And so, another yearly cricket jaunt has been completed. This year, at Headingley. A lot of beer was consumed, a day of cricket was watched and we even went to a gig! But first, the cricket.
Sri Lanka started off pretty badly, although we missed the beginning because our taxi was late, the beer queue was too long and security to get into the ground was pretty full on. In fact, Neil, the nicest kindest chap you could ever hope to meet, had his umbrella confiscated at the gate. He collected it afterwards without too much hassle but, you have to wonder how this can happen in Yorkshire where it rains nearly every day, especially during cricket matches. It also makes you wonder why they took his umbrella but allowed the guys sitting behind us to get in with bottles of vodka.
So, as I said, Sri Lanka started off pretty badly, losing two early wickets to silly run outs. Actually, I’m assuming they were silly because we didn’t see them for the simple reason that…well, read the above paragraph again.
They steadily put on runs eventually making 309 for the loss of only 5 wickets. Not a bad innings and good steady run making throughout. Here’s a shot of Jayawardene just after he reached his 50 – he eventually scored 144:
After the change over, England started off well but soon it fell apart with wickets falling and the bowling keeping them stuck to the crease for too long with the result that the run rate required kept mounting and the runs remained static. It started becoming obvious they wouldn’t win and the batsmen started hitting anything for runs which, of course, meant they were out a lot quicker. They could only manage a piddling 240 in reply and were all out in the 45th over (out of 50).
As a day out for a bunch of blokes, it was great. There was 12 of us in all arranged in two rows of six. This always works out well because you can float around into different seats, chatting with different people throughout the day. Unless you happen to be called Colin and do not understand the social niceties inherent in this sort of arrangement.
It was while we were in Holmfirth the night before that someone noticed that Paul Carrick was performing at the Picturedrome after the cricket, that we decided it would be a good idea to get tickets and go. Generally the night is just spent listlessly sitting outside Hervey’s drinking, then going to a restaurant for some food we don’t really taste because we’ve been drinking all day. Going to a gig was a welcome departure from this. It was particularly welcome because Colin didn’t manage to get tickets.
Paul Carrick has played with such bands as Mike and The Mechanics, Squeeze (or, as we called them in Australia, UK Squeeze) and Roxy Music, and has also performed solo a lot. Here he is performing for us:
I would estimate the average age in the audience was about 45 so you can pretty much guess the type of music he plays. Afterwards, it was agreed that this was a lovely way of spending ‘cricket night’ and we should make sure that someone is on at the Picturedrome next year when we come up. Well, someone good, anyway.
As usual we were the weekend guests of Big Al and Heidi who were wonderfully generous hosts, as usual, in their newly renovated home. The renovations are gorgeous, giving the entire house the feel of a design magazine layout. I’m not sure how much input Heidi had (I’m guessing a lot) but they now have a house they both love.
I find it amazing how friendly everyone is (if you ignore Colin, of course) when they only see me once a year. but each time they all say hi and shake my hand and remember my name. Obviously they all know each other because they work for the same company, but I’m just Nicktor’s mate. In fact, when I expressed my wonder at them all being so nice, Nicktor pointed out that they were all friends of his (excepting Colin) and therefore would be the kind of people he liked and, logically, the kind of people I liked. And vice versa. He makes an excellent point. Evidentially, I dislike Colin as much as he does as well.
A great weekend, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Now, here’s looking forward to 2012.