LV= County Championship Division Two, Kia Oval (close, day two) Surrey 448 all out: Foakes 118, Elgar 98, Batty 50; Norwell 5-112 Gloucestershire 102-7: Marshall 30 not out; Curran 5-17
To The Oval! …once again on Sunday morning. It had been a mere 15 hours since I last departed the day previous.
This is technically known as ‘Ansari Time’ around The Oval. It is measured in terms of hours spent at the crease compared to runs scored.
Our HERO is currently sitting on an Ansari Time of 15:15.
This was a slow start for Surrey. Having batted all day against Gloucestershire on Saturday, Sunday morning was all about the comedown.
And what a comedown.
Wake me up when the scoreboard adds another dozen runs and the ‘rrey reach 300.
On ribcage prodding duty for Sunday was le Gai Pensionnaire, making a most welcome second return to The Oval.
Lido Peter was looking resplendent in some a stripped blue and white cotton jacket, a cricketing polo shirt and a pair of shoes last seen in a Style Council video around 1985.
He put the fancy dress stag party from Saturday to shame.
Out in the middle and Gary Wilson at least gave the impression that he wanted to tuck into his Yorkshire puds on a half decent score.
The man with the voice that resonateds halfway down the Harleyford Road was out for an eventful 37.
Le Gai Pensionnaire’s previous Oval outing ended in six hours of rain and just under two hours of play.
The cricketing Gods clearly didn’t want to upset him, leaving him with the impression that the bat and ball game is played continuously without interruption.
An early luncheon was taken as the South London skies bruised. Le Gai Pensionnaire thought that it was all part of the scheduled entertainment.
We retreated to the Long Room and lost ourselves in some steaming hot Surrey tea. Yer man with the pin striped jacket then cracked open this Big Bag of Croissants from Herne Hill. I’ve seen smaller loaves of King Size Hovis.
The cricket conversation then turned the Long Room air pink ‘n blue.
Relax, mutherf-ers – it’s only Richard W, Dulwich Hamlet fan extraordinaire and his always engaging tales about the minor details from the 1992 season.
I very much doubt if le Gai Pensionnaire has ever experienced a football match. I noted a glint in his eyes as the poetic lexicon used by Richard W sold the idea of SEXY football down at Champion Hill.
I don’t think that le Gai Pensionnaire quite understood the sporting context of the term ‘sexy.’
A couple of hours later and the rain had cleared and the Umps strolled out to the middle to put the bails back on.
And lookey lookey over here: Here Comes the Sun, little darling etc.
The pin striped jacket was removed, just in time to enthusiastically celebrate a fantastic century from Ben Foakes – his first for Surrey, and one that was achieved off 198 balls.
A celebratory pigeon flyover marked the prestigious occasion.
This was also the signal for Surrey to step it up. Ansari Time was rebooted as Batty hit a fine 50 off only 41 balls.
Tom Curran came to the crease looking like a man who had just bought a fake Ansari Time watch from a dodgy bloke at the Nine Elms Boot Sale.
Caution was not in his game. A boundary off the first ball was swiftly followed by being clean bowled with the second.
Ta for coming, etc.
Le Gai Pensionnaire was now banging on about ‘partial gasometers.’ I don’t think that this had anything to do with sexy football, let alone f-me cricket.
Something about an operatic performance over on the other side of town was then thrown into the conversation. The Umps called time for tea, and we both wandered off in search of the entertainment for the evening.
Opera Vs a pile of ironing.
Fifteen shirts in 15 minutes.
I am the Ansari of the laundry world.