Guest blog: A day at Lord’s

The two team captains looked ready to do battle, even in the match programme. Image: Daniel Baker

The two team captains looked ready to do battle, even in the match programme. Image: Daniel Baker

In my 22 years of life, I had never been to the home of cricket until Saturday.

And for my first ever visit to Lord’s, there was a trophy at stake as Durham took on Warwickshire in the final of the Royal London One Day Cup. Accompanied by my brother and my dad, we went along.

The day began at around 7am and there was time for a bit of breakfast before setting off on a train journey to London. Once we arrived at London King’s Cross, we got into a black cab and arrived at Lord’s at around 10am where we were greeted by a pelican!

The Royal London pelican gave a warm welcome to spectators. Image: Daniel Baker

The Royal London pelican gave a warm welcome to spectators. Image: Daniel Baker

But enough about colourful birds in bright jackets, it was time for what we’d really come to see – the cricket. But not before we’d browsed through the programme to get an idea of which superstars would be playing.

It’s safe to say neither side is either short on talent or international experience. Durham won the toss and chose to field which felt like a wise decision at the time. The conditions suited a fielding side. There was just time for some warming up as the countdown to the 10.30am start began.

The teams preparing for the big match. Image: Daniel Baker

The teams preparing for the big match. Image: Daniel Baker

Warwickshire took to the field in their yellow and black shirts (described by one fan behind as looking like it had tyre marks on it) while Durham were in their royal blue one day attire. There was just time for a packet of crisps and a cookie and then the action began.

Batting first would be captain Varun Chopra and Irish international William Porterfield. The first few overs were steady to say the least with the Bears managing around two an over. But after reaching 16 without loss, the first wicket fell. Chris Rushworth, a man fresh from his 15-wicket haul in the County Championship, took the wicket of Porterfield who was caught behind by Phil Mustard.

Jonathan Trott was up next, but he made just two before being out l.b.w. off the bowling of Paul Collingwood. Warwickshire’s run rate went up a bit to around three per over. But after reaching 63 for 2, they wobbled.

Tim Ambrose was out for 11 after being caught by Gareth Breese off Collingwood’s delivery. Laurie Evans was then gone for a duck and Rikki Clarke soon followed leaving them in all kind of trouble on 69 for 5.

Varun Chopra led by example with wickets falling left, right and centre. Image: Daniel Baker

Varun Chopra led by example with wickets falling left, right and centre. Image: Daniel Baker

However, the rot stopped when Chris Woakes joined Chopra at the crease. A steady 22 from the England man, combined with Chopra reaching a half-century propelled Warwickshire onto 115 for 5.

But then the wickets began to fall again. Woakes was out, followed by Chopra, who managed to reach a respectable 64 runs off 113 balls. Jeetan Patel showed glimpses with the bat as he hit a strong six, but was out after trying to score a maximum off the ball that followed. 144 for 8 was the score.

Oliver Hannon-Dolby, a man whose name was the inspiration for a chorus of “Hannon-Dolby, duh, duh, duh, duh”, managed six runs and tall Boyd Rankin was the last man out as Warwickshire managed a partial recovery to get 165.

The Warwickshire scorecard read a bit better by the end of their innings. Image: Daniel Baker

The Warwickshire scorecard read a bit better by the end of their innings. Image: Daniel Baker

Durham needed 166 to win. But not before a couple of sandwiches, a cup of tea (although finding the milk was a challenge!) and other snacks. And by this point my dad had managed to get a scorecard which he filled out during the innings.

Like their opponents, Durham endured a bit of a tricky start and seemed to have more ducks in them than the local pond after Phil Mustard and Callum MacLeod left the crease without scoring. At 12 for 2, the worrying signs were present.

However, their captain Mark Stoneman held things together and made a half-century within an hour and a half. Keaton Jennings and Scott Borthwick were not so lucky, as both were out off the bowling of Jeetan Patel who also looked handy with the ball.

After losing Stoneman with 74 runs on the board and Borthwick with 86, Collingwood and Ben Stokes racked up runs before the former fell for 21 with the score at 117 for 5. Gordon Muchall was also on the wrong end of a Patel corker – he went with Durham on 130.

With much of the talk in the stands about football scores affecting the teams in the North East, England’s Stokes and Gareth Breese were left to try and find the 36 runs required to win. And they did.

Neither were phased by the passionate chants of “You Bears” or “Durham, Durham, Durham, Durham, Durham” (sang to the tune of the Pink Panther) and after reaching 162 for 7, Gareth Breese was facing what was to be the final ball.

His four from that very ball proved to be the fairytale ending as the man who announced his pending departure from the club gave his club the happy ever after they wanted. At which point, many crowd members chanted “Durham, Durham, Durham!”.

It was handshakes all round at the end. Image: Daniel Baker

It was handshakes all round at the end. Image: Daniel Baker

After a day of entertaining chants, tense action and an absorbing run chase, the game was over. Although Durham’s County Championship dominance has been put to the sword, at least for now, they did at least bag some silverware. Afterwards, it was off home for a lie down after a gripping day at Lord’s!

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