Posted by: tootingtrumpet | June 9, 2010

Rather less than a day at The Oval

The Discontented

The Trumpet’s first visit to Old Trafford was on the 6 August 1975, to see Lancashire’s medium pacers Barry Wood and Bob Ratcliffe run through Hampshire for 98 in 43.1 overs! He was reminded of that summer  of 35 years ago this very evening, as Surrey capitulated to Gloucestershire for one fewer. Demoralised, Surrey could barely raise a canter in the field and were seen off by Porterfield and Franklyn in just 9.5 overs. The whole thing had lasted 28 overs – can a professional match, uninterrupted, ever been concluded so quickly?

Alex Gidman’s men can reflect on a job well done and they got a rousing hand from the Surrey members in recognition of that. For Surrey, the evening revealed problems on and off the field.

Surrey’s eight international players (no doubt contracted for handsome sums) contributed a total of 13 runs, with Chris Tremlett the best among them scoring 4. That’s right – eight internationals, 13 runs. With the ball, the “stars” weren’t much better, delivering a collective 6.5 overs for 73 runs and no wicket. Surrey Colts would have performed significantly better.

But it is perhaps off the field that the most worrying aspect of the evening played out.  Clearly expecting a bumper crowd on a perfect mid-summer evening, all the stands and bars were open and the whole ground was comprehensively stewarded. The London public, unlike in previous years, did not turn up with vast numbers of empty seats all round the boundary and bars empty. This was not The Event that Twenty20 cricket had become since its launch in 2003 – and the FIFA World Cup does not start until Saturday. Add to that the PA man’s failure to announce the result of the toss correctly, nor Andrew Symonds’ (not Simmonds) name and cheerleaders incapable of dancing, and it felt like Amateur Night all round.

The members made their feelings known by roundly booing their team as they shambled back to the dressing rooms; the London public made their feelings known by not paying £20 for a seat when politicians are warning of unprecedented austerity measures coming soon.

Expect prices and players to be cut very soon at The Oval.



  1. I was there and thoroughly endorse all the Trumpet’s observations and comments. A mismatch from start to finish, from full stewarded empty stands to an embarrassing sub-10 over loss.

    As a Surrey fan (and paid up county member) I will be back on Thursday to watch them play Essex, but with much trepidation and very little hope. Dark times.

  2. Dark indeed Bashers – but the lighter for your company, there and here.

    (I’m watching too much Spartacus!)

  3. Sounds like a bit of a rum do all round, glad I didn’t try and drag The Wife to it. It’ll be interesting to see if the low crowds are a feature of this season, or if it was just weather/world cup based. Does the early finish explain why I couldn’t find any T20 on tv last night?

    And, more importantly, you can never watch too much Spartacus.

  4. perc – I suspect Adams would have been happy to pitch most of his team in with Crixus.

  5. percinho – no T20 on Sky last night because they thought they would have the 5th day of a Test match to show us. Ahem. Business as usual again from this evening.

  6. lynn – of course! It seems to long ago that the test finished!

    toots – Maybe he needs to steal the odd inspirational speech. You need to look T20 in the eye, embrace it, then… you know what, I’ll leave that quote there!

  7. perc – You’d make a great Doctore!

  8. the weather might have put people off. It belted it down during the day and it has been raining a lot here.

    • Lou – maybe, but there are maybe 5 million people within 45 mins by public transport and surely some might have decided to drop in for a bit of cricket once they saw the weather was okay?

  9. Maybe people just aren’t that enamoured of twenty/20 at present. There’s been so much of it this year.

  10. Decent turnout and decent performance tonight, but Surrey still lost.

  11. I am ready for tonights match… well…. early morning match for me, 1.00am eastern AU time Eng v AU ODI.

    So I hope everyone else is ready, too. It’s time to gear up and get down to business, folks..

    my email has crashed and I have no Addresses.. here is mine if anyone wants to stay in touch, you can be yourself, of course, no holding back and all that.

  12. By which I mean, you can be as nutty , as hopefilled, as cranky as you want, I won’t mind.

    Slay ’em, Ricky.

  13. well.. lucky I checked with cricinfo, because I now realise that channel 9 is doing a delayed broadcast… the horror!!.. I nearly missed the first innings!!..

    so.. it’s on now.

  14. Pepp, why is it that Clarke can’t hit full-tosses to the fence? He was hitting singles only for the last four overs. I really do wonder about that bloke. I don’t consider him a red-inker yet, but I’m getting closer to that.

    • Lou.. I don’t know!!. I’m looking at him closely, too.

      well played to England, I am sorry I didn’t come back to lay that down, so rude of me, but there ya go.

      collapse with wild giggling for me was, well you guessed it, Pietersens fielding, and the icing on the cake, his gurning swearing bitter exit from the field of batting. What was that all about? His out was nothing peculiar, just a good catch from the Punter, but it seemed to unhinge Kev instantly.

      • I think he is red-inking. That is two games in a row he hasn’t hit boundaries when he should be lamping it. He’s preserving his wicket all the time even at the end.

  15. I felt Punter was very passive when he needed a wicket in the last 15 overs. You just have to have a slip in against Morgan.

  16. Well, he aint the greatest captain in the world. His captaincy was matched by Clarke’s final overs ‘thrashing’. Passivity is all the go it seems.

    But Morgan is turning into a real gun. Wonderful flair.

  17. Looked a good innings by Clarke in game 1. But
    the comparitive stats for Clarke and Morgan tell where the game was won and lost.

    I worry that Clake is now Paine’s batting mentor. Paine is looking less a one day opener every innings.

    Having said all that good to see Australia have decided to prioritise world cup preparations over current results. Australia are currently weakest at 1. setting target and 2. defending totals, so they are choosing to bat first whenever possible, even when the obvious choice for the series is to bowl first. I hope the hard work pays off down the line.

  18. Yes, Paine is looking like he is determined to bat his way to the test team from the ODI opener’s position. I hate watching openers blocking ball after ball, it gives the actual and psychological upper hand to the bowlers.

    Punter nearly always bats first, jim, I don’t think the future has much to do with his choices in this series. And we really don’t’ have the bowlers to defend much here.

    • But surely everyone knows, if you want to win you bat second in Cardiff regardless of your bowling options.

      Even if Punter does not care much for the records of other teams at Cardiff, he’s played there 4 times himself now.
      A quick look at the Oz stats show played 4 and the chase has won every game. We have lost to NZ, Bangladesh and now England batting first. We beat Pakistan batting second (yes we lost the toss in that game).

      • But Punter is pretty conservative, isn’t he? And batting first would be his mantra unless its a real greentop.

        Flowers has a lot more brains than both our captain and coach put together.

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