Earlier in the week, Nicktor emailed to say he might be able to get some tickets to the third day of the fourth test between England and India and was I interested. Silly boy! Of course I was. The fact that it was test cricket was a given but it was being played at the Ageas Bowl (which once was the Rose Bowl) a venue I’ve never been to, which made it essential.
After checking with Mirinda that she could do without me for a day (she could, given her DBA and statistics were keeping her company) I excitedly emailed Nicktor back in the affirmative. And today I set off for Haslemere station on the first bus of the day.
We were accompanied by James and two of his mates, one of whom has recently returned from New Zealand having climbed Mount Cook…which I was well impressed with given he’s only 18 and skinny as a more than thin rake. It did mean a bit of a squish in the back of Nicktor’s car but I didn’t mind given I was in the front.
And the day was absolutely perfect. Sometimes, sitting watching cricket for over eight hours can be a bit much in the middle of summer but not today. The temperature remained in the early twenties and the Member’s Enclosure is protected with position and a non-oppressive shading system that works a treat. It was perfect all round.
The stadium ranks with one my favourites (now that I’ve been). It isn’t too crowded because there isn’t any multi-storied banks of seating, it’s easy to walk right around the outside with big glimpses of the play as you go by, the food concessions are interesting and the beer is pretty good.
My only query would be why the managers of the ground decided to go with beer from a brewery in Bury St Edmunds when there’s one not far away. It seems to me that they could crow about their environmental credentials a lot more if their beer wasn’t travelling so far. In saying that, the IPA we had was lovely and very refreshing.
For lunch we had Indian Street Food (I had lamb, Nicktor had chicken) which was delightfully spicy and enjoyed by us both.
Actually, it’s just occurred to me, we didn’t moan about anything all day! Well, apart from the England team losing unnecessary wickets (Joe Root’s run out was ridiculous) which elicited more of a groan than a moan.
It was a brilliant day, enjoyed by all.
And, to top a perfect day off, as I walked in the door, Mirinda was dishing out dinner. How perfect is that?
Just for the record, England managed to reach 260/8 in their second innings giving them a lead of 233 at stumps. With two more days to go, it could be a win for either side at this point.