Slogathon shows its value to game

Middlesex 146-7 Surrey 183-5 Surrey win by 37 runs

A couple of the names on show at last night's sell-out Twenty20 encounter between Middlesex and Surrey were the same as those that used to fill Lord's for county matches in the 1950s. But what Denis Compton and Len Hutton would have made of the music, the colour and the frantic nature of this abbreviated form of the game is another matter.

But for Nick and Ben, the grandchildren of two of England's greatest cricketers, this was the biggest match they will have ever played in. Neither starred in Middlesex's defeat but this was an evening they, and the 12 other players in this match who are yet to play international cricket, will never forget.

Over 26,500 flocked into St John's Wood for the 5.30 start and each lapped up the entertainment provided by London's two major cricket clubs. So great was the interest, and so good was the atmosphere, that it was difficult at times to believe you were watching two counties playing at the home of cricket.

The clientele were different to those normally found here on big days but their enthusiasm for the game was remarkable. The £10 and £5 admission prices gave the touts little chance of a decent mark-up, encouraging parents to treat their children to an evening out, and the prospect of three hours of frantic cricket - and a couple of pints - proved to be too good an attraction to miss for those in the city as they made their way home from work.

In anticipation, Lord's treated the game as though it were a Test match. All the bars were open and the crowds that surrounded the Champagne and Pimms tents highlighted how right they were. Indeed, it was reassuring to see high-rollers spending their petty cash on a glass of bubbly here rather than at a flash bar in the city.

It was the crowd as much as the players who provided Lord's with such a wonderful occasion. If we are being honest Twenty20, as a game of cricket, is pretty ordinary. Those promoting it will build it up and tell you how much it will improve the standard of one-day cricket. But it will not, it is nothing more than a 20-over slogathon that allows players to go out there and have some fun.

Thankfully, though, it is an exciting slogathon which has a vital role to play in the game. Yesterday's match brought more than £250,000 into the county game, money that it previously had no means of raising. Those with a fleeting interest in the game loved it and those with a more puritanical view would be fools if they did not enjoy it and accept it for what it is.

This game was not a classic and the Surrey Lions were far too strong for their North London rivals. The victory maintained Surrey's 100 per cent record in Twenty20 cricket and ensured a home draw in Monday's quarter-finals.

Batting first, the Lions amassed 183 in their 20 overs. Mark Ramprakash played well for his 38, but it was a belligerent 41-ball innings of 65 from Adam Hollioake which took this game away from Middlesex.

Hollioake was dropped twice before he reached 12 and he made these escapes count. England's former one-day skipper cleared the ropes on two occasions with lusty heaves and the Lions added 109 runs in the second half of their innings. Paul Weekes was the only Middlesex bowler to check the run-rate.

The Crusaders' reply began wildly. Andrew Strauss and Weekes swung hard but failed to make contact with the ball far too many times. Strauss fell to Philip Sampson, who proved that it is possible for bowlers to contain batsmen if they bowl straight and hit the pitch aggressively.

Owais Shah looked like he might grab hold of the game when hit a huge six over extra cover, but when he was out in the 10th over Middlesex only had 64 runs on the board. With Lance Klusener in your side anything is possible, but the Lions kept the South African all-rounder off the strike brilliantly.

The left-hander smashed 53 off 31 balls, but received little support from his team-mates. Hutton and Compton scored 10 runs between them. In the 1950s fans would have gone home disappointed.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
News
The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
news
Sport
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
football
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
News
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
News
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?