Archive for the Cricket Category

Natwest T20 Blast: Glamorgan v Sussex

Posted in Cricket with tags , , , on July 22, 2017 by telescoper

Last night’s Twenty20 match in Cardiff was planned as a staff social outing for members of the School of Physics & Astronomy at Cardiff University. I had to do some things at home before the 6.30 start so didn’t join the group that went to a pub first but went straight to the ground.

It had rained much of the day, but stopped around 6pm. When I got to the ground the covers were still on:

The umpires inspected the pitch at 7pm, and during their deliberations it started drizzling. They decided to have another look at 7.30.

I stayed inches ground, updating the rest of the staff group who happily stayed in the pub while I sat in the gloom of a sparsely populated SWALEC.

Eventually the ground staff started to remove the covers

The toss was finally thrown at 8pm. Glamorgan won and decided to field. Play would start at 8.30, with 9 overs per side.

Play did get under way at 8.30.. 

It was predictably knockabout stuff, with Sussex slogging from the word go. They reached 87 for 2 off 8 overs, but then the rain returned. A little after 9pm the game was abandoned. Fewer than 10 overs having been bowled, tickets were refunded.

It was a shame that we didn’t get a full game, not only because the social event was a damp squib, but also because Glamorgan really wanted a win. Their previous match at the SWALEC (against Somerset last Saturday) was also rained off but their match  the following day against Essex in Chelmsford led to a victory with a six off the last ball as Glamorgan chased 220 to win off 20 overs.

Anyway, it’s the return match against Essex in Cardiff on Sunday so let’s hope for a full game then.

The Lord’s Day

Posted in Cricket with tags on July 8, 2017 by telescoper

I made it on time this morning to Lord’s to see the third day’s play of the First Test between England and South Africa from the brand new Warner Stand.

South Africa resumed on 214 for 5 chasing England’s first-innings total of 458. England’s bowlers bowled pretty well, but the batsmen, especially nightwatchman Philander, joined by wicketkeeper De Kock,  battled gamely and South Africa progressed to 361 all out, giving England a lead of 97.
England then resumed and batted slowly but safely to close on 119 for 1 off 51 overs, losing only Jennings for 33, ahead by 216. Cook was unbeaten on 59. They will be looking to push on tomorrow and try to build a lead of around 450 to try to force a result. There were definitely signs of turn and variable bounce  for the spinners so batting last may not be easy. 

Anyway, as always, it was a very enjoyable day, complete with Scottish entertainment in the luncheon interval:

Update: Checking the score at lunchtime on Sunday I discovered that England collapsed to 182 for 8, having been 139 for 1 at one stage. South Africa are now favourites to win this game, although England’s spinners will take heart from the fact that the ball is turning sharply.

Another update: the plot thickens. England managed to add another 50 runs courtesy of Bairstow and Wood, setting South Africa 331 to win. At tea they were 25 for 3. England definitely favourites again, but with South Africa’s two best batsmen Amla and De Kock at the crease..

Final update: 5.33pm. South Africa all out for  119. England win by 211 runs.

Natwest T20 Blast: Glamorgan v Hampshire 

Posted in Cricket on July 7, 2017 by telescoper

After a quick pint after work I headed to the SSE Swalec Stadium in Sophia Gardens for the first of this year’s games in Natwest Twenty20 Blast.

I was a little late getting there and two overs had already been bowled. Hampshire, batting first, were already 30 without loss; an over later they were for 0. At that rate they were going to reach 300!

However, three wickets fell quickly and Glamorgan managed to restrict Hampshire to 167 for 4, a decent score but not impossible.

During the innings break I took a wander and chose a different view for the Glamorgan innings, more or less opposite where I was for the first 20 overs, under the big screen.

Glamorgan got off to a terrible start, losing two wickets in the first over from which they never really recovered. Though Wagg scored a bright 50, and the they never  looked like getting the runs. Afridi was the pick of the Hampshire bowlers, taking 4 for 20 off his 4 overs.

Glamorgan finished on 145 for 9 so Hampshire won by 22 runs, a narrower margin than looked likely when Glamorgan were 47 for  5…

Despite the score, and the fact that it wasn’t proper cricket, it was quite good fun. About 7000 people were there.

