Monday, May 23, 2011

Friday Night Lights

It has been sometime since I was last up at the Rose Bowl, that being the Monday bank holiday post Royal parties which turned into a blustery afternoon sheltering myself in the members bar watching Hants put on a score fit for a Sunday social.

With a long week put behind me it was with a good mood to dash out the door for the bus that was late enough to inflect at least 1 pint in the pub next door. The ground itself was clearly lacking those that figured Sky TV was the way forward out of the Southern breeze and this put a dampener on proceedings to only see a scattered collect of supporters, none of this was helped by the fact that Northamptonshire had also rested Chaminda Vass, the upside was that young Danny Briggs was returned by the English Lions last minute to be involved.

Despite the cool prevailing wind that now seems to be a constant up at the Rose Bowl, and grabbing my dinner of which a bowl of chips and pint seemed satisfying, it dawned on me that as the sun kissed the far side of the ground (opposite to the members) why the grandstand was placed where it is? Considering all the evening cricket played sitting in the members is a never a warm prospect as the shadows grow longer.

Hampshire isn’t exactly helping the crowds though the gates; showing early signs of a bank holiday style collapse before James Vince took control with a well made and durable 58; Liam Dawson did pitch in with a plucky 41 but the finishing total of 200.

Hampshire toiled at best with the bowling of Dimi and Jones, the later making a bee-line in a flurry of boucers, quicker balls over a 89mph (and the collective stadium waiting for him break in half) With an early wicket to Dimi having Newton caught-and-bowled for 23, yet this was the end of the fun as Niall O’Brien punished the Hants bowlers with his superbly hit 121 which included 10 fours and 3 sixes that sparked some life from even the home fans.

Little went right for the Hampshire attack although Mascarenhas, back after almost a year out with an ankle injury, looked well in the flesh and his bowling while not having any fruits for the labor, didn’t look labored and let’s hope he’s back for the rest of the year. But there was nothing he could do to stop O'Brien.

I must admit to being one of the few that snuck out the backdoor of the ground with 10 overs remaining, knowing the match was on Sky I figured a cheap beer from the fridge at home and consoling from my wife might make it better. It only made it warmer; the result was another one of those games where you could see it wasn’t enough; a theme is starting to form with Hampshire lets hope we can change the storey in a couple of weeks as we begin to defend the T20 Trophy.

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