Royal London One-Day Cup final, Lord’s, Gloucestershire 220 (47.4 ovs): Jones 50, Dernbach 6-35; Mahmood 2-28, Surrey 214: Sangakkara 60, Burns 56; Taylor 3-43 Gloucestershire beat Surrey by six runs.
To HQ! …early on Saturday morning to watch the ‘rrey in the final of the Royal London Cup.
Trips to Lord’s have sadly been a rarity over the past couple of seasons. The Oval is my Transpontine boozy base, but I do LOVE the odd jolly north of the river to ponce it up with the MCC members.
The first Egg and Bacon Blazer Boy was spotted on the Victoria Line at Green Park. I ticked off the silly colour clothing on my HQ bingo card, and took a cheeky swig from the hip flask.
This was a GREAT / slightly worrying start to my big day out at Lord’s.
Inside the ground and the first stop was to visit the art deco toilets at the Nursery End. I’m not what you would call a typical toilet trader, but I could loiter around the lovely, lovely art deco Lord’s urinals all day long.
I did my business and then met up with Anna in the Compton Lower.
Our seats were shit.
What do you expect for a £30 cheapo offering?
We surveyed the rest of HQ as the crowds began to filter in. A plan was hatched to STORM the Main Stand later in the afternoon.
Korfball Tony then parachuted in from somewhere in deepest, deepest Streatham.
The meet ‘n’ greet was done, which all meant that I was to miss Jade’s first wicket of the day when he took the scalp of Klinger (who couldn’t klingon…)
No worries – there would be other opportunities throughout the morning to see Jader restore our faith in his as a frontline Surrey bowler.
An optimistic champagne cork was soon popped in the Compton Lower.
I hadn’t the chuffers what was going on in the middle. Our seats were so bloody restricted that we couldn’t even see the scoreboard.
I resolved to make up my own score as the game went on.
Surrey were doing rather well in my own mind…
I missed another wicket whilst answering an email about the bloody Garden Bridge.
That will teach me.
Another wander out to the Art Deco toilets and I walked straight into a Haka being performed on the Nursery wicket by some good old Gloucestershire boys.
I gave them the eye, and then performed my own meditational ritual up close and personal with Armitage Shanks.
Back out in the middle and the ‘rrey had apparently taken five wickets.
I had managed to miss all five, botj as a live sporting spectacle, and on the scoreboard.
A conscience effort was made to pay more attention to the closing stages of the game. I was rewarded with a hat-trick from Jade to see off the Gloucestershire innings with a score of 220.
I never doubted you Mr Death Bowler.
And so come luncheon and it was now time for the military operation to STORM the Main Stand.
I suspect that Korfball Tony has seen Junior Cadet service back in his Streatham yoof.
I pushed him to the front of the ranks and wished him good luck in going over the top of Mr Military Man guarding the gangway at HQ.
Korfball Tony bloody bottled it.
I took a swig from the flask and gave it my best Surrey Strut, claiming four £50 seats in the process.
The only problem was that Red Maz of Bal’ham would be joining us later in the afternoon, fresh from some ridiculous all-morning hair appointment, and with a cheapo ticket tucked away in her handbag.
I figured that her hair job alone would be enough to distract Mr Military Man as she arrived very fashionably, and very late.
And then we all were – The Oval Gang of Four, infiltrated with the North London knobs, and ready to cause a bit of a scene as we celebrated the GLORIOUS Transpontine victory of the ‘rrey.
This wasn’t a cracking game of cricket.
Surrey somehow were content to sit in the cricketing long grass and bide out their time with the bat.
But Old Father Time on the proud Lord’s clock opposite us was having none of it.
Surrey limped through most of the innings, never in any real trouble, but also never really convincing that they were playing in the showpiece season closer for the domestic season.
Where is bloody #AnsariWatch when you need him?
The game got a little more tense in the final five overs. Surrey were basically chasing a run a ball. A bloody annoying HQ steward was keen to keep on remdiniding us of this.
But the ‘rrey ran out of batsmen, shortly after we ran out of booze.
With no cheapo Lidl lager left to celebrate the fine Gloucestershire victory, we thought that it would have been rude to hang around for the trophy presentation.
Transpontonia was calling.
And so was the art deco gents for one final fling.
I’m not toilet trader, y’know.
C’mon the ‘rrey!