Anyway, time for an early night. I have to get up with the lark tomorrow to head to London for some proper cricket.

A Day/Night County Match

Posted in Cricket on June 26, 2017 by telescoper

After two very busy weeks I decided to take a couple of days off to watch the County Championship match between Glamorgan and Derbyshire at the SSE Swalec Stadium here in Cardiff.

It turns out that this match is something of a landmark in that it’s the first ever Day/Night County match to be held in Wales.

The format of this match is like a regular 4-day County game except that each day’s play starts at 2pm rather than the usual 11am. This means that the “lunch” interval is taken at 4pm instead of 1pm, and “tea” is taken at 6.40. Play is scheduled to continue, with the aid of floodlights, until 9pm.

Oh, and they’re using a rather lurid pink ball…

I can see why they are trying this out: to see if they can get more people coming after work or school than would come with the usual 6pm close. At the moment (3.45pm) the attendance is about average for a county game…

I don’t like this new format, however, got two reasons. One is that it wastes three hours of daylight. I like to watch my cricket sitting in the sunshine rather in the twilight. As it happens, it was a beautiful morning in Cardiff today. I had the day off and would have relished watching the morning session basking in the sun. I couldn’t because there wasn’t one.

The other reason I don’t like it is that it finishes too late to have dinner at a reasonable hour. The food and drink available at the Swalec – particularly the beer – is overpriced and not of high quality, so I shall probably leave at the start of the tea interval. Unless it gets very exciting..

At the moment, Derbyshire are 68 for 1 off 24 overs. Madsen and Godleman not looking entirely comfortable but digging in.

UPDATE: It’s 5pm, Derbyshire are 104 for 2, and the lights have come on:

Glamorgan were quite slow getting through their overs so the Tea interval wasn’t taken until 7.09pm, with the fall of the 7th Derbyshire wicket with the score on 157. A good bowling performance from Glamorgan, but I decided to go home and make some dinner rather than stay for the last session. Quite a few others  left at the same time.

Play finished at about 10pm. Derbyshire rallied to finish on 288 all out, and Glamorgan batted two overs for 5 without loss. Appropriately enough, Glamorgan sent in a Night Watchman (Tim van den Gugten) to open the innings.

Back to Cardiff

Posted in Cardiff, Cricket, Football on May 19, 2017 by telescoper

Despite torrential rain and flooding (in England) and the failure of the electronic passport readers at Heathrow Terminal 5, I managed to get back to Cardiff (via plane, bus and train) more-or-less when I expected and all in one piece, if a little tired. It was good to get home and have a nice cup of tea. I love lots of things about Italy, but I’ve never found anywhere in that wonderful country to have a decent cuppa.

When I walked home from Cardiff Central last night I noticed that road barriers have started to appear on the streets near the Principality Stadium. This is because the final of the UEFA Champions League between Juventus and Real Madrid will take place there on Saturday 3rd June. This will be easily the biggest sporting event ever held in Cardiff, with up to a quarter of a million people coming into the city, only 80,000 or so of whom will be able to watch the event in the Stadium. There’ll be a lot of disruption to traffic in the City Centre, both for security reasons and because of the sheer number of people packing the place.

Hotels in and around Cardiff sold out months ago, and an enormous campsite is being created on Pontcanna fields to house some of the people who couldn’t find a room. I’m not sure I would pay £195 for 3 nights to sleep in a tent, but some will. I just hope it’s not too noisy around my house! I was thinking of going away and renting my house out for the period, but I want to be in Cardiff for my birthday treat – a performance of Der Rosenkavalier by Welsh National Opera.

Talking of sport, since the weather was pleasant when I got up this morning, I decided to reacclimatise after a few days away by popping into the SSE SWALEC Stadium in Sophia Gardens to watch the first sessions’s play of the County Championship match between Glamorgan and Nottingham.

I’m glad I went because it was an absorbing morning’s cricket, with some excellent bowling and fielding by Glamorgan restricting Nottinghamshire to just 64 for 2 off 31 overs. The second wicket to fall involved a superlative catch in the slips by Aneurin Donald. It’s good to see Glamorgan playing with a spring in their step. After a poor start to the season they finished 4th (out of nine teams) in the Royal London One-Day Cup Southern division, which although they missed out on a semi-final place, is a creditable result and a distinct improvement on last year. Let’s hope they can carry on that progress into the County Championship.

