Ages ago, Nicktor wondered whether I’d like to accompany him to the England v Pakistan ODI which was on at the Ageas Bowl today. Disregarding the waste of wondering, I’d been looking forward to it then I had a message from Nicktor asking if I’d like to switch our tickets from the Member’s Area to the Hospitality Suite. Again, a silly question. And, just like the husky that gets let into the house, I’m not sure how I’ll ever go back to just sitting with the ordinary folk.
Nicktor picked me up (tickets in hand) and we set off down south, not avoiding the traffic also headed in the same direction. (There was going to be a lot of people at Marwell Zoo and the Hilton Wedding Fair if the traffic was anything to go by.) But, we had plenty of time, particularly given our VIP parking spot just outside the ground.
Through the turnstiles then straight into the first building we came to, a very pleasant chap, having inspected our tickets and realised we WERE in the correct place directed us towards the lift rather than make us take the stairs.
As we emerged from the lift we were instantly surrounded by young people who slapped wristbands on us, indicating which privileged group we belonged to, then directed us to our box. And so our day truly began.
Talk about being spoiled rotten. There was food, booze, excellent company, non-stop tea and coffee and, of course, some great cricket which was only interrupted for about half an hour just before lunch when it rained a bit.
Speaking of lunch…it was a three course meal with lots of Ian Botham wine to help it go down. There were also bacon rolls to start and granary roll burgers to finish.
The cricket was exciting (regardless of what my wife might say to the contrary) with England taking command of the game, with some excellent play by the openers and a wonderful innings of 110 by Jos Buttler. Buttler’s century was scored off only 50 balls, an amazing run rate. We did think it was all over after lunch and the Pakistani batsmen took to the field. But we couldn’t have been more wrong.
The Pakistani players batted steadily and decisively, smashing balls all round the ground. As the clock ticked and the overs dwindled, it looked like either team could win. Then a couple of wickets fell and the pendulum swung back in England’s favour. By the time we reached the final ball and the required run rate was 84, it was all over. England had won by a measly 12 runs.
It was a wonderful start to my cricket season. In fact, everything was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed all of it.
Meanwhile, at home, Mirinda had a squirrel fall on her. She was lying on the sun lounger on the terrace when, suddenly, out of nowhere, something landed on her then ran onto the raised beds and vanished up the fence faster than a cockerpoo could chase. She said it felt like Neighbour Dave had thrown something over the fence at her.
A few months ago, the squirrel could have leapt from the tree but since the big cut back, it would have to be an Olympic long jump gold medalist to make it. I figure it was in an alternative universe where there was a tree directly above the sun lounger. It had stepped through a space rift and suddenly appeared in our universe where, of course, there is no tree. It just fell onto Mirinda’s lap.