Leicestershire v Middlesex, Lord’s, County Championship, 30th August 2011
So, back to the Home of Cricket, which we last visited in High Summer. Today she was clad in her Autumnal garb …
and we encounter two sides in quite different frames of mind.
Middlesex have the chance to tap-tackle Northamptonshire’s heels as they approach the try line, and were grim-faced and focussed on the task of crushing the lowly Worms.
Leicestershire were, I thought, wearing their metaphorical hats on the sides of their heads, still thinking of what they had got up to at the weekend, and looking forward to the prospect of an unexpected holiday in September. There are visas and innoculations to be arranged, copies of the Rough Guide to Hyderabad to be bought, and I didn’t have the impression that prising themselves off the foot of the Championship table was uppermost in their minds.
The younger element in the crowd seemed eager to see the great Champions of 20/20 in the flesh. Whenever Josh Cobb strayed near the boundary rope he was mobbed by youthful autograph hunters (not often the case at Grace Road).
Taylor Minissimus seemed in particularly skittish mood. I do wonder if it was entirely wise to demonstrate quite so graphically to England skipper Andrew Strauss what he thought of his omission from the one-day squad –
Leicestershire’s other Taylor (Rob) was coming to the match from a slightly different angle, having (as we’ve seen) spent his Saturday moving the covers on and off at Fairfield Road, rather than soaking up the champagne and the adulation of the crowd at Edgbaston.
On Tuesday, in a dramatic change of scene (though not, I believe, one unknown to him, having spent three years in the XI at Harrow) he found himself bowling to England skipper Andrew Strauss in front of a packed crowd at Lord’s –
with varying degrees of success
He had plenty of time to savour the experience. At the close of play Middlesex were on 323-1, on their way to a total of 496-2 (Strauss 241*).
In the second innings, Taylor Minissimus (who had perhaps got the champagne out of his system by then) tried another way to impress Skipper Strauss by scoring 85, and Taylor Major had some compensation for his labour with the ball with a useful 49.
Leicestershire again lost by the respectable margin of 10 wickets (Middlesex 24 points, Worms nul points).
Mind you, however lowly we are, I think we can still afford a more impressive means of team transport than this –
Perhaps, if Middlesex finish atop of Division 2, Strauss will get to drive this on their Victory Parade through the streets of St John’s Wood (though I’m not sure there’ll be room for the whole squad in the back).