Now then, I think this is when people realise I really am something of a cricket geek!  And I suspect I’ll be setting the tone for my days at The Ashes. I can see the full days I spend will most likely to a Phlog (made up word) rather than my often rambling blogs.

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Let’s see how many words I type around the 50 plus photos I have to share.  Some scene setting before I go into the day.

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Those of you who’ve read more of my blogs will pretty much know I’m sport mad; as far as cricket is concerned I’m an Essex girl born and bred.  I’m in my 3rd  (or 4th, I can’t remember!) year as an Essex member – I married twice – 2 men who didn’t like cricket!

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Finding myself single again I headed back to a sport I love!  My Dad played local cricket so I was brought up at the side of a cricket pitch, and as soon as I was old enough I was sat for days on end with a score book.  So, as you can see cricket is in my blood.

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So how did I come to be a Surrey member as well?  I met a fellow Essex person last year when I was at a test match day.  He sneaked me into the pavilion for a look round; I was virtually, instantly sold!

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When I learnt that if I bought a Surrey and England membership that guaranteed me a seat for international games, with the Ashes coming up it was a no brainer!

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I’ve been to and written about a couple of T20 games, this was to be my first visit for a county game.

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With Surrey having played Glamorgan in Cardiff the night before, bringing home a very welcome win, the day was set to start at mid-day.  That gave me a leisurely Saturday morning, I’d hoped for a sunny day and dressed accordingly – and wow the weather delivered!  Tan marks evened up!

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I like to move around when I’m watching county cricket, my favourite view is behind the bowlers arm and with the crowds that tend to turn u for the 4 day game it’s always possible to move around and find the right spot.

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I started in the pavilion, sitting right at the front on the lower level; I sat next to a totally delightful Surrey member, Charles Webster.  He’d been a member since 1965 and he had some lovely tales to tell.  It was great to talk to him!

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And so to the cricket – Surrey were the first to bat. Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari opened.  I imagine it must be hard at times to change the style of play between red ball and white ball cricket.  To switch from a 3 hour game to a 4 day game, I think some fans struggle too from some of the comments during the day.

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However neither Burns or Ansari had played the night before.  Burns was to leave proceedings early as he fell to a catch by Geraint Jones from the bowling of Liam Norwell.  He’d made 21 and Surrey were on 42 for 1.

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Arun Harinath made a very brief appearance,  being caught by Michael Klinger for 1 having faced only 3 balls!  Not so good for the home team – now on 43 for 2!

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This all felt very like T20!  But things were to change as Dean Elgar joined Ansari.  The pair allowed the crowd to rediscover what 4 day cricket is all about.  They both dug their heels in basically.

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Ansari in particular played a very patient innings, he batted for over 4 hours scoring 64 runs from the 210 balls he faced.  That total did include six 4’s but he played in the way he needed to, to bring his team back into the match.

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Ansari was out with the score on 174 – something of an improvement!  Jack Taylor made the breakthrough, Ansari was given out LBW.

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Dean Elgar, ‘visiting’ from South Africa played a great innings, showing his undoubted class, he hit a wonderful 98!  He was at the crease for just under 2 hours, hitting ten 4’s and two 6’s, it was a pleasure to watch.

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I think I may have put the mockers on him when I said, he’s on for his century – he fell 2 short when Klinger caught him from the bowling of Jack Taylor again.  I can only begin to imagine how disappointed he must have been!

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He’d been joined by Ben Foakes, a former Essex boy, I knew him to be good with the bat as well as in the field and behind the wickets.  It was great to be able to see him bat and he certainly showed just what he’s capable of.

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It was a sweltering hot day, and in spite of a very long day in the field, Gloucestershire persevered.  Jason Roy arrived at the wicket as Elgar left – he was bowled by Nowell for a mere 14.

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Ben Foakes scored a good half century before the day was out, finishing on 57 – he was to go on and make 118 in total on day 2.  Surrey finished the day on 223 for 4.

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The full match report can be found here http://www.ecb.co.uk/matchreport/38045   The patient first day of batting followed a great bowling/fielding effort by Surrey – giving them a comfortable win by 180 runs and an innings!

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I moved around after lunch settling myself with a good view of the wicket and the pavilion – a great seat!  I believe that next season Surrey and England are going to allow you to pick your seat for internationals.  With a waiting list for the pavilion I can see I’ll be heading to the stands opposite.

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I met Barry, a Twitter connection when I moved, we had a good chat and he was kind enough to buy me one of the biggest ice creams I’ve seen!  Thank you Barry!

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I must mention lunch in the Long Room – I was in seventh heaven – If only my Dad would’ve seen his daughter.  The facilities available to members really are rather special on top of being able to watch cricket at a beautiful ground.  I can see this will be the start of a long relationship!

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Turns out I rambled again – so much for few words!  The photos above show Elgar hitting the ball that saw him miss his century – so disappointing!

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