After a brief walk to the ground, we arrived at the main entrance. Our tickets were for 'the experience club' which was a huge lounge with a bar at one end and a never ending and constantly replenished buffet at the other. Never were the words 'winning combination' more applicable to a sentence than the previous one.
Our seats were on a balcony just outside of the bar and consequently I was able to slay my thirst without taking my eyes off the cricket. My customers, two hefty lads from Yorkshire were also extremely thirsty, probably due to the saltiness of the buffet and I managed to continue my fitness regime by making regular trips to the bar and back for them.
The cricket was in truth a trifle dull. Having established a handsome lead, England chose to press home their advantage and bat through the day to establish an unassailable runs total. This was undoubtedly the right thing to do but without the thrill of big hitters at the crease it wasn't the greatest spectacle I've ever seen. A seemingly endless stream of single runs were punctuated only by a couple of heavy showers that sent us scurrying inside for cover which necessitated further trips to the bar via the buffet.
The action picked up in the afternoon though my ability to focus on the game diminished with each pint. Wickets began to fall whilst Alistair Cook continued his own personal ascent to the top of his profession though at times it felt like he was taking the long way round. But as the day wore on the crowd became rowdier as it became apparent that the coronation of the England team as number one in the world was a mere formality. It was also obvious that coronation would not occur until the Saturday afternoon.
By the close of play at 7pm I was quite full and ready for home. Claire, my colleague and reluctant driver appeared enthralled as she drove us home whilst I regaled her with observations, theories and general buffoonery about our day. I say she appeared enthralled, I think she may have been in a hurry to get back home, I've never seen anyone drive quite so fast.
All told it was a fantastic day though I have now discovered that in a remarkable twist of irony, free bars are always paid for the following day, yesterday was a write off. I was fit for nothing except lying on the sofa...............and watching England being crowned the kings of cricket.