Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cricket vs baseball

TLOML once averred that 'there's not as much to cricket as there is to baseball'. The ensuing debate - in which I staunchly defended a sport I love against one I know little about, and TLOML equally staunchly defended a sport he loves against one he knows little about - was one of the most serious, 'can we really make a life together when he feels this way?' arguments of our relationship.

For now I think we have agreed to disagree. But today I attempted to swing the debate in my favour, with a day at Lord's, the home of cricket.

We went to see Day Four of the England vs SA Test Match. This is the last match of the series, in which we are 1-0 down. Unless we can win this Test match and secure a series draw, England lose the Number One position in the Test rankings. So it does matter, which helps against the whole 'there's not much to it' claim.

We came prepared: those little cakes and some lamb kofte I made yesterday, fruit, water, wine, a radio (to listen to TMS), sun protection, and so on.
After all, if you're going to sit for 8 hours you need to be well stocked. Baseball, by contrast, only takes 3 hours. I think it's fair to say that cricket requires more commitment, from players and spectators.

Lord's is a beautiful ground, although TLOML did point out that it would be possible - and in the States would have already been done - to add a few more tiers and an extra 20k seats in there. And it's well equipped for the casual observer too. For example, this handy idiot's guide to what's happening in the field of play is printed on the back of the card they give you to wave when a boundary is scored. It could have been written for TLOML, and within an hour he was bandying about phrases like 'silly mid on' like an old pro.
Our commitment and preparation was well rewarded. In the true spirit of English cricket, that is. We had the delight and joy of watching 6 South African wickets fall. We also had to suffer watching the South African batsman Amla make his steady way to 121 runs. We had the excitement and anticipation of England coming into bat with a challenging, but do-able target of 314 runs. And the disheartening sight of our two opening batsmen being dismissed very cheaply at the end of the day.
Our view of the action at 11am
Our view of the action at 5.20pm
Well, that's the nature of cricket. A war of attrition, with moments of pure elation, and a handful of bitter disappointments. It takes 5 days because there's a lot to it. And there's a lot to it because it takes 5 days. That's the way it is.

TLOML had a great time. But I fear he still may not  believe cricket has more to it than baseball. When I pointed out all the exciting highs and lows we'd seen, all the twists and turns, the suspense and the drama - he pointed out that those moments were 'spread out quite thinly across 8 hours'. Hmmm. Maybe I'll take him to a Twenty20 next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment