The first T20 Blast games of the ‘summer’ gave me a chance to make my first visit to the Oval as a Surrey member. My home county Essex were playing Hampshire, a trip too far for 40 overs of cricket.
Every home game Surrey play is also included, so Championship, Royal London and T20 can be seen for around £250. In this year of sports galore for me I couldn’t resist.
Surrey play most of their T20 cricket on a Friday, I don’t work on a Friday, Happy Days!
My day started with a bit of a bang when the doorbell rang at 9:30, I’d had a lie in to recover from the RPA Players’ Awards Dinner. I opened the door to find my hairdresser David standing there!
Hair cut and coloured in, a spot of housework and lunch and it was time to head into London. I decided to take a taxi to the station – for what must be 4-5km I was charged £8.80! That seems loads to me! A reason companies like UBER are making a killing!
The journey into London from Chelmsford takes no time at all so I chose the getting off at Waterloo option with plenty of time to spare. A walk along South Bank is always a pleasure especially in sunshine.
I arrived at The Oval in plenty of time there were lots of friendly faces by way of volunteers, one of the biggest legacies from the Olympics I’d say. I made my way to the Pavilion, where I had a cuppa with cake – take note Essex CC – they do cake!
I had no idea where I was allowed to sit and struggled to find out, one criticism I would make – for newcomers it would be good to see more people stationed or signs maybe to make it clear. I eventually discovered that I could access the whole of what is a really lovely building!
In a similar way to my visit to the Long Room at Lords I virtually had to pinch myself to find myself in the Pavilion at the Oval! What a delight!
I chose the 2nd tier and was able to sit on some pretty comfortable bench seating – I believe it’s often used for a hospitality situation but the room connected wasn’t being used. I was sat behind the bowlers arm which is my favourite angle to watch cricket from.
I do just have to recount a conversation I’d had while sorting my tea out – I told a man this was my 1st visit as a member, his response was – ‘well if you don’t really like cricket T20 is a good format to watch’ – I did explain that – yes, I love cricket and actually prefer the longer format of the game! – why would I be a member??
And so to the cricket; Gareth Batty won the toss and elected to bowl – I wonder if that was a decision to be regretted at the end of the evening.
Glamorgan had runs on their mind when Jacques Rudolph and Mark Wallace took to the crease. In what was to be a fine display of batting Glamorgan set a huge total for Surrey to chase.
Wallace was out for 10 after being caught by Wahab Riaz from the bowling of Tom Curran but Rudolph was joined by Colin Ingram and the 2 of them put on a masterclass of batting.
The batting display was thrilling, with 12 fours and 9 sixes being hit between the 2 batsmen – they both used an array of shots, often letting the ball do the work with a reverse sweep sending the ball flying.
Ingram had been caught when in single figures, but to a no ball. Rudolph and Ingram took the score to 157 before Rudolph was caught by Kumar Sangakkara from the bowling of Aneesh Kapil.
Chris Cooke joined Ingram at the crease; Ingram had given so much entertainment he was deserving of getting a century but was bowled by Wahab Riaz on 91.
His was to be the last wicket to fall as Cooke put on 46 with Ben Wright adding 16. Glamorgan had wracked up a huge score of 240 for 3. A very big total for Surrey to chase even with the hard hitters at the top of the order.
A short break and the players returned, it would take a huge effort for Surrey to get the win. Jason Roy and Steve Davies opened the batting – Surrey’s cause wasn’t helped when Roy skyed a ball to be caught by Chris Cooke from the bowling of Michael Hogan on a paltry 1.
One big hitter was promptly walking back to the dressing room. Kumar Sangakkara was next to bat. He and Davies put on 54 before he was out to a similar scenario to Roy – Surrey seemed to be trying too hard. Sangakkara was caught for 37 by David Lloyd from the bowling of Craig Meschede. Gary Wilson replaced him.
Aneesh Kapil next in made only 8 before he was out – LBW to Dean Cosker. Davies followed shortly after LBW to Cosker he at least had made 58.
Vikram Solanki was next to the crease – he was walking straight back after being out for a Golden Duck, LBW Cosker.
Wilson was next to go for 5, he was caught by Rudolph from the bowling of Cosker – Dean Cosker finished his 4 overs with figures of 4 for 30!
Zafar Ansari put on a good show for Surrey getting 67 runs giving the home fans hope. But one huge over where Glamorgan had scored 29 was to be the main difference at the end of the evening.
Surrey put on what would have been a match winning score on any other night they were all out for 215 – but Glamorgans’ huge 240 saw them take the points. I wonder if Surrey will choose to chase next time they win the toss?
I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening – I’d watched Essex play T20 at the Oval last season and hated it – the amount of beer flying around and behaviour of some of the crowd put me off.
I was glad to be away from people who seemed to be more intent on watching a tower of beer cups than the cricket. It’s the one facet of T20 cricket I don’t like.
I had a decent train journey home to be met by my son at the station – the wonders of a son who can drive! We had a minor drama as we approached home as we stopped to help capture a pet rabbit he’d nearly run over on his way to collect me. Mission accomplished bed time it was!
Not too many facts and figures – the game was included in my membership.
- Ladies loos – clean, enough of them and in the pavilion really quite posh!
- Tea & cake – cost £4.40
- Nicest moment of the evening – was chatting to the people around me – it took a while for people to talk when I became an Essex member!
- Best moment – has to be more than one – some of the Glamorgan batting was wonderful to watch. There was a comedy fielding moment when Glamorgan messed up what should have been a certain run out – it was funny!