I was toying with the idea of going to Lord’s that evening, as there was a T20 match, but I hadn’t arranged to meet anyone and those matches don’t tend to make the cut for me these days unless I have made arrangements.
Then, out of the blue, an e-mail from my friend Stephen, aka “Stentor Baritone”:
I arrived back in London last night and hope to go to Lords this evening for the 20/20
Will you be there? And if so would you like a bite with me at some time ?
Why not? Thus the arrangement was made.
Both of us thought that arriving 30 minutes or so before the start would enable us to secure good pavilion seats but none of it. I texted Stentor:
Heaving – no seats to be found – did you have more luck. I am up on the sun deck.
Within moments the reply:
So am I
…then just a few moments later we spotted each other.
We managed to find reasonable seats in the Upper Allen, near the scene of the crime of the 2009 King Cricket report I linked earlier – here (or below) is the link again.
Stentor said he’d been meaning to try the recently refurbished Crocker’s Folly, which I was also keen to try. It is suitably close to Lord’s, so we booked a table from the comfort of the Upper Allen and toddled across at the innings break.
We had a very tasty one course meal at Crocker’s, served with due speed, once we informed Crocker’s that we were at crickers. I kept an eye on the score, within reason, once the game resumed. Stentor very generously insisted on treating me to the meal.
We missed the first 9 or 10 overs of Middlesex’s reply to Hampshire’s quite hefty score, but felt that Middlesex were making a very good fist of it when we returned to our seats at HQ.
But then some wickets fell and the result seemed in little doubt. In any case, Stentor is very much an MCC man, caring for England and good cricket, but not particularly caring for Middlesex, despite being a North-West London man. So Stentor gave up and headed for home after watching for less than 30 minutes after the resumption. I bowed to the inevitable a couple of overs later, to avoid the heave of the exiting crowd. Here’s a link to the scorecard.
Still, an unexpected and very enjoyable evening in NW8, in good company.