After Shane Warne announced his retirement from International Cricket (following the absolute belting of England in the Ashes series early this year), I thought it would be a good idea to see him play one last time. Conveniently he plays in the domestic series here in England for Hampshire as their captain.
When I found out that his team had made it into the final of the Friends Provident Trophy and that the final would be played at the home of cricket aka Lords Cricket ground, I couldnâ€™t pass up a chance. So Lustri and I got a couple of tickets to the match. I was pretty excited because A) this would be probably the last chance for me to see Shane Warne play and B) I would be visiting the immensely-historical home of cricket.
The weather for the day was not looking good. It was predicted to rain around 6pm. Walking into the grounds the first thing you notice is the huge futuristic looking media centre. I think it looks good but Lustri thinks it looks a bit out of place and non traditional. We had pretty good seats, with a good view on the left hand side behind the bowler. The good looking members stand was right in front of us with the futuristic media centre over our shoulders. Behind the stadium is a nicely set up area with loads of food and drink stalls, with a nice green grassed area with park benches all facing a huge screen so that you donâ€™t miss the action when you pop out for a beverage or some food.
I didnâ€™t know many of the players but that didnâ€™t matter. Of the players Iâ€™d heard of Durham had Michael Di Venuto and Shiv Chanderpaul on their team. Hampshire had Shane and Kevin Pietersen from the England national team.
Shane sent Durham in to bat and that probably cost him the match. Durham posted a pretty good score of 312 for 5. Their runs kept pouring on towards the end along with pints of beer for us Shane didnâ€™t do anything too exciting. He finished off his maximum of 10 overs with no wickets and 46 runs. After the break Hampshire went in and put on the worst opening I have ever seen. The first ball of the innings put their opening batter to shame being caught out by Di Venuto. To make matters worse the next batter in on the 2nd ball of the innings did the exact same thing, also caught by Di Venuto. Gibson took two wickets off the first two balls! Not a great start to a final.
The scoreboard looked abysmal at this stage and we kind of knew it was all downhill from there, especially when their fourth batter Pietersen got out for LBW on 12 runs. From there on we focused our attention on general chit-chat, gossip and the free flowing of pints of beer We ended up moving seats at about a third of the way through because we thought the English spectators might be getting annoyed at our chit chat.
The rain came as predicted in Hampshireâ€™s 31st over and we knew the rain would continue for the day so we left it at that. Play resumed the next day and Hampshire went on to go all-out for 187 in the 41st over. It wasnâ€™t really the kind of match that I hoped for nor was the performance of Shane Warne, but either way Lustri and I had a great time coming to the home of cricket for the first time, seeing Warne play for our last time and Lustri and I had a good catch up talking about life, the world and the universe (many laughs were had).
To see the rest of the photos from the day visit here:
To see the full scorecard from the day click here.