Lords National Cricket
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Review of "Lords National Cricket"
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So will Andrew Strauss carry on as England captain after the 2-0 series defeat against South Africa at Lords this week? My sources tell me he didn’t handle Pietersen well over the years and that caused resentment in the dressing room at times but the South African posers hubris tolerated because he could win England games. I think it’s fair to say that the England players were just as likely to leak those damming texts about Strauss as the South African players he sent them to but KP is out of control no and unlikely to get a central contract. He is not liked. Strauss batting average has also tumbled of late and England have lost six test matches in the last year. With a new rotation of test series coming up and England losing their number one test spot, now is the time for Strauss to hand over to Cook. Michael Vaughan knew it was time and I think Strauss does although he clearly doesn’t want to go. A five match series would have given him hope but the ECB went with three tests to cram in that silly Aussie one-day series and so defeat inevitable for both sides if they lost test one, which England did.Lords is the home of cricket and a grand guardian of the British class system, all manner of rules drawn up to keep the proles out or in-line. This weeks test saw patrons removed from one section for wearing shorts in the hot weather, which resulted on a run on cricket whites in the club shop, a typical Lords ‘scene’. But the Test nearly didn’t happen as the Olympic archery tournament had flattened the outfield in the damp summer and 40% of the ground had to be re-surfaced in the week before the test, a close call according to Ciao’s Lords employee, all social media banned on the state of the pitch state, of which LOCOG had to pick up the re-turf tab for.
Famously built on slopping ground, the surface drops an incredibly 9ft from one side to the other, very noticeable when you get there. It's not quite steep enough for a static ball to roll one side to the other of the wicket but you would have thought you would pick some flat ground for the home of cricket, especially as this is its third location in its 215 year history.The honors’ board in the main pavilion, the one you see on TV when the players walk past it and out through the crowd, is where all the players that get centuries or 5 wicket hauls in a test match have their name placed as reward. It's every cricketers dream to be up there. 'Old Father Time', an iconic weather vane, is another famous quirk of the old ground. The modern monstrosity that is the new media centre was cruelly named 'Cherrie Blair's Mouth' for its ugliness and relentless gaping and gormless appearance, which made me, chuckle. New floodlights have been installed on a five year trial with conditions attached, the lights dimmed to half strength at 9:50pm during matches so not to upset the affluent neighbors. The ground has been rebuilt over the years and the prices have risen steeply because of, seats nudging £100 for the coming South Africa one-day series match
-Stands and some regular test and one-day international prices-
- The Pavilion
- Warner Stand
- Grandstand (£95)
- Compton Stand £85
- Media Centre
- Edrich Stand £85
- Mound Stand £85
- Tavern Stand
- Allen Stand
-Some Records-Graeme Gouch scored 333 and then 123 in the second innings against India in 1990, the highest Lords score and aggregate on the ground. He has also scored the most test runs at Lords with 2012 in total and the most test centuries, six.
Australia's Glen McGrath is the most successful overseas bowler at Lords in Tests, taking 8-28 and a total of 26 wickets, level with the great Richard Hadlee's 26 wickets.The most famous Aussie of all, Don Bradman, scored 254 in 1936 in the grounds biggest ever test total of 729/6.
Our most famous English player, Ian Botham, has the highest ever English bowling figures of 8-34 and scored 100 in the same match for good measure, still the best test all-round performance to this day on the ground. He has taken 69 test wickets at Lords, still the highest by any test bowler. Bob Massie of Australia has the best match bowling analysis of 16-137 v England in 1950.-----------------------------------------------
The Third Test – Lords v South Africa
August 16th-20th 2012
------------------------It would be Andrew Strauss 100th test and 50 as captain, joining nine other Englishman over the century, respected and still the authority in the team. Kevin Pietersen tried his best to spoil his week but the ECB backed their captain and knocked the South Africa egomaniac ego down a few levels and dropped him. Calling your captain a ‘knob’ in texts to your opposite numbers and telling them how to get him out can not be helpful to winning a knife edge series. At Lords Strauss was presented with 100 bottles of wine from the sponsors and 21 bottles of champagne for each of his test centuries, all individually labeled with a snapshot from those innings. The players offered to pay for them but the sponsors insisted. I think they love him as Strauss always makes sure he is not a threat to them, unlike KP.
It was number 101 for Smith and now the record cap holder for his country. He chose to bat first in brilliant sunshine only for it to cloud over and so 76-4 at lunch. But it could have been worse for them as Steven Finn was preferred to Graeme Onions; the Geordie sent back to Durham to play in the championship and took nine wickets and a run out in an innings.The Protea’s rallied to 309 all out with Duminy and Philander with 61 each as the sun came out, Finn 4-75, a bespoke bowler for his home pitch taking 26 wickets at 18 in tests. Interestingly, 309 is the average first innings score for Lords over its test match history on the ground. But in the last ten years it has been nearer 400 on 5 day flat revenue pitches and so you can see this one was set up for a result.
England rocked on 54-4 chasing the easy 109 follow on before Bell and KP replacement Johnny Bairstow scored exciting half-centuries for a record 5th wicket partnership against South Africa at Lords. Many in the game thought Bairstow or the now deceased Tom Maynard would replace Pietersen in the long term and because Maynard stupidly died drunk on the train tracks it left Bairstow an open track to success, a young man suffering a similar tragedy when his dad and fellow England cricketer David Bairstow killed himself in the 1990s. Look what fete can throw up is the moral of the story.Baking hot sun offered England the chance of a critical lead on day three but it was not to be, parity all that was on offer as Morkel and Steyn kept running in for four wickets each, young Bairstow out in the nervous nineties for 95 for 315 all – out. Swann clubbed it around a bit to earn that lead but this was now a one innings game to decide the world number one and claim the golden mace given to the worlds best team.
South Africa batted cautiously to build that series winning lead with Amla set for another ton over night. The Lords stewards decided to ban shorts in the member’s area causing a comical run on white cricketer’s trousers.The next morning Amla got that hundred, stroking 121 in the humidity, 43 from de Villiers and a good wag of the table seeing the innings close on 351 all-out, Finn 4-74, setting England a record 346. At the same time Kevin Pietersen as getting a golden duck in the CB40 for Surrey, much to The Rose Bowl crowd’s great mirth. In that innings Strauss would take his 121st catch, a record for non wicket keeping dismissal beating bucket hands Botham and Colin Cowdrey on 121. But 16-2 at the close with both captain and vice captain out it didn’t not look good for England.
It wasn’t great by lunch on the second day with all four of the stoic run makers back in the pavilion, but 45-4 rescued some by Trott and Bairstow by the second session as respectability neared. With Trott (63) and Bairstow (54) gone after a progressive 93 partnership it did look all over. But England had to win and so no blocking out for draws, Broad (37) and then Swann (41) putting willow on leather alongside Prior to take the score past 200, the later pairing crunching 65 runs in just 25 minutes after tea as Smith preserved with his slower bowlers to hurry up the new ball. But at 282 Swann perished and then Prior for a brave 73 as Philander and the new ball cleaned them up with 5-30 for 294 all-out for the 51 run defeat but a thrilling test all the same. It would be Philander’s seventh five wicket haul in just 9 test matches.South Africa wins the series 2-0 and now world number one. England regroups…
Product Information : Lords National Cricket
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Listed on Ciao since: 22/07/2000