And so to Manchester for the mighty junk food sponsored jamboree of crass clashing cricket and commercialism.
There’ll be not very many changes. Half my squad aren’t here for a start. However, Daniel Lawrence was meh last time and he certainly didn’t set the heather on fire.
Jade Dernbach comes in to bolster the bowling and add some fire power.
They also seem to be missing a bunch of players. Phillip Salt is a familiar face, Somerset’s Tom Abell and Glamorgan’s Marchant de Lange have crossed swords with me already this year.
There’s a lot of decent, honest, pros and not that many superstars. Either we’re going to destroy them with our star dust, or they’re going to be a beautiful unit and greater than the sum of their parts. I do hope it’s the former.
Want to have a guess how the toss goes? Well, you’re wrong! We win one!
We opt to bat. I want to shove it right up the Mancs.
London Blue’s Innings:
Yes. Well. The first ball doesn’t exactly go to plan. Saqib Mahmood has a wicket and Max Holden is gone. 0-1.
It’s fair to say that the second ball doesn’t really improve things much. Skipper Eoin Morgan castled. 0-2.
We do reach the heady heights of 7 runs. But then Zak Crawley decides to hang his bat out like a limp willy and he’s gone. 7-3.
It’s not going to be an easy total to defend.
Things then get bette-
Oh, no. That’s wrong. Glenn Maxwell plays and misses. Plays and misses. Gets out lbw. 28-4.
New Zealander Mitchell Santner is, apparently, not bad.
Next up, Mr de Lange bowls Adam Rossington. 40-5.
They’re now into our tail. So, strengthening the bowling has really paid off here.
Luis Reece tries to counter attack and his 14 comes off 15 balls but, when de Lange bowls him, they’re now so far into the tail our eyes are watering. 52-6.
Roelof van der Merwe let’s Matt Parkinson clean him up too. At 59-7 it begins to look like we’re not going to make the full 100 balls even.
“Notoriously” talented batsman Mohammad Amir tries a very expansive sweep second ball. It is matched by a very impressive catch by Edward Pollock at slip. 59-8.
58/100 balls gone.
At one point, I did think Mohammad Nabi might be the saviour of our innings. But he isn’t. 66-9.
It turns out that Dernbach isn’t either. He has a torrid innings, which ends with a pathetic caught and bowled dollied back to Mahmood for 2.
We are all out for 79.
It has taken them 88 balls.
This is the worst batting display I have ever overseen. And, believe me, there is some competition for that mantel this season.
Boy, is it bad.
Here’s a tip for you: in a match where you are defending a paltry total, don’t open with Toby Roland-Jones.
Joe Clarke has made him his prison wife and, in a five ball over, he goes for 19 like his betting slip depends upon it.
Amir does vaguely reduce my blood pressure by angling a great ball into the pads of Pollock. 25-1.
55 off 92 balls.
Salt survives Toby R-J’s second over, before Amir finally gets rid of Clarke. He goes for 24 off 10 balls. 36-2.
44 off 83 balls.
Dane Vilas does his best London Blue impression and is gone to Amir next ball. 36-3.
44 off 82 balls.
My little Pakistani hero is on a hat trick.
Abell proves he is “a bell”-end by slapping his delivery for four. It’s just rude.
I bring on Maxwell. He eventually dismisses Abell, caught behind to an excellent take by Rossington for 20. 57-4.
23 off 66 balls.
They’re going to win this – obviously – but we’re not making too dreadful a fist of this.
Edward Byrom – stupid name – joins Salt at the wicket, and I must confess my heart soars as a Sussex man dispatches my bowling to the boundary to vanquish my other team.
No it doesn’t. It makes me seethe.
Obviously we lose.
83-4, a six wicket defeat.