Thank Evans For Little Gullys, “MTWD Lost Masterpiece”, Middlesex v Gloucestershire at Lord’s Day 3, 24 August 2007

The background to the phenomenon of MTWD “lost masterpieces” is explained in this link – click here. In short, Sportnetwork permanently lost a swathe of published features from 2007.

But fear not; I tend to keep everything.

Readers will be delighted to learn that I didn’t really chair the judging of double-glazing awards, but I was chairing the National Payroll Giving Awards in those days.

Connoisseurs will notice Ged (that’s me) using the Vaughanian third person a great deal in this report.

Thank Evans For Little Gullys – Middlesex v Glos Day 3

Early Doors

Ged decided to do a day’s work at Lord’s today.  He has been asked to Chair a panel of the great and good judging for a prestigious awards event.  The UK Double Glazing Awards, sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Double-Glaziers and Sealed Unitarians.  Goodness alone knows why Ged has been asked to fulfil this important and pivotal role in the wheels of UK commerce, but some senior figures from industry, the civil service and the charity world are set to have their casting vote cast by Ged.

So, Ged gathered 28 award applications, his trusty digital tranny, a small bag of rations and off he set to Lord’s to spend the day watching cricket and marking award applications.

He didn’t leave home until 10:30, which would still enable him to get to Lord’s on time for the start by use of public transport or a Hackney Carriage, but part of Ged’s pleasure on such days is the 35 minute walk, so, suitably comforted and watered  he got to a seat in the middle tier of the pavilion between 10 and quarter past.  Ed Smith had added half a dozen runs to the overnight score.

 

Down to Business

While Strauss and Smith got down to business trying to build a score worth having, Ged got down to the alternative business of reading through several applications for the “Best Excuse For Dodgy Double-Glazing Craftsmanship 2007” Award.  The repetitive nature of the applicants’ claims chimed nicely with the metronomic accuracy of Lewis’ and Kirby’s bowling.  Both were unlucky not to take wickets, as they bowled well, although Smith and Strauss were rarely troubled that much.  Ged felt that seeing off the new ball pair would be vital.

Around an hour into play, Ged moved on to the “Best Use of Attractive Daughter as Decoy on Double-Glazing Sales Visit 2007” award; the delightful young lady who had accompanied such a salesman on a visit to Daisy’s house earlier in the year strangely had not been nominated.  And around that time Hardinges (announced by Mr Perambulate the announcer in the singular; “Harding”) came on to replace Kirby at the Pavilion End to bowl pies that were suitably despatched square (ahh, “square pies” I hear you all sigh) and in front of wicket for four with delightful regularity.

Lewis seemed to want to bowl at the Nursery End all morning, but eventually made way for debutant Tom Stayt.  This seemed to be a suitable time to move on to the “Best Repair of Double Glazing Damaged by a Cricket Ball 2007” award.  Straussy, by now motoring, clearly thought similarly, but on 75, just before lunch, he holed out attempting a big one off debutant Stayt; 135/2 and that’s lunch.

 

Lunch

Ged was very much aware that he wanted to follow the England game on his radio as well as the Middlesex game before his eyes.  And while he can cope with two sets of stimulation (Middlesex and Glazing), three simultaneous sources might blow his mind.  So he swiftly moved on to the largest category, “Best Telesales Bullshit About Discounts Only Being Available If You Sign Up For Double-Glazing Today 2007” award.  Abstemiously, Ged merely munched an apple and a small bag of almonds while he marked.  Such can be the glories of a pavilion lunch.

 

Afternoon Delight, Glaws Style

In the 35 minutes between the resumption and the start of the England game, Ged marked the last two categories quickly; only two applicants for each which made it easy; “Most Ludicrous Freebie Thrown In With Double-Glazing Order 2007” and “Most Flagrant Extra Charge For Something That Wasn’t Included in the Original Price”.  Meanwhile Joyce and Smith were going great guns.  Ged read the proposed eulogy for the “Special Award for Carbon-Neutral-New-PVC of the Year Award”, plugged in his ears for the England game and then set to, summarising his scores and filling in forms.

At this point, unbeknown to Ged at that time (Ged remaining in the Pav until completing his work), Barmy Kev arrived at Lord’s and took his seat in the Upper Eddy.  The score was 197/2 and Middlesex seemed to be cruising.  Then, against the run of play (although Kirby had been brought back at the Pavilion End), Joyce got one that really flew across him and he was caught well at slip.  Two balls later, Rymps played on trying to leave one.  Next over,  Stayt got Smith caught at slip.  And only one scratchy extra was added before Scott was caught behind of Stayt for a blob.  197/2 had becomme 198/6 and everyone was wondering whether or not Middlesex would manage even one batting bonus point.

By all accounts, at this point the Turkeys in the Upper Eddy offered Barmy Kev considerable sums of money to go away and never ever come back.  And by those same accounts Barmy “Goes4cash” Kev seriously considered their offer.

But Middlesex rallied a bit, Vaas and Murtagh eventually getting that vital 1st batting point.  Ged finished his work and decided to wander round to the Upper Eddy for a change of view.  Despite (or perhaps because of) his abstemious lunch, he accidentally bumped into the ice cream van and felt obliged to help out on a chilly day by parting company with £1.70 for a small cone with flake.

As Ged emerged at the top of the Upper Eddy, cone already long gone, the light was offered and accepted in return for an early tea, with 44 overs still remaining.

 

We Had Joy, We Had Fun, We Had Evans and Some Evening Sun

The Upper Eddy was the place to be for that evening session.  Early tea was a wise move, as no overs were lost and the light improved considerably in those 20 minutes and there were even hints of possible sunshine – indeed the sun shone for a reasonable chunk of that session.

Middlesex pressed on to 300+, despite losing Murtagh soon after tea, Murali Kartik managed, with minimal footwork, to support Cha Cha Vaas to a respectable Middlesex score.  305/7 was enough to convince Ed Smith that we wanted 30 overs at them tonight, so declaration came and there was much debate about whether this was too soon, too late or about right.

At 50/0 it looked as though Middlesex had goofed, but Ed called on debutant Danny Evans from the Pavilion End, who looked quicker than the “medium-fast” tag on  his cricnfo sheet and who induced a hoik behind square from Spearman, caught well by Joyce, a big first wicket in 1st class cricket. 1-1-0-1 read Evans figures after his 1st 1st class over.

But then the clouds returned briefly and Ed entered into negotiations with the umpires.  On came Kartik at the Nursery End and Rymps at the Pavilion End.  Soon Kartik had induced stumpings off Hodnett and Ali; Ed almost shook hands with umpire Burgess to thank him for the enforced but inspired owling change.

And when the sunlight returned, Murtagh and Richardson managed to snare one each before the close.

Could Middlesex induce a follow-on even from here?  Can Middlesex dictate terms to some extent to agree a sensible declaration, joke bowl and chase.  Glaws are -5 on over rate at the moment – pitiful really even without a spinner – play finished about 19:15 – so they might see such a scenario as a way to bag 2.5 points.

It’s really hard to get a match done in 2 days, but Middlesex did all the right things Day 3 to try to make that happen.

An excellent day of cricket at Lord’s, given the dire weather-affected match situation at the start of Day 3.

If by any chance anyone is still reading and keen to know what happened in the match – here is a link to the scorecard.

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