Sunday, June 11, 2017

Off to Lords !

This has become an annual pilgrimage now, although it nearly didn't happen this year.

The Interservices Twenty 20 tournament is something I've attended for a good few years now (I have lost count ...). It involves teams from Army, Navy and Air Force and is in a triangular format where each team plays each other. This year, Navy took on the Air Force first, with the losers staying on to face the Army. Then the last game would be winners of the first vs the Army.
Lords was looking fabulous as per usual, that new Warner stand over there looks the business, joining the more traditional Lords Pavilion.
Real piece of history over there. Oh and as per always, click for bigger on the pictures, these are all taken on my decent camera (Ixus 265) which gives very impressive picture resolutions. I must get its second battery charged up again ...
Camera zooms well ? Ha - this was taken with the camera at maximum zoom, camera rested on my knee to minimise the movement ... Oh wait ! The cricket - Navy bowlers and tight fielding were keeping a good rein on the Air Force batsmen who were often spectacular (Swipe above !) but ineffective (Miss ! above). Air Force did eventually get going late on to set a target of 151.
Navy innings was a tale of two ends ... One opener was blasting his side to a win that was looking easy, the other end was horridly bogged down. (Been there, it happens). This game was really tense. It went right down to the wire, the last over, the last ball. Our opener got all the way to 99 not out, we thought he had reached the century but alas it was not to be with the final run being marked down as a leg bye (an extra run off the pads instead of the bat which isn't scored to the batsman).
Result - a tie with the Navy being given the result by virtue of losing fewer wickets. Next up - the Royal Air Force take the field again against the Army (with a short interlude for quick cricket for the kids and lunch hunting for me - it was a rather lush chicken burger).
And this was one of a few occasions where the sun threatened to emerge from behind the clouds. We got all of the expected play in, despite a very light amount of occasional drizzle which was enough to get a few spectators moving but didn't cause any excitement for the ground staff.
This game saw a quite cagey start with the two openers falling for 1 each before the numbers 3 and 4 came in and well and truly turned the tide. They kept pace with each other with the fella above soon hitting his way to an excellent 81 and his side to 175 for 3. A bit too much for the Air Force, who's innings can be summed up by :
Yep. They didn't have much of an answer for the Army's superior bowling and fielding and wickets continually fell leaving them well and truly in third at 102 all out. Their number 3 got half the runs and half the wickets. Star of the day. Cue the marching band for the next interval.
And another refreshments trip around the ground for me. This time it was to a lovely little tea shop underneath the new Warner Stand.
To the final game ! Army take the field with the Navy batting and the hero of the first game quickly departs cheaply.
Some excellent skill from the Navy batsmen nudged them up to a defendable 125. It was going to be a tight second half ...
And on to the final battle ...
The star of the last game tried to get the score moving quickly with some solid hits ... but in the end the hit above was just not quite solid enough. Caught on the boundary for 36.

This game went right down to the final over too. We thought the Navy had it with their tight bowling and far better fielding than last year.
However, with a 6 hit off the penultimate ball, the Army came away with the title this year after a thrilling victory.

Another good year for the IST20 tournament. 2 very close, exciting games. Exciting hitting with some spectators looking for helmets. Decent atmosphere from a crowd whittled down somewhat by the threat of rain which mostly stayed away. We had an element of the crowd chanting "Another Dot Ball" as the Navy bowlers were keeping things tight. It was glorious.

So the Army took the spoilers on the day, with a team effort in the field capped off by the batsmen thumping the ball to all parts.

But it's not all about the cricket on these day. I didn't actually buy anything in Westfield after the game but I was very tempted ....
Oh yes. Maybe when it's cheaper but ... oh yes. And ....
They have a Death Star ...

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