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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._G._Grace 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.
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.
Benning drops Brown; another 6. Brown has 46.
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).