A Good Day

Posted in Cricket, Football on May 7, 2017 by telescoper

I spent all day today at the SWALEC stadium in Sophia Gardens watching yet another one-day match, this time between Glamorgan and Essex.

It was overcast early on, as you can see from the picture (which for some reason has decided to rotate itself).

Glamorgan won the toss and batted, but lost both openers cheaply. Ingram and Bragg then dug in and slowly tried to build a decent total. By “slowly”, I mean very slowly. After 10 overs Glamorgan had crawled to 26 for 2. The batsmen gradually began to assert themselves but were prevented by good fielding and bowling from really cutting loose. Then Ingram decided to take the bull by the horns. He hit three towering sixes (including one over the top of the pavilion) on his way to a brilliant 142. Still, Glamorgan’s total of 281 for 7 off their 50 overs  didn’t really look enough…

Near the end of the Glamorgan innings I checked the football scores and discovered that Newcastle United had beaten Barnsley 3-0 while Brighton & Hove Albion let in a late equaliser at Aston Villa. That meant that Newcastle United won the Championship title. I celebrated in appropriate style in the Members bar between the innings.

Essex lost two very quick wickets – they were 2 for 2 at one point –  but captain Alastair Cook and Varun Chopra put together a century partnership. When Cook was out, Ravi Bopara joined Chopra for another 100 stand.

After 41 overs Essex were looking comfortable  on 214 for 3, needing just another 68 to win. Glamorgan’s bowlers had lost control at a similar point in their last match, so most of the spectators thought Essex would rattle off the runs without too much difficulty.

As so often happens in cricket, one incident turned the match. Chopra smashed a delivery from Meschede back at the bowler. It was a difficult chance and Meschede couldn’t hold on, but the ball ricocheted from his outstretched hand onto the stumps at the non-strikers end, with Bopara well out of his ground.

From that point the Essex batsmen came and went at regular intervals, as Glamorgan’s bowlers showed much greater discipline and common sense than on Friday. Aiming at the stumps has to be a good tactic in a situation when the batsman have to score at a reasonable rate: if the batsman misses going for a shot then the ball hits. Seems obvious, but it’s not what they did in the last game.

With 2 overs left, Essex had stuttered to 268 for 7 but were still favourites in my book. But with the first ball of the penultimate over De Lange clean bowled ten Doeschate (the last of four batsman to be bowled by full deliveries aimed at middle stump), making it 268 for 8. The pendulum had swung in Glamorgan’s favour. Or had it? Essex managed another 7 off the rest of the over.

Seven runs were then needed off the last over, with two wickets left. Hogan bowling,  the crowd buzzing. First ball: 2 runs. Groans from the crowd. Then two dot balls. Cheers. Then an awful mix-up and a run out. Five needed off two balls. One wicket left. Next ball: the batsmen ran a bye to the wicketkeeper. Four needed off the last ball..

…but they could only run two. Glamorgan won by one run.

It was a very exciting finale, and a much-needed  morale-boosting victory for Glamorgan. Well played both teams!

Oh, and when I got home I saw the news that France didn’t elect a fascist as President.

Yes, it’s been a good day. A very good day.

Another One Day

Posted in Cricket on May 5, 2017 by telescoper

I had the day off today so I could watch Glamorgan play Somerset in the Royal London Cup.

It was a bright but very windy day at Sophia Gardens. Glamorgan won the toss and put Somerset in to bat. The home team’s bowlers did reasonably well, for 40 overs or so, at restricting the scoring but only took three wickets at a cost of 204. In the last ten overs, however, thanks to excellent strokeplay and (it has to be said) undisciplined bowling, Somerset pushed their total up to 338. By the end, Glamorgan looked a demoralised side.

I felt that total was going to be beyond Glamorgan’s batsmen, and so it proved. They crumbled rapidly and were all out for 168, not even halfway to their target.

While I was watching Glamorgan bat I realised that they’ve lost every game I’ve watched. Undaunted, I’ll be back on Sunday (weather permitting) to watch them try to maintain their unblemished record against Essex.

P.s As the match finished early, I headed over the river from Sophia Gardens and across Bute Park to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to listen to the free Friday evening jazz, which was most enjoyable.