Thursday, 22 July 2010

Life is a game... of cricket

Many Continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game. George Mikes

Someone else said that cricket was God’s way of teaching us what eternity was like. Twenty-twenty (or T20) cricket is supposed to be a bit more exciting; 20 overs (120 balls) a side, a quick thrash, if you’ll pardon the expression, and a short afternoon’s entertainment in the sun.

So, down to Grace Road – that’s Grace as in WG for those who know their sport history for a crucial tie between Leicester Foxes and Nottingham Outlaws, local rivals. Leicestershire needed to win this one to have a realistic chance of getting to the quarter finals.

Just a note about Leicestershire’s glorious past – when I was Chairman of the County Council, in 1996, Leics won the County Championship and I had a road renamed ‘Championship Way’ in their honour. A bit later, they also won 2 of the early T20 tournaments easily and seemed to have made the competition their own. Sadly, things have not been quite so glorious recently.

So, this is how it went…

We set up in our usual place (we take our own comfortable seats) at the edge of the pitch, just far enough from the loudspeakers. Why do they think people want to hear a burst of loud, and I mean LOUD, music whenever there’s a boundary or a wicket when what we really want is to be able to comment to our neighbour on the bowling/batting/fielding, etc? (Grumpy old man speaking.)

The toss, and the souvenir photo for the little girl mascot, Ryan Sidebottom, England Bowler, with the girly hair, in the background. Leics won and elected to bat. Fair weather cloud and sun, very windy; should make things interesting.

First wicket: Jacques du Toit on the last ball of the first over, caught and bowled for 1 run. Foxes 5 for 1.

Jefferson in, scores the first boundary of the day: 4 from the last ball of Sidebottom’s first over. Hodge also scored a 4, but these were the only boundaries in the first 5 overs.

Jefferson out, caught by Mullaney off the bowling of Patel for 10. Foxes 44 for 2 after 7 overs. Hodge needs to stay at the crease. He’s joined by James Taylor who was made available late from the England Lions side.

49... 50 up for Leics in 8 overs; only just over 6 runs per over.

Brad Hodge gets his 50 with a 6 – the first 6 of the innings.
100 up; 13 overs

16th over: Ryan Sidebottom, who hasn’t impressed: Hodge 1, James Taylor 6, 4, 2. 13 off the over – that’s more like it!
Another 6 by Taylor; Foxes heading for 160 plus?

Boundaries coming now. 153 for 2 in the 17th over… and another 6 from Taylor.

Hodge with a 4 for his 100. He was then run out for 103 – often happens; perhaps the concentration lapses with the relief of actually getting the century.

Final over; Taylor needs 1 for his 50; Sidebottom bowling from the Bennett end; starts with a wide (another ball, another run) JT hits it anyway, away for 4.

Leicestershire finish on 182 for 3; should be a defensible total.

Notts first over: Nathan Buck goes for 5.

Second over; Nadim Malik, who has apparently bowled well in past matches – but not while I’ve been watching. I really do not understand why sides play fast bowlers – makes it far too easy to score big hits. Slow spin or accurate medium pace makes it much more difficult to get the ball away. However, Hoggard, for all his personal prowess, is a useless Captain – no tactical ability and puts himself on to bowl fast when the need is for something more considered, and more accurate.

Malik’s second ball goes for 4! That's 11 from the over. I rest my case! Notts are going like a train; 38 for 0 from 4 overs (for those who can’t do the math – like Malik and Hoggard - that’s 9.5 per over).

Hales eventually holes out to Cobb for 29. 47 for 1 in the 5th over; 51 at the end of the over, (in spite of the scoreboard below) slightly ahead of Leics – 9.4/over.

Brown smashes it over Cobb with the wind behind it for 6; 58 for 1.
Another 6 for Notts from the bowling of Henderson. 100 up for 1 wicket after 10 overs; don’t need a maths degree to work that out. Notts look very confident, needing 83 from 10 overs; plenty of wickets in hand.

Benning drops Brown; another 6. Brown has 46.

Brown holes out to Jefferson, bowled Nathan Buck for 55. Leics need to get a grip on the game; it’s slipping away; 121 for 2 after 12 overs.

After this, it was downhill all the way – couldn’t bear to taken any more pictures.

Notts 150 for 2 after 15 overs; still going at 10 per over.

Matthew Wood 51 with a 4. End of the 16th over; 24 balls, 24 runs needed.

Wood caught behind by Nixon. 11 runs needed. Mullaney comes in and scores 12 from 4 balls. Notts win by 7 wickets.

It’s all over and Leicestershire Foxes look like dropping out of the competition. Even if they win the next match, they need other results to go their way (unlikely).

Friday, 2 July 2010

Knebworth Salvo Fair

We went off to the Knebworth Salvo Fair last weekend – yes, that Knebworth, where the rock festivals are/were. My main interest was the stained glass – not that I wanted to buy, just get ideas.

I was rather taken though with the slipware tiles – just nowhere to use them. Marea is into church woodwork and was hankering after the pews but you need a big(ger) house to hold them.

There were lots of windows, mostly Victorian but some 30s-40s. I am constantly impressed by the ubiquity of high quality stained glass windows in local Victorian houses. They must have turned it out like mass production. I know they had shops for cutting the glass and separate shops for leading up and assembly. The constant practice meant their skill levels were very high.

I’ve always been interested in paint affects – lining, stippling, etc. and was very tempted by these graining rollers, but didn’t want to pay the going price.

There was lots of domestic metalware and general ‘rubbish’.

What really attracts me is flashed glass – very expensive, but the coloured layer is always deep and rich. I liked these typical deep blue flashed corners with the deep ruby and deep blue panels.

Lots and lots of doors, but getting the correct size is almost impossible. Anyway, I would really like to buy blank doors and put my own glass in.

Here be dragons!

And more glass. Some very good colours here and the windows are in very good condition. It’s very rare to find salvaged glass that’s completely intact.

Lots of small bits of glass…

And more doors. The man selling these offered to buy MY glasswork, though I don’t think I’m good enough for that yet. Still, I took his card.

I was amused by this very much restored bathing machine and, being sold by the same lady, this strange romantic love boat.

Finally, while the World Cup is still going on, even if England have been ignominiously dumped out, 3 Lions!