The first day of the Championship season means everyone starts from the same level – no runs, no wickets, no catches etc. What is not level headed is the ludicrously early start to the season and the bitterly cold weather players, umpires and spectators have to endure.
This year’s pilgrimage starts at the home of cricket – Lord’s – where Middlesex take on Derbyshire in Division 2. And I think Derbyshire claim the first dismissal anywhere when Stoneman goes for 12 after 15 or so minutes. By lunch order has been restored for Middlesex with de Caires and Eskinazi steadying the ship. You can tell who the former’s dad is – styles are so similar but I suspect dad never played so many shots away from his body.
Let’s see how the afternoon goes but my main challenge is finding somewhere warm and out of the gale blowing across the ground…not an easy task!
Managed to find a couple of ‘less cool’ spots from which to watch Middlesex progress by mid afternoon to 141/1 with both Eskinazi and de Caires progress to 50+.
As I said, Watching Josh de Caires is like watching his dad bat – similar mannerisms, style and the same stick ability. Less playing away from his body and more controlled ok this session and the inevitable occasional loose shot more from inexperience than anything else. If he has half the career his dad had, that would be great but could he be better than dad? Time will tell!
As for Derbyshire, winning the toss looks like the only thing they’re going to win. The bowling attack – enhanced by Lakmal from Sri Lanka – looks ordinary and unless there’s a rush of blood by the bats then a long toil looks likely. Ok, not helped by Sidebottom (the Aussie one) leaving the field after 7 deliveries but there’s a long way to go!
Tea arrives with Middlesex 209/2, de Caires having departed for a fine 80 whilst Eskinazi is still there with a well crafted century to his name. The ability to wander around comes in very useful as the sunny spots out of the gale move around. Find a sheltered sunny spot and make the most of it…for in a few minutes it will be chilly again!
The cold wind wins in the end and I can’t endure any more…so an early finish for me but not until Middlesex have reached 241/3 with Eskinazi going for 118. But the day, for me, belonged to de Caires – very level headed and a chip off the old block.
Apologies for the small number of photos – it’s not easy using a camera with gloves on!