Middlesex v Warwickshire match report

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Balladeer writes:

One of the few things I knew was vital was preparation. One doesn’t just take any old food to The Home of Cricket. So I pondered my options. Waitrose? M&S? Selfridges, for the extra touch of privately educated class?

Alas, I also had to pick up some washing tablets, so Sainsbury’s it was. But I did at least go for the Taste The Difference range. I was particularly proud of my tomato and red pepper ciabatta, containing, as it did, a cricket pun in its very name.

So did I “rock up” – as the young folks say when they’re not busy trading STIs like they’re Pokémon cards (so I hear) – to Lord’s in good time to get lost and wander aimlessly around, trying to find (a) where one buys tickets and (b) where one sits.

I chose the bottom of the Mound Stand, the coldest bit of the entire stadium. Eventually my cricketing friends, Troubadour and Minstrel, arrived to chip me out and move me into the sun. Which happened to be another part of the bottom of the Mound Stand, twenty feet to my right.

As I was slowly partaking of my rosé and Troubadour of her white, we discussed the nonsense that were ICC alcohol regulations.

“The MCC outright ignores them,” Troubadour informed me. “As for the Oval, nobody checked when I decanted an entire bottle of red into an orange squash carton.”

I made a note on my iPhone, in between checking whether I’d won a “star comment” award on the Cricinfo liveblog. (I had.)

The rest of the day mostly revolved around staring at the back of Oliver Hannon-Dalby’s head (OHD being, incidentally, a ganglotron of the highest order), so I shall cut straight to the three most distressing parts of it.

(3) Two crows gathering on one of the scoreboards, three woodpigeons on the awning, and one seagull on the pitch, making me worry for a cricket-themed remake of Hitchcock’s “The Birds”;

(2) Troubadour, being of the female persuasion, being mistaken for a lazy member of the cleaning staff, and being chased into the one open ladies’ lavatory by a man under that belief. Oddly enough, sometimes women come to watch the cricket as well;

(1) My ciabatta turning out to be focaccia, removing any punning potential; and having gruyere on top. Thus making it completely inedible, because gruyere is disgusting.

“Don’t throw it away!” said Troubadour. “We’ll eat it.”

One focaccia out of four later, they were duly thrown away.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. 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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  1. Excellent report, Balladeer, but I am completely lost in the matter of cricket puns and Italian bread varieties.

    I’m struggling to think of a decent ciabatta pun, whereas I can easily construct one for the other variety.

    Focaccias waiting for a nick; the keeper, two slips and a gully.

    The bottom of the Mound Stand is very rarely if ever the coldest place, as it doesn’t get that wind tunnel effect. Lower Compton is good for that. But if it is cold, cloudy and windy, then usually the Upper Compo/Upper Edrich gets the worst of it. Or Daisy’s favourite spot on the sun deck of the pavilion when there is no sun, just a cold westerly.

    Which day are you talking about, Balladeer? I was there on the Monday and the Tuesday (Days 2 and 3), the former with Charley the Gent. My Ogblog report follows with the usual caveats (length = more than a pamphlet, cricket = mentioned):


    …ah, I’ve rambled for so long I’ve thought of a ciabatta pun:

    When one of the batsmen reached a milestone, did you ciabatta?

    I prefer the focaccia pun though.

    1. Nothing as complicated as that, I’m afraid. It had ‘batter’ in the name, phonetically, if you’re southern. That was the pun.

      First day. So I got to see SRobson’s first century (of three in the match) and not a lot else of interest. Story of Lord’s all season, really, last day aside.

  2. Beautiful work, Bally, and lovely to hear of your two other musically-monikered maties and your good self having a thoroughly enjoyable day out at the Home of Corks.

    Nice work too, Ged, on that pun.

    Good to see too that young Robson, Samuel frequently managed to get baton ball.

    1. Mutual appreciation in the matter of fancy foreign bread puns, Mike. But if we don’t stop soon, some folk with no doubt start to campagne against us, fougasse sake.

      1. Leaven the Lordes toffs out of it. They’re the yeast of our worries. Yes, I know I spelt Lords incorrectly

  3. With reference to Hitchcock’s The Birds, as the actors desperately boarded up windows against the attacking birds, “What about the woodpeckers?” was a commonplace shout from the audience.

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