Sunday lunch at East Rudham, a spot of imaging (37 magic books, of which some of the better pictures feature in this blog) and finally home to check and edit the pics (left the cable here, so could not do it at Rudham). The weather although pretty unpleasant at times was not as apocalyptic as we had been led to believe.
I managed to catch the last rites of the Somerset v Sussex 50 overs a side game once I had got back. Sussex were always in command, and reached the target easily.
Yesterday England found the best way to avoid being hampered by the possible intervention of hurricane Bertha by wrapping things up very early. Not even a freak injury to Stuart Broad could prevent England from settling the matter. For the second time in the match India’s top order failed abjectly, and although I did not witness the events of the first two days being busy working, some of the dismissals suggested a team who had lost all semblance of fight.
Moeen Ali, who is not even a regular bowler for his county, took (or was handed) four cheap wickets. The only triumph to go India’s way on this day was the Brian Johnston Champagne Moment, which went to Pankaj Singh who ended a very long wait for his first test wicket – only two bowlers with test wickets to their name had conceded more runs before getting their first.
Perhaps the biggest single gainer on the day was new wicket-keeper Jos Buttler who after making a swashbuckling 85 in his first test now showed that he could adapt to different circumstances by making a much more restrained 70.
As usual I have some fine photographs from in and around King’s Lynn to share…
First up, before I get to the main meat of this post, a considered retrospective on the conclusion of the first test. While I give Moeen Ali full credit for his maiden test century and for taking England to within the proverbial hairs breadth (two possible balls remaining in the match when Anderson was finally out) of escaping from a match that they really surrendered in the second and third sessions of the penultimate day, I consider the final result to have been what England deserved.
Wimbledon is under way, and I spent an enjoyable afternoon yesterday listening to the play. Andy Murray looked every inch the defending champion in winning his second round match with only two games going against him, and there were several other good matches. Alhtough I am normally studious in avoiding any mention of the f-game in this blog, I could not avoid hearing about Luis Suarez’s latest (alleged) felony yesterday. My only comment is: if he is guilty, then given the nature of the offence and his previous record, there can be only one punishment: A worldwide lifetime ban from the sport that made him a rich, spoilt brat.
First up this morning was a meeting at Raynham Hall to discuss progress on the Great Centenary Charity Auction. Unfortunately our gracious host Lord Townshend was not able to participate owing to a mishap involving an overflowing bath and damage to a ceiling. In a stately home that dates back to the time of Queen Anne such matters are cause for extra angst as there are fewer people capable of performing the necessary repairs.
We have a rather spectacular lot no 12 in our July auction, which to remind you all takes place at the hall as a dress rehearsal for the Great Centenary Auction in September. We have a wooden aeroplane propeller dating from 1935, and with two inscriptions on its centrepiece. The full photo gallery I assembled is included in the added media. Although I have included a link to it, the website for the Great Centenary Auction is going to be out of action tomorrow and Thursday while it is redesigned. Our facebook and twitter pages are very much still up and running though, and visitors, follows and/ or likes would be most welcome.
The final day of the test match is going less ignominiously for England than I feared (ie it is still going on), but the damage was all done yesterday, first by poor tactics in the field and then by a disgraceful effort with the bat. If England do somehow wriggle free of the noose Sri Lanka can count themselves victims of an injustice.
With the parents back from their latest sojourn abroad I had Sunday lunch in East Rudham, and picked up some good rural photographs. Also in the added media you will see a pic that has gone out on the Great Auctionfacebook and twitter pages.
England in the course of approximately half a day threw away a test match they seemed to have in the bag. When Sri Lanka lost their seventh second innings wicket they were still under 200 to the good, and one would have backed England to make a successful chase. It was at that point that the wheels began to come off, as Alastair Cook went for the “strategy” of feeding the established batsman (Angelo Mathews) singles so as to attack the tailender. I have never been greatly enamoured of such a practice, believing that it is better to encourage your bowlers to look for wickets whoever is on strike, and the moment I became absolutely 100% dead set against it was in Australia in 2009 when I saw Mohammed Yousuf gift the home side a test match that Pakistan should have strolled by doing the same things. On that occasion Mike Hussey and Peter Siddle batted for more than a session together, and instead of a token run chase at the end Pakistan faced a target of 176 and collapsed, Yousuf compounding his failure as captain by surrendering his wicket to an awful shot at a critical time. On this occasion, Mathews destroyed England with a magnificent 160, Herath the tailender made 48 (actually with no pressure being applied to the senior partner, there ends up being less pressure on the junior), and Sri Lanka’s lead mushroomed to 350, more than enough to defend in the fourth innings a match at most test match venues. Cook then compounded has failings as captain by falling cheaply to initiate a collapse that ended in the last over of the day when night-watchman Plunkett was inexcusably caught at cover playing a loose drive to leave England right in the cart at 57-5 needing a mere 293 more for victory. The only worse response to a mini session at the end of a penultimate day that I can remember from England was in Trinidad in 1994, when chasing 194 for victory they were 40-8 at the close, and there were mitigating factors in the combined form of Ambrose, Walsh and murky light on that occasion. For more details about a defeat from the jaws of victory such as even England (all-time masters of this dubious art) have seldom engineered check out cricinfo.
Another day, another collection of splendid pictures.
I notice that England are going well in the first test match of the summer, having bounced back from a decidedly shaky 120-4 to 575-9d – and that after being put into bat. Joe Root with 200 not out played the big innings around which others, notably Prior (86), Moeen Ali (48), Broad (47) and Plunkett (39) could chip in. Tomorrow I will actually be able to listen the play, and it promises to be an interesting day.
At James and Sons I have been imaging lots for the July sale (PR drive coming soon), and have some interesting pictures from that. I also have some non-work pictures for you. I was also given r3esponsibility for safely storing three pieces of Chester silver which will be lots 1-3 at that sale.
The shopping is done, the washing is on the line, and I am now in shorts and t shirt, having set up the “outside office” as it is such a beautiful day. I got some very fine pictures while walking to and from the Hardwick Estate to do my shopping. I will soon by tuning into some cricket commentaries on the net (although the spoiled brat millionaires have finished their season in the f-game, there is lower division playoff action which in the minds of those who control scheduling at the BBC trumps T20 cricket).
I will conclude the very brief text portion of this post with what is going to become my equivalent of “delenda est Carthago”: If you have not already liked www.facebook.com/GreatAuction please do so.
Yesterday was a beautiful day in King’s Lynn. After a morning walk (see pictures at the end of this post), I set up outside on my little wooden decking area with cricket on the Radio, and spent virtually the entire day in the open air (for the first time this year it was warm and sunny enough late into the evening that I ate supper sitting outside).
Although rain earlier in the week had spoiled a lot of this round of championship matches a couple remained interesting to the end. In the game at Lords, Lancashire looked like they might escape with a draw until Ashwell Prince was out playing a dreadful shot. This led to Lancashire being all out with a lead that they could not defend, and it took Middlesex less than five overs to complete the task of knocking off 3o to win. Meanwhile on the other side of the Thames, Graeme Smith’s first century in Surrey colours set them up for a successful chase of 264, which was duly completed with four wickets to spare.