James and I went to Lords cricket ground yesterday to watch the One Day International match between England and New Zealand. It was the first time James had been to Lords and the first time since 1991 that I’d been there so it was a fairly new experience for me also.
We took the train from Stevenage at 9:36 and got to Kings Cross in plenty of time for the short underground trip to St Johns Wood which is the closest underground station to Lords Cricket Ground. Unfortunately as we were on the tube pulling into St Johns Wood tube station the driver announced that the escalator had broken down and we couldn’t get out there so we had to travel to the next station (Swiss Cottage) and walk back to the ground. This made us a bit late and we didn’t eventually get to our seats until about 10:55. By that time England had started to bat and were about 10 for 0.
We both had an enjoyable day at the match, but felt that it is a completely different experience from watching on TV. Although there are now replays at the ground, it isn’t the same as the ‘every ball in slow motion’ experience that you get from modern TV coverage. It’s more like the old coverage from 40 years ago. The thing you do get from being live at the game however is the tremendous speed that some bowlers can bowl at. Even Graham Swann, who is a ‘slow bowler’ still seems pretty quick to me, and the fast bowlers are seriously fast. You see their arm come over and the wicket keeper take the ball !
James had a look round the Lords shop and we had a bit of a walk round the ground in the break between innings, and then we got back to our seats to catch the exciting start to the New Zealand innings when James Anderson took two wickets in his first over. That was our only success for a long time however as New Zealand added 120 in quick time!
By about 5:15 it had been a long day so I suggested that we leave. James was quite happy to leave because we had been sitting in the sun for about 5 hours then and I think he was a bit tired of it. It was also quite obvious by then that New Zealand were going to win, so we walked back to St Johns Wood tube station and got the underground to Kings Cross, arriving back in Stevenage at 7:30.