Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fan Following Aust vs. Pak 1st Day Lords 13th of July

Choice of game:
Lords, there in itself is a great excuse to travel up from the South Coast to the big city and see a test match, second only to being able to say I was at a neutral test at the most iconic venue in cricket. As Lover of the summer game, and being an Australian a long way from home to me the only place that compares to the MCG with its history and tradition is Lords. Every time I find myself in England in the summer I always make the pilgrimage to the ground for a match.

Team Supported:
Australia of course, but I must admit to having a little bit of a crush on Pakistan, I was always a huge Imran Kahn fan and most of all I love the passion shown by Pakistan in all forms of the game, whether it’s a wicket or a loud appeal they always seem to throw all their emotion into the game.

Key Performer
The Pakistan bowlers were right on top of the Australians very early on, and took well to the overcast conditions Aamer had a great running battle with Ponting and Asif had the prize wicket of Michael Clarke before tea and Simon Katich after the break.

One thing you’d changed about the day
The weather, with so much excitement in me when I woke up it was not so nice to see the misty haze of rain. And with dark clouds over head for most of the morning I had a bad feeling we weren’t going to see any cricket at all.

The interplay you enjoyed
Aamer vs. Ponting, was a great little battle in the 8th over with Aamer rapping one on his pads to no avail he stares down the Australian captain, only for him to reply with a trademark pull shot that smashed into the boundary fence[see shot of the day] only again for Aamer to come back at him with a short pitched ball. Ponting for good measure finishes the over with a clean stroking cover drive for 2 more runs.

Filling the gaps
At Lords this is easy spending time just soaking up the history of such an important ground in cricket, walking around seeing how many former cricket greats were walking around the ground [Merv Hughes, Justin Langer, Jeff Thompson, Shane Warne] Or taking in the smooth Jazz band playing next to the Nursery end always cheers up an Aussie that feels his team should be doing better.

Wow moment
Michael Clarke coming in after the loss of Ponting made an instant impact taking to the bowling early and scoring quickly after being dropped early on, he passes Katich score with flurry of cover drive fours and pitch shots over mid wicket.

Player watch
Being in the Compton stand we were a bit of distance from the players, but though binoculars it was interesting watching Afridi in and the way he was captaining the side, with lots of shuffling players around in the field, and shouting and waving to the pavilion.

Shot of the day
As mentioned above, Ponting’s pull shot off Aamer was a classic piece of Ponting batting and had the crowd to their feet as he showed his class, dangling off the back foot, swivelling to strike it clean to the boundary. As they say ‘four the moment it left the bat’.

Crowd meter
Being a Tuesday and a drizzly one at that the stands were certainly not full, but the Grand stand, Mound and Compton stands all seemed full enough with a variety of Passion Pakistan’s, Boastful Aussies and the odd curious Englishman. The Pakistan part of the crowd started to get into the match more after tea and at the fall of Katich they could smell more wickets to come.

Fancy Dress index
Being Lords not too much of the dressing up in the non-traditional style, but plenty of ‘egg and bacon’ ties around enjoying an ale and chatting of past triumphs at the legendary ground.

Test v Limited Over’s
Having seen so much limited over’s recently it was interesting to see how the crowd would react , but from chatting to many people they all seemed quite keen to see the men of summer back in the whites. I personally enjoy Tests and ODI equally, when you watch a test match you start to get a feel for the game and can sense the pressure building as a batsman reaches his 50 or when a bowler beats the bat 3 or 4 times an over, and the ‘ohhs’ and aah’s from the crowd as they battle it out.

Spectator Alert
Early on as the misty rain cleared and play began it wasn’t long before something caught Watson’s eye, it was a lovely lady in the members who was wearing a shall we say overly bright coat and she was informed by the umpire to undress or move, which had the stands giggling.

A day at Lords is a great day out at the cricket and nothing really does compare, the crowds are always the most knowledgeable around, and the place itself makes you walk around and just soak up the aura. The cricket was great for a first day with plenty of wickets and great spells of batting to go with it. Despite the delayed start I give the day a 8 out of 10 with only the Sun letting me down today.

This article was produced as a Fan Followng for and appears in the reports for the 1st Day of Aust vs. Pakistan Report.