MCC v Wales, Thursday 14th April 2022, 10.30am

I was down in London for a Sea Power gig at the Roundhouse in Camden and with the day free, I checked to see if there was any County Championship cricket going on at Lords. There wasn’t, but there was a one-dayer between the MCC and Wales. It was only a fiver to get in, so I booked myself a ticket online.

It’s not far from Camden to Lords and my initial plan was to walk along the canal. I noticed that there were some boats going between Camden Lock and Little Venice and so I travelled on one of those instead. It was a pleasant journey with an informative commentary. I learned that Paul Weller has a house alongside the canal and has been seen feeding the ducks. The route skirted along the back of London Zoo and I spotted an African Wild Dog walking along in its enclosure.

Little Venice is actually a bit too far along the canal, so I had to retrace my journey to reach the Grace Gates. I got there at about 12.30, which was two hours after the scheduled start. That’s not really a problem when play is likely to go on until six or so, unless a team gets skittled in the opening hour.

I needn’t have worried as MCC were just past the mid-way point of their innings and had scored 126 for 6.

There weren’t many people in the stands, maybe two hundred in total. Perfect. I’m generally happy to trade ‘atmosphere’ for having fewer people around me.

I took a seat in the Grand Stand, with the pavilion to my right. These were the only two areas open and as I wasn’t with a member or wearing a jacket and tie, my choice was limited to where I was.

The standard didn’t look that high, but maybe it was deceptive. Wales had an incredibly slow bowler who was sending them down at a pace that you might do if indulging a small child. It worked though and he was able to keep the runs down to around three an over. It’s as well that nobody was able to tonk him, as the boundary on my side was incredibly close. There was barely a gap between the rope and the discs denoting the fielding restriction circle.

MCC managed to eke their innings out until the fiftieth and final over, scoring 226 all out. That was my cue to head for the Lords Tavern for a burger and a couple of pints. I doubt I’d have got near the place during a Test match.

Wales struggled to match the MMC score and were all out with a few overs remaining and around eighty runs short. I’m pleased that they all got to bat so that they could enjoy the full Lords experience of walking through the Long Room and down the pavilion steps.

I headed back to Camden along the canal keeping an eye out for African Wild Dogs and the Modfather feeding the ducks.

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