Cricket at Lords: England perform!
Spent a great day at Lords today, watching England play some very good cricket at the first test vs. West Indies. It would have been a perfect day, but for the chilly weather and heavily overcast skies! [Pictured above is the the England slip cordon in front of the Compton stand, with the new retractable floodlights in the background.]
Highlights? Swann was the star early on, as England put on quick runs to bring the total past 370. Anderson got a nasty knock on the back of his head, as he turned his back trying to duck a fast one, but was OK to continue. Onions, the debutant, was bowled first ball with a fast full toss that struck almost half-way up the stumps.
West Indies began at an amazing pace, but in a crazy spell of play Swann took two wickets in successive balls, then Onions got three wickets in one over. The result was that the West Indies were bowled out for 150-odd, and had to follow on.
It was a fine display of bowling by England, with the three quicker bowlers - Anderson, Broad and Onions, all averaging 88/89 mph, and occasionally going just over 90. This is proper fast bowling, and bodes well for the Ashes series, where a genuinely brisk, hostile attack is needed to give us a chance to bowl Australia out twice each match.
Spare a thought for Tim Bresnan, though, the other debutant bowler. While Onions picked up a five-for, Bresnan had just one over. Hopefully, he'll get a few more tomorrow.
Unless the West Indian batsmen change the way they're playing quite dramatically, this match will be all over tomorrow lunchtime, and it's going to cost the ECB a fair bit in lost ticket sales over the weekend.
And the wine? I was guest of Thierrys, and we drank a new Lord's branded red and white that they are producing. The white is a respectable, fresh 2008 white Burgundy, and the red is a Bordeaux 2007 from Lapalu that's tasty, ripe and generous (which is rare for relatively inexpensive Bdx).