England v New Zealand 4th One Day International

Trent Bridge 17 June 2015

I was there (well for most of it – to be explained later).

What a great night.  I must admit it was my first day-nighter and I loved every minute of it.

The ground was packed and the atmosphere electric.  It was great to feel the surge of support for the England team after its recent disappointing form.  The whole series against New Zealand was really special, as were the test matches.  There are just some teams who are really good to watch and New Zealand is top of that list – added to which they give off a good vibe of politeness and “niceness” that others don’t (sorry Australia, I do mean you).

The Kiwis batted well on a difficult pitch and England’s bowlers rarely looked threatening, even though they managed to take seven wickets by the end.  Stokes was patchy, as was Willey.  Wood and Finn were the best by a margin and Finn took a stunning catch on the boundary with the ball coming over his shoulder.  No-one could object that being replayed on the big screen again and again.  Special mention must also go to Adil Rashid.  England were sailing close the cutting-off time wind and needed to get some quick overs in so Morgan had to bowl him for two overs at the death, the first of which went for 28; the second, five.  Brilliant comeback from the spinner and brilliant to see his team mates run over as one to congratulate him.

So the stage was set, 350 to win in horrible sweeping drizzle.  Not a hope, I thought.  A couple of brief rain delays only served to heighten the tension.  Enter Alex Hales on his home ground.  I sat open mouthed and watched him go!  He and Jason Roy got England off to an amazing start and from there, to be honest, I don’t think the result was in doubt.

I’ve never been convinced by Eoin Morgan, but I can’t deny he has been brilliant this series.  He fully deserved the Man of the Match award, but he couldn’t have gone out there and played with the freedom he did without the base that the openers, and especially Hales, put down.  Good stuff from Root too.  Yes, I did shout “Rooooooooot” along with the rest.

So, 252 for 2.  All going beautifully.  And what did I do next?  Left to get the last train, that’s what.  Last train back to Market Harborough from Nottingham, 9.32pm.  Missed the last three quarters of an hour.  So, East Midlands Trains, what do you have to say for yourselves?  9.32pm?  Really?

I have a personal DAB radio and so we thought we’d follow it via TMS.  No signal.  No phone signal, no nothing.   There were several unhappy early-leavers in our carriage and luckily one had some sort of device that worked, so we kept up with what was going on and all cheered together when England won.

Ridiculously, we also recorded the Channel 5 highlights to see what we missed!

All in all, however, a fantastic experience.  You can’t beat cricket for drama, twists and turns and pure skill.  I love it! (But you probably knew that already).

Oh, one last gripe, Trent Bridge.  More vegetarian food please…

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