Friday, September 30, 2005

The Rose Bowl -athon

It's a pity we only discovered it at the end of the season. My cricket-mad eldest wanted a birthday treat with a twist. He wanted me to take him and three of his best mates to one of the newest venues in the country for the beautiful game that is cricket: the Rose Bowl.

He did everything bar drive us to the ground - that was definitely down to me - but all of the other logistics - when, where, who etc. was down to him. Hampshire's ultimate Tote Sport League one day match of the season was on 25th September against Nottinghamshire.

OK, after an Ashes summer, this was only County fare, but still a chance to see Shane Warne in (almost) his natural habitat. He won the toss for Hampshire and put the opponents in to bat. We cheered loudly when Nottinghamshire couldn't get off the mark for about three overs and lost a wicket for 0 in to the bargain. However, they progressed steadily after that and built up a commanding score of 248-5, including some expensive overs at the end from the captain, Warne. The expected rain turned out to be no more than a couple of patches of light drizzle, the second of which nearly had the players off, until the boos of the crowd and the sun turned them round at the boundary rope and back to the task in hand.

Hampshire came out out to bat with guns blazing - Pothas scoring from the first, but getting out quickly as well, for 12. Two further wickets fell in the first six overs and the sky, which had gone from autumn sun to serious black, opened and deluged for half an hour. The hard-working ground staff had cleared up so that play could resume after an hour and a half delay. The birthday boy and mates were restless and close to quitting the ground, but the sun came out and a Duckworth-Lewis target of 165 was announced for the rain-shortened, now 20 over, match.

Hampshire went for the big slog - they had a challenging target. The wickets fell steadily though and yes they failed. With it came relegation from Division One, but everyone had had a day to remember, complete with Hampshire caps and signature bats from the club shop.

Goodbye 2005 - hello TSL Div 2 2006.

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