm, confident typography of the English cricket establishment. Marvellous stuff.

Of course, the name of the place itself – Lord’s – has an apostrophe, indeed one that might trap the unwary user. So how does the MCC get on with this trickiness?


Perfectly, of course. We shouldn’t have expected anything less.

Anyone For Real Tennis? – England v New Zealand match report

I Can't Get My Head Round These Rules

Ged writes:

Two days after my last-minute-dot-ticket-office, cocktail-avoiding day at the Lord’s Test with Charley the Gent Malloy, I returned for my long arranged Sunday visit with Daisy. The weather forecast had been dreadful, but we woke up and indeed arrived at the ground on a beautiful sunny Sunday.

Daisy and I had an event-free circuit walk during lunch, but when we attempted similar at tea, we ran into Mr Johnny Friendly, walking the other way.

“Hello you two,” said Mr Friendly, stopping to chat with us. “Are you enjoying the cricket?”

“Oh yes indeed, Mr Friendly, very much so,” said Daisy politely, before enquiring: “Have you been watching the cricket or playing your beloved real tennis?”

“Mostly the latter,” replied Mr Friendly. “I can’t get enough of it these days.”

“I saw a television broadcast about real tennis only yesterday,” said Daisy. “The rules sound fiendishly complicated.”

“Not at all, young Daisy,” said Mr Friendly with his kindly voice. “The rules can be set out on a couple of pages; indeed there is an MCC leaflet that explains it all. Would you like a copy?”

“Nothing in the world should give me quite so much pleasure,” blurted Daisy, slightly exaggerating her Jane Austen-style manners.

Unfortunately, you see, Daisy comes from almost the right kind of family, which, after making a modest fortune through trade, then packed Daisy and her sisters off to almost the right kind of school. You should not scorn or reproach such people, dear reader. Daisy is a very good sort of girl; you should wish her extremely well and be happy to see her respectably settled. No doubt, there are men who might not object to her.

“Then you shall have a copy of that MCC leaflet,” said Mr Friendly with his benevolent voice.

“Ey up, tha’s reet gradeley,” said Daisy, getting so excited and confused that she muddled Jane Austen, the great early 19th Century novelist of manners, with Jane Austin, sister of the mighty Ian Austin, the greatest all-round cricketer that Haslingden, nay, even the whole of Rossendale, has ever produced.

“Hello you three,” said Mr Friendly, turning away from us. He was greeting some friends or acquaintances, no doubt far more important folk than us. Soon Mr Friendly was in deep conversation with those people.

We wandered on, thinking that Daisy’s real tennis rule leaflet hopes had been thwarted. But two days later, by means of that magnificent institution, The Royal Mail, a personally autographed copy of the MCC Real Tennis Rules, together with warm wishes from the Friendly family, arrived at our humble little hovel on the western fringes of London. Now that’s class for you.

Send your match reports to 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.

Scarborough Cricket Festival match report

Ed writes:

I went to the Scarborough Cricket Festival. Here’s nearly proof.


Yorkshire playing Durham in a top-of-table Div 1 encounter. Your proverbial 32-pointer.

We bought our tickets at the turnstiles.


At the same time, my Dad was at Trent Bridge. His ticket was more fancy.


We asked where we were allowed to sit.

“You can sit anywhere.” Pause. “But not the pavilion.”

Great ground, packed but with enough non-pavilion options to make it a nice-but-tricky decision.

As happens often in my life, I ended up at deep midwicket.

The sun shone.

We agreed there was nowhere else in the world we’d rather be than here. We wondered if Gary Ballance felt the same way.


We decided to do a circuit of the ground. You can do that in real places.

We started then got stopped: “You have to pay a pound to walk through here.” It was the members enclosure.

“Or you can walk anti-clockwise.”

We spurned the financial incentive and embraced the anti-clockwisdom.

Sat on the grass now, by the actual, real-life boundary rope, near a few hundred Yorkshire supporters, it was time for a beer.

We headed to the bar. They only sold the Scarborough Cricket Club Merlot by the glass – I wasn’t allowed a bottle as a keepsake.

We drank bitter.

Dad was worried he’d not get his money back for his third day Test ticket. Here is the small print.


Small print in Scarborough is bigger.


After a few more beers, we passed out.


Send your match reports to 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.

Cocktails For Two – England v New Zealand match report

Ged writes:

“Have you brought the actual bottle of red wine you forgot to bring last time?” I asked, as I arrived to find Charley the Gent Malloy in the front row of the Mound Stand.

“Absolutely – here it is,” said Charley, showing off a very appealing-looking bottle of Chianti. “I’m not sure how much of it I’ll want to drink myself, though,” he added. “I have an early start in the motor tomorrow and don’t want to drink too much today.”

“I’ve had plenty to drink in Ireland over the last couple of weeks and am back here with Daisy on Sunday,” I said. “So a relatively light day on the soup will suit me too.”

Charley then asked me to explain how we had ended up with front row seats in the Mound Stand for day two of a Lord’s Test, given that I said to him on our previous visit that I hadn’t even bothered to order tickets for this match through the priority booking system.

“Simple, Chas. The day after your visit in April, I popped backed to Lord’s and asked in the ticket office if they by any chance had a couple of Test match returns. After the standard line about only restricted view seats still being available, the helpful fellow in the ticket office then took an actual look through the returns. When I confirmed that it was just two that I wanted, he said that he, by chance, had a couple of returns in the front row of the Mound Stand. He then asked me, just to be sure, whether I wanted to buy those.”

“Magic,” said Chas.

While making headway into our picnic, going gently with my bottle of Alsatian Gewürztraminer to accompany the food, we got chatting to some friendly folk sitting next to us. Turned out that they were marketing and advertising alumni from a large global corporate. A regular group for day two of the Lord’s Test, although sadly two men short this visit due to unforeseen circumstances. Their tales of derring-do, sponsoring cricketers and attending matches in days of yore, were way beyond our Cricket Badger-style and Heavy Roller stories, so Charley and I simply listened in awe and wonder.

They were a jolly bunch and delightful company for a few hours. Soon they were offering us some of their grub and some colourful cocktails, all of which we politely declined. One of their number was now marketing cocktail mixers, which only partially explained how and why this group were knocking back extravagant-looking drinks. Chas and I made slow, steady progress through my bottle of white, while the picnic was going down very nicely and eventually, so was the sun.

Late in the day, Charley offered to open the Chianti, but we both agreed that it would be a waste, as neither of us really wanted to drink any more. We got some quizzical looks – perhaps they were looks of pity – from our newfound, cocktail-sodden friends. Still, Chas and I agreed that the bottle of Chianti should live to fight another day. Indeed, our planned trip to see Essex v The Australians in a few weeks’ time should be ideal for it.

Send your match reports to 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.

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