Friday, 2 August 2013

A Spin-Off for Groundhoppers

The Modus Hopper Random blog is going back to its quasi-random roots today.  What could be more reasonable than to give some of England’s county cricketers an unwitting responsibility for determining a small part of my future – the first Saturday fixture of the new competitive football season.

Four of the Step 5 leagues have got fixtures this weekend, and there are plenty of unvisited grounds on offer.

Today, the Midland Alliance will be represented by Warwickshire.
The Combined Counties League will be represented by Hampshire.
The North West Counties League will be represented by Lancashire.
The Wessex League will be represented by Somerset.

The basic premise is this – whichever individual batsman gets the highest score in the County Championship fixtures on Friday 2 August will determine which league I visit.  I will go to the nearest “new” ground (for me) to the relevant cricket ground, which would be:

Edgbaston, Birmingham (Warwicks)
Southampton (Hampshire)
Old Trafford, Manchester (Lancashire)
Taunton (Somerset).

I will deal with ties as and when the need arises.  I mean ties in the sense of equal scores, not ties in the sense of those things you have to wear round your neck in certain parts of Lord's.

So, the fixtures on my shortlist are:
MA: Alvechurch v Rocester
CC: Alton Town v Epsom & Ewell
NWC: West Didsbury & Chorlton v AFC Liverpool
WL: Hamworthy United v Totton & Eling

Morning Update:

Both Somerset and Warwickshire have ended up bowling rather than batting in their fixtures today, and the start of the Hampshire game has been delayed, though they have been put into bat by their opponents.  Lancashire are batting and have reached 34-0 off 14.4 overs at noon, so it looks like the fixture at West Didsbury has taken an early lead but Alton Town are still in the frame.  It does not look good for Alvechurch and Hamworthy.  The excitement is immense.

Lunch Update:

Hampshire have started batting against Glamorgan but are 26-2.  Opener Michael Carberry has got 20 of them however, so he could of course go on to make a big score.  Lancashire have cruised to 104-0 with Paul Horton on 59* and Luis Reece on 43*.  Looks like it will be between West Didsbury and Alton Town for tomorrow because both Warwickshire and Somerset won't have much batting time today - they are both fielding first in their games.  Excitement is now less than immense but still tangible.  Hitcounts suggest that there are eight people in the world paying attention to me.  That is better than some of my weekdays, so carry on ;)

2pm Update:

Horton has been dismissed without adding further to his score, which remains the highest of the day.  Reece is approaching his fifty and could soon take over the lead.  Carberry is still there on 27*.  Excitement levels stable but Mars Bar distraction imminent as I realised that last season's MHR #marsbarwatch blogposts never really addressed the Duo Mass Issue - a Duo is not the same total as two separate standard 58g bars.  Misleading?

Tea Update (4.10pm):

Luis Reece indeed soon took over the lead and went on to score 85 before getting out.  However, Carberry is still there on 77* at tea, with good support from Neil McKenzie who has reached 46*.  Either of these two could yet wreck my Destination Didsbury headline.  This could go down to the proverbial wire.  Excitement levels sustained.  But I don't get out much.

5pm Update:

Michael Carberry is out! But he reached 94 so as things stand I am heading for Alton.  His team-mate McKenzie is also out without adding to his 46 and it would appear that only Simon Katich (43* for Lancashire at Leicester as I type) could send me back to Didsbury.

Katich was out for 62 meaning that Hampshire's Michael Carberry, with 94, has the highest individual score from my four counties - and I will be heading for Alton Town v Epsom & Ewell in the Combined Counties Premier League tomorrow afternoon.  It's random. Ish.


Are you mad?
Quite possibly. Depends on your definitions.
Should Glamorgan have chosen to bat instead of putting Hampshire into bat?
There is no reason in the world that anyone else should care about this.
Does Luis Suarez play for AFC Liverpool?
Let me guess - you are not a groundhopper.  No.  Just no.
Where did you get the cricket ball image?
Wikipedia, for the licence see:
Shouldn't you be preparing some chemistry lessons or something?
Probably yes, but shush.

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