Headaches, nausea, heart palpitations. Three things which, class, we all suffered last night cheering on eleven warriors. Whilst you lot are young enough to still have dreams of representing England, I’m certainly not. Instead I sit here drained at my desk. Thus with great weariness, we swivel attentions from the World Cup and back to the slightly calmer sport of cricket. Listen up for some fashion, music, dance and more.
1) Sports Day
Aside from the World Cup, summer brings with it another longed for event. Sports Day. Skinny legged, spotty teens all primed to burst a gut sprinting 800m, or attempt a Cool Runnings-esque trip on the school bully during the sprints. As in, tripped them up; not sent them on a plane to Canada. On Sunday cricket hosted its first Sports Day of the summer at Lord’s; the Royal London One-Day Cup. Hampshire versus Kent. The gateway to the Isle of Wight versus the garden of England.
All the roses in the world though were not enough to stem the sickly smell off Tom Alsop and Rilee Rossouw’s bat as they bludgeoned their way to 136 off just 20 overs. Promoting big hitting, tail enders to open has been a feature of this competition. David Willey spanked 131 for the Vikings and it’s a cunning plan we’ll surely see in the Vitality Blast.
Despite tank commander Vince merely crawling to 23, ex Kent boy Sam Northeast gave able support to Roussow. Rilee, riled up Stevens and Henry to finish with 125. The latter of whom has been sensational thus far for the Spitfires. Blasting his way to 75 off 60 balls though Northeast ensured Hampshire reached a one-day cup record score of 330. Kent’s chances were shot down in flames.
Like a World War Two pilot though they still possessed an ounce of fighting spirit. Despite Heino Kuhn spilling his egg, Daniel Bell-Drummond scooped it up and sprinted to 86. At 158-3 there was still hope. Once Bell-Drummond tripped over the three legs of Alex Blake though the finishing line faded into the distance. Billings bravely soldiered to 75, but with two late run outs, and tight bowling by Berg and Dawson, Hampshire took home the trophy.
One final lesson to take away from that final is the misfortune of Rilee Roussow. Scoring 125 in a Lord’s final will have tasted extra sweet, for Roussow who’d had a torrid couple of weeks. In the semi-final match against Yorkshire he was smacked in the face by a spiralling ball. Not only did he drop the attempted catch, but to add insult to injury four of his teeth were smashed. Nobody was smiling after that one.
Roussow was grinning from ear to ear though come Sunday afternoon, as not only was he the hero but exceptional dentist work means he still possess two of those nippers. Yes he has no front teeth, but at least he has something to ask Santa for come Christmas. However, teeth were not the only biting problem our superstar had to face.
Coming down in the lift on Friday night to greet his family, Rilee suffered one of those situations we all have nightmares of. No, not having to share the space with Katie Hopkins and Piers Morgan. The lift broke down. Apparently due to teething problems. Stuck in a box, with only his ghostly reflection to keep him company, Roussow must have been cursing his bad luck. Particularly being surrounded by mirrors. It is a testament to the courage of the guy that just two days later he was being lifted up on the shoulders of teammates as the golden boy.
What a fortnight in the life of Rilee. Someone should write a song about that.
3) Home Economics
Whilst pints were being gleefully lobbed in the air in pubs up and down the country last night, there was another England match occurring. Emirates Old Trafford hosted England versus India in the first T20. Where their football counterparts rose to the occasion and weren’t distracted by the nastiness of Colombia, Morgan and co failed to cope with India’s genuine quality.
England struggled to just 159, with only Jos Buttler continuing his glittering form. Since the start of May, the wondrous wickie averages 91.17 in all competitions; simply staggering. Here he coped better than most against the devilish spin of Kuldeep Yadav; who snaffled 5-24. Whereas Australia had the dwarfs of Agar and Lyon, India have growing giants of spin bowling. Kuldeep offered flight and guile, bowling a terrific length, proving consistently tricky with his googly. Bairstow and Root were stumped consecutively. On a dry, baking hot wicket, the English weather may turn all matches in favour of India, for it was like playing at home for them. If Kuldeep plays in all formats, don’t be shocked to see Roy, Hales, Bairstow and Root nakedly practising their rain dance. (Editor- why do they need to be naked? That’s a weird comment.)
Chasing 160 KL Rahul likewise appeared at home, leading India to an eight wicket victory. Five sixes were lofted to the boundary, whilst his timing was tantalising, touching the ball to all corners. Where Moeen and Rashid served up a treat last week, here they were about as flat as a kitchen counter; Moeen washed away for 37 off just 14 balls. A slightly worrying start to the series for England then. Forget the football; for India have settled comfortably in their second home.
Class don’t go into fashion; one week you can be the cat of the walk, the next the cat in the bin. Plus look at you lot for Christ’s sake. I mean the hair products alone are enough to make me gag. And don’t get me started on those elastic ties. Actually the Aussies played like the equivalent of a plastic tie when they were in England. Liable to snap and easy to grab hold off.
This week though they’ve gone full Windsor. Strutting his stuff like a supermodel on speed, Aaron Finch was fully suited and booted in Australia’s match against Zimbabwe. He smashed his own T20I world record with 172 off 76 balls. Out just three runs short of Chris Gayle’s all-time record, Finch was certainly smarter than in England. Sharing a world record opening stand of 223 with D’Arcy Short (just the 46) Finch helped his country to 229-2.
Yes, the Zimbabwe bowling was less Ben Sherman and more George (courtesy of ASDA) but it’s still faintly impressive scoring. Gone are the days when 172 could be a team’s total. That’s so last year mate.
Passion for fashion. It’s the Lil’ Bratz of Australia finally doing something sparkly. How cute.
Ooo get ya groove on. Uh huh. Can you feel it? The music flowing through your limbs. Feet tapping to the rhythm of the beat. Pupils dilating as you realise Wham is about to play. Shirt ripping as you get way too over excited. Or sexy?
Blast is back baby! Tonight we have the return of the ECB’s most lucrative tournament. Clear your throat for drunken renditions of ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Living’ On A Prayer.’ Plus all the modern shite the DJ’s will no doubt spin. As long as Robbie features I’ll be pacified.
Until then why not ‘Take A Chance’ on our preview pieces right here? ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme’ your attention. Be a ‘Super Trouper’ and follow our weekly Blast Off articles as we cry ‘Mamma Mia’ to all the thrilling shots that will occur. Last year Nottinghamshire Outlaws were ‘The Name Of The Game.’ Who will be ‘The Winner that Takes It All’ this year?
When all is said and done though, everybody will be a ‘Dancing Queen’ in the stands.
‘I Had A Dream’ those puns would work. ‘SOS’.
Now whilst I rummage through my CD’s for some Abba (no idea why) why don’t you bugger off class? All you care about is some moany ginger lad. Ask your parents about proper music. Homework is to buy a waistcoat, throw a shot put and keeep dancing!
I need a stiff one after that. Class dismissed!