Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

Surrey v Glamorgan, Friends Life t20, The Oval

When Caesar was booed

And other tales from the rained-out game between Surrey and Glamorgan

Stuart Croll

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The Surrey mascot with the cheerleaders, The Oval, June 8, 2010
The lion who lost to a duck © PA Photos
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Choice of game
As a member of Surrey CC it was not a difficult decision for me to make, to attend this game. The many reasons included the fact Surrey have started the one-day summer in good form, Kevin Pietersen was in line to make his Twenty20 debut for the Lions, and there was a special drink promotion at The Oval tonight because of the failure of so many bars at the previous Twenty20 game last week.

Team supported
Obviously Surrey. The only dilemma I have had this season was at the Surrey v Scotland game in the Clydesdale 40-over tournament.

My watching companion is an old friend, Cas Whaley. He has lived in nearby Herne Hill for more than 15 years, and is a fellow Surrey member but as proud a Welshman as Own Glendower. "This must be the game where you have split loyalties," I said to him as he sipped is first pint. "Why?" he replied, quite indignantly "I'm from Wrexham, which is nowhere near Glamorgan." I am slightly embarrassed by my lack of Welsh geographical knowledge, but Cas continued his tirade: "Its not my fault there isn't a Welsh cricket team but that doesn't mean I have to support Glamorgan." And that rant was fuelled by just one sip of lager.

I decided the issue of Wales not having an international cricket side - not even at one-day level - is a debate for another ESPNcricinfo forum.

Key performer
I am tempted to say the Oval groundstaff, who worked wonders trying to make the outfield fit for play. But in a game where no team won, you have to share the Man of the Match between a player each from both sides. Jim Allenby, who top-scored for Glamorgan, and Jade Derbnach, who bowled brilliantly for Surrey.

One thing I'd change
Obviously the weather. Even the veritable Duckworth and Lewis have not made allowances for one team completing their innings and another not even starting it.

Interplay I enjoyed
At the end of Glamorgan's innings, Surrey's mascot - Caesar the Lion - was provoked into a posturing competition by a drunken, stag-party-celebrating Glamorgan fan wearing a duck costume. The contest was won by the duck with help from his fellow stag party-goers who cheered him consistently and booed poor old Caesar.

Filling the gaps
When the rains came, a lot of time was spent watching a contraption that is effectively a sponge on wheels and its ability to suck up the water from the outfield. Everyone in the stand suddenly wanted to be driving that machine.

Wow moment
Watching the lightning that accompanied the downpour, from the top tier of the OCS stand, and a lovely rainbow by the Crystal Palace masts - a fitting tribute to Roy Skelton, the voice of Zippy, who died this week.

On the pitch, Pietersen's boundary catch to remove the very dangerous Mark Cosgrove.

Shot of the day
I'd like to say a right-foot volley by Rory Hamilton- Brown in the six-a-side football match during Surrey's warm-up, but undeniably Allenby's six that reached the third tier of the OCS stand.

Player watch
In a Twenty20 game where only one side bowls it was great to see the tattooed England hopeful, Dernbach, bowl beautifully and take two wickets in two balls.

Crowd meter
It was dampened literally and metaphorically by the rain, which was a shame as the game was evenly poised when the heavens opened.

Marks out of 10
5. The dynamic batting of Cosgrove and Allenby was entertaining, as was the bowling of Dernbach, but when the game is a no-result you can't give it more than half for entertainment.

It is just a shame that the fuddy-duddy traditionalists won't allow a shorter version of the game, where a result is guaranteed.

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Stuart Croll is a Scottish-born Surrey CC member. He was an opening batsman in the same school team as future Scotland captain George Salmond. Stuart regarded himself as a Geoffrey Boycott style of player - not that he was a technically proficient batsman but because the rest of the team didn't like him. Nowadays having grudgingly accepted that a professional cricket career has passed him by, he scrapes a living writing about sport.

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