My nonchalant box-ticking months earlier…
…”why not? Yes, by all means put my name in the ballot for pairs of debenture returns”…
…led to a very polite letter from the MCC, letting me know that, if I had really meant it, there were indeed ballot returns available for me, both for the last regular Sunday of the tournament and for this finals day.
“That would be absolutely spiffing,” I inferred, not by using those exact words, but by ticking some more boxes and writing a fairly substantial Gregory Peck.
Excellent value for my minimal effort and the money.
We had similar debenture seats for finals day as we had for the previous Sunday, just a little more central in the Grandstand. As the previous week, we were sitting very close to John McCririck. Actually, the previous week we had sat close to…”you know, that eccentric bloke who does racing, adverts and stuff on the TV”. I had to Google him between time to discover his name.
We certainly wanted to see the women’s World Twenty20 final – that was a big part of the excitement for us, especially as England had qualified for the final. So we set off in good time to catch the start of the first match – this also enabled us to avoid any crush at the gates. Daisy did the picnic again, I’m pretty sure, as we were in Sandall Close that weekend. I think she went more for a bangers and nibbles picnic this time, with the previous week’s having been a more sandwich-based affair. But it might have been the other way around.
I had managed to catch a fair chunk of the England Women v Australia Women semi-final on the TV on the Friday. I thought the Aussie girls had scored plenty but England batted beautifully that day.
On finals day, it was the England bowling that shone through – taking advantage of morning conditions to bowl. Not an enormous crowd for the women’s final, sadly, but a decent number of us turned up to support. The ground started to fill up as the match progressed.
It was a great feeling to witness live the England Women win a World Final at Lord’s.
For the men’s final, what had been the empty seat next to mine was taken by a young Asian gentleman from Birmingham who was supporting Pakistan. He got more and more excited as the match unfolded and was in a state of great euphoria by the end.
In truth, it wasn’t a very exciting match. The Sri Lankan score always seemed below par and at no point did the Sri Lankan bowlers seem capable of containing the Pakistan batsmen.
We left Lord’s and wandered over to Harry Morgan’s to wait for a cab in comfort with a coffee. Cars were driving around St John’s Wood hooting horns, hollering Urdu chants and waving Pakistan flags. I don’t suppose the residents of NW8 had ever seen anything like it before.
Thus ended my four days at Lord’s in less than a fortnight (which started here). I must say that these short-form International cricket matches make so much more sense to me in the context of a multi-country tournament than they do when they are simply a string of bilateral matches. I had enjoyed a couple of excellent midweek days with friends and a couple of super Sundays with Daisy. Well satisfied, I was.