Live! (knobber) blogging from The Oval, well, as Live! as you can (knobber) blog from a rather pedestrian four day County Championship game.
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Thank heavens the twenty20 is finished for Surrey. From slog-fest favourites to bottom of the Southern group. Back to the traditional County Championship, and back to the bottom of Division One.
Surrey have been truly shocking so far this season. Pace preferred over match winning spin, out of form experienced players over youth, and let us not forget the Chris Lewis farce, parachuted in as a Surrey T20 star, and then sent packing at almost the same pace after failing to make an impact.
And so on a sedate Sunday afternoon at The Oval, Kent have come to town to try their luck against the out of form home side. I've come simply as a comedown from the cricket chaos of T20.
It takes some adjustment to find the pace of the County game in the first game back following the T20. It also takes some adjustment to find the crowd. 23,000 Suitscricket fans packed out the old ground less than forty-eight hours ago when Middle! Middle! Middle! Sex! Sex! Sex! skittled out Surrey. Not so today. The pavilion has plenty of legroom. Last Friday and each boundary was met with a blast of Eminem over the PA. I'm watching the afternoon session with the soundtrack of a couple of Maidens sitting behind me finishing off their late luncheon salad.
But this is serious business for Surrey, especially for stand in Captain Mr Ramps. It's back to Ramp's Watch once again with Twinkle Toes still trying for his one hundredth first class century.
118-2 for the Brown Caps with yer man looking steady on 40. Expect the mainstream knobber media whores to descend on South London if Mr Ramsps is still standing at the crease come the tea interval.
Nothing flash from the forgotten England man. He has got four days to strike up his amazing feat. The support at the other end is from Jonathan Batty, currently showing 25 on the scoreboard. The Surrey 'keeper needs to keep his head and offer Ramps strong support for what could be a momentous sporting afternoon in South London.
No Glam Girly Friend (playing some minority sport that attracts even less of a following than County Cricket, apparently.) Instead I've treated the fragrant mrs onionbagblogger to her first pavilion trip of the year. There's talk of a late afternoon boosting of the crowd from the boys from, um, Peckham. Let's hope they make it here in time for Twinkle Toes' major moment.
126-2 Surrey; 48 for Ramps.
Bugger. Ramps is walking on 48 after a fine catch. That hundredth hundred will come, but it's clearly hanging over Ramp's head and affecting his form. Pantomime over, back to the serious business for Surrey of putting some runs on the board with new batsmen Afzaal.
I'm shaping up for an afto of on the tinnies. Yet to try out the *unofficial* Bring Yer Own Booze policy in the pavilion. Not sure if one is actually in place, to be honest. Heartened by bloke sitting in front of me with his can of Stella. Maidens behind me have moved onto afternoon tea.
Chin chin (I hope.)
The Middle England Maidens sitting behind us are turning out to be right noisy buggers. They're sitting in some sort of sectioned off area of the pavilion. A VIP area for VIP's, if you will. It's full of knobbers to be honest.
Here's me concerned that my six cans of Carling will cause a fuss. A G&T too many for the Maidens and they're making more noise than the ODI beer boys back in the Bedser Stand last week.
Surrey meanwhile are rather quiet. Afzaal (Player of the Season?) is solid, if steady on 13. Batty is carrying the cause on 42. 159-3.
Away from the Maidens madness and elsewhere in the pavilion and it's anoraksbusiness as usual. A bloke near the boundary is busy with his crayons: a colour scheme for every eventuality. Red for a run, white for a wicket, silver for a streaker. With mrs obb in attendance, let's hope the latter isn't required.
We're looking forward to the tea interval. There's talk of 'exploring the Surrey library.' Blimey. That's not something I would have ever thought I'd say.
Can count: *whisper* three.
Back after the break. We went for a wander around the old pavilion during the tea interval. Got horribly lost. Ended up at a private function for retired Tories. My face didn't fit, and I can confirm that the cut-off combats look isn't being paraded around the Shires this season. Tossers.
We ended up in the kitchen for the main restaurant.
Oh, er, so sorry. I appear to be lost, as I tried to explain to Chef. Cobblers. I was trying to lift some of the food from the supplies.
mrs obb was impressed by the pavilion:
'There's pictures of cricketers EVERYWHERE, and the toilets don't smell.'
It's a bit like obb HQ II then.
170-3 Surrey ahead of the final session. Honours just about even in what should be a fascinating four days of play.
No sign of the (T20) knobber Mexican wave today. You'd be struggling to be honest. The lone steward in the OCS may, or may not participate, and then there would be a big empty nothing until the Members in the pavilion voted with their arses on their seats.
No sign of the Peckham boys either, who seem to have blown me out, so to speak.
We were reminded on the scoreboard that:
'Surrey ground regulations state NO stacking of beer glasses.'
I hope the retired Tories sitting behind me are taking note. It's not the stacking of beer glasses that is causing me concern; it's more like being poisoned by the stench of shitty perfume.
And that's just the gents, boom boom.
The *unofficial* Bring Yer Own Booze policy seems to have survived. Hick. A kid sitting nearby did burst into tears though when his Coke (urgh!) sprayed up in his face.
New ball now available for Kent. Not taken yet. 208-3 Surrey with eleven overs in the day remaining.
All to play for, all level as Afzaal is removed for 57. A fine 103 partnership for the Surrey man with Ally Brown. The game is about level with nine overs remaining in the first day. Another wicket could change all this.
Yasser Arafat has the ball for Kent (TRUE!)
230-4 the 'rrey.
Attempting fifth can of the afto.
Back at base, and bugger me: Crap Match Report LIVE! lovers may recall a toilet incidentt up at Lord's at the start of the season; a bloke got out his Bill Clinton and syphoned the python WITHOUT removing his shorts. The old man was simply pulled (ouch!) from within the shorts, and then relieved externally.
A repeat performance at the close of play this afternoon from the same Surrey chap.