Today resumed the cricket trip, where, unusually we saw two halves of two Royal London One Day Cup games from two different matches. Lancashire batting at Chelmsford against Essex, then Northamptonshire batting against Surrey at the Oval. Batting, however may not be the right word, as we saw 19 wickets tumble for just 284 runs in 74 overs.
We arrived at Chelmsford and took our seats amongst a strong partisan Essex crowd. Lancashire batted first and Essex kept chipping away, picking up wickets at regular intervals, often to poor shots rather than good bowling. Despite the extremely short, straight boundaries, Lancashire only managed one six by Alviro Peterson, a well timed lofted straight drive which disappeared into the trees, but the run rate remained at only 2.9 runs per over. Ravi Bopara was the pick of the bowlers picking up 4 wickets, the Lancashire innings summed up when Ravi, the slow medium pacer, picked up Clark caught at square leg off a bouncer.
He was aided brilliantly by a miserly spell from David Masters, conceding a mere 20 runs from his 10 overs. Lancashire scrambled to a well-below-par 161 which was easily chased down by Essex.
Next we went to the Oval, a dangerous venue for us Middlesex fans. We were (not so) secretly supporting Northants, who were chasing a mamoth 344 to win, after Jason Roy scored a quickfire 79 ball 108 aided by a run a ball 99 from Steven Davies. Our Middlesex cap and cheering the Steelbacks’ singles brought groans from nearby Surrey supporters.
Whilst the Lightning threw their wickets away, Northamptonshire Steelbacks were on the receiving end of a clinical bowling performance from Surrey (as much as it pains me to say that). Ben Duckett restored a little respectability in their innings, making a composed 56 out of 123 all out.
On our travels we have been privileged to see the future of English cricket, watching some of the most talented teenagers in the country. Mason Crane, the young legspinner from Hampshire is certainly one of them, and Sam Curran the left arm quick from Surrey impressed at this game, adding his name to the list. He picked up four wickets, bowling with good pace which helped Surrey rattle through the Northamptonshire batsmen. Unfortunately they romped to a record 220-run victory which leaves them in good shape for the rest of the competition.
A quick reminder: the aim of this trip is to raise money for Shooting Star Chase Hospice, Middlesex CCC’s official charity partner, who do tremendous work in bettering the lives of children and their families for kids with terminal illnesses.
They need £9.5 million a year to maintain their brilliant service, and we would highly appreciate it if you could help them to continue their care, by donating here: