England won by 100 runs over New Zealand at Lords but it was a sterile, dull match.
Various reasons were discussed but the accepted one was the 12-30 start.
This meant the match went onto until 7-30 pm and began at lunchtime. My neighbour in the Upper Mound stand and his wider were my guests for a hearty breakfast and we left for Lords in good cheer.
England managed a total of 311 with Dawid Malan posting his successive century but Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root looked out of touch.
New Zealand came into bat around 4-30.
My neighbour’s wife took exception to the three behind her whose conversation was both loud and sexist and duly told them so. I felt she was entitled to do this but there is much drinking by all and one notices the noise levels rising and the conversation becoming more coarse.
New Zealand never looked like reaching England’s total, had to take more risks and finally ran out of batters.
I cannot say it was either an enjoyable match or experience. We agreed over dinner afterwards that cricket matches should begin at 11-00am at the latest. Personally, I prefer to leave before the end of a day’s play, by which time the concourse is crammed with noisy drunken revellers.
To make matters worse, the road outside Lords had – like most of London – roadworks, causing a major traffic jam and the closure of the bus stop I customarily use.
The whole day was enough to make me a leading advocate for the Watch-It- On-TV group.
England leave for the World Cup as favourites but there must be a doubt about Ben Stokes who did not play after his bravura century at the Oval last Wednesday. New Zealand are always competitive but did not seem that interested yesterday.