And it’s all over

Bangladesh all out for 159. Well batted Khaled Mashud – he looked useful, but had no support. Very concerned at all the no-balls England gave: 12 in the first innings, and 14 in the second. Very poor, and they must sort this for the 2nd Test against Durham.

‘Real Tennis’ at Lord’s

'Real Tennis' at Lord's

Lord’s has lots of sports facilities and one of the few Real Tennis courts. The game is very olde, Henry 8th used to play it, and it looks like a cross between modern tennis and squash. Think i’ll stick with me cricket.

Fidel (Edwards – not Castro) knocks Pakistan over

I was well impressed with Fidel Edwards when England played against the West Indies last year. He, together with what’s-his-name (damn, what is his name? Begins with a B? Hustling-type bowler) looked very promising, so I’m chuffed for him to have bowled out Pakistan. It’s incredible, isn’t it? West Indies – with the likes of Tony Cozier and Viv Richards – are at their lowest ebb, and Pakistan have been playing excellent Cricket for the past few weeks YET they can still get bowled out for under 150 by a poor Windian side. They really are the most mercurial side in world cricket: like the French rugby/football teams, you just never know which team will turn up.

The game is fascinatingly poised though. West Indies appear to be in control with a lead of 350+, but this is only the 2nd day. 3 more days to go, and Pakistan can chase just about anything – and in a hurry. Four big-guns – Gayle, Smith, Lara and Sarwan are all back in the shed – so the Caribs need to bat all day tomorrow and into Sunday to put a total well out of the reach of the Pakistanis.

The danger for the West Indies is their fear (expectation?) of failure. They’ll be feeling negative and whilst they’d be desperate for a win, will naturally play for a draw first. Worth keeping an eye on, this one.

The crowd at Lord’s

I’ve seen quite a bit of Test Cricket at Lord’s, but never have I seen so many kids as there were today. It was brilliant. One bloke I spoke to, as he was blocking my way down to the bar, pointed to a long line of school children stretching back forever it seemed.

“They’re my lot, sorry – we’ll be out your way in a minute,”
“Your wife must be exhausted – how many are there?”
“80″
“And you’re here on your own?”
“I am. Am I mad?”

I laughed and went to the bar, and almost felt like buying him a whiskey to calm his nerves. 80 10 year olds and only one teacher looking after them – crazy!

Anyway, they were very loud and vocal – but it was great to hear/see. Over in the lower Compton stand, where I escaped to from the sun, were about 100 kids – almost exactly, so I reckoned, 50/50 between England and Bangladeshi supporters. They chanted “Eng-ger-land!” “Bang-la-desh!”, competing and gradually getting louder and louder. Lord’s was never like this, not 5 years ago even – it was great to see, and I hope it continues…especially throughout The Ashes, although the availability of tickets is..well..they’re all sold out.

Also chatted to this RAF bloke who was being paid £100 just to stand around like a traffic-warden, and point people to their seats. What a job! And yes, he was a cricket-nut.

Day 2 review (England v Bangladesh)

Pretty good day today (too hot mind – it was a scorcher), but I left the ground just wondering what the point of this match is. I can’t be bothered to rant about it, again, right now – but I’ll no doubt moan some more when they play the second Test.

So England batted very well – as I said yesterday, it’s difficult to judge their form considering the woeful bowling (and yes, I admit, Mortaza looked quite good), but they looked in reasonably good early-season form. Vaughan, I felt, batted absolutely beautifully (eventually) – looked very relaxed, and oozed the class which we’ve seen over the years. Again, sorry to bang on about it (bang! geddit?), but I can’t decide whether England will benefit or not from this match. I suppose it gets their feet moving, and their eyes and so on…

Impressed again with Bell. Nothing spectacular, and not a bar-clearer that’s for sure, but looks to have a calm, relaxed presence and the technique to back it up. Glorious back-foot play. Thorpe’s catch was excellent, but I thought Flintoff’s slip catch (2nd slip, lunged in front of Trescothick at first and made it look so easy) was amazing. He’s such a brilliant fielder and slipper – not in the Mark Waugh class, but then who is? The best England slipper I’ve seen in my 12 years watching.

I’ll give Bangladesh until midday, at most – they have scant technique, and seem scared and clueless when batting. Dav Whatmore has a tough job on his hands…

When in rome

When in rome

when in rome, drink some beer. Vaughan and Trescothick making hay. 100 runs this session already. Vaughan in particular looks imperiously majestic

Jones and Batty

Jones and Batty

Simon Jones and Gareth Batty walking past us in the mound stand. Hot sunny day, England 200-1.

Daily Mail Photo

Daily Mail Photo

An image in this morning’s Mail. On way to Lord’s again, armed with suncream: bit too late Will! Should be a run fest all day. Hope i see Flintoff bat…

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