Leeds, Day Two

England 203
South Africa 101/3

South Africa were on top yesterday, so DC finished the day much happier than either Wiseman or I, Mark having left his digital radio in the hotel, and so unable to keep abreast of Blowers’ uniquely colourful commentary. Helpfully, I passed them some highlights from that and the shipping forecast when it came around. It was a cracking day’s cricket, despite England’s collapse, with Freddie Flintoff making his first Test appearance since I saw him lead the team to defeat in Sydney 18 months ago. Sadly he flashed at a wide one on 17 and departed somewhat sheepishly.

Wiseman and I arrived at the ground clad optimistically in shorts, he, rather foolishly, following my lead in the matter. The weather was cloudy and drizzly, and not especially warm, and I don’t recall seeing anyone else in shorts in the entire ground, but this being the cricket, there were a number of outfits on show that made shorts look positively sensible, including men in women’s clothing, and a smattering of superheros. At some point during the afternoon session I conceded defeat and popped into a toilet cubicle to change into my jeans, emerging to find Superman wrestling his way back into his suit. It’s good to know that even Superman has to take a pee.

Thursday night, as expected, was largely sleepless, partly due to the skylight, which shed rather too much light on the matter, but also because every water pipe in the hotel seems to be routed through the wall behind my bed. A previous occupant of the room had also helpfully set the TV to switch itself on at 5.30am, for which I was less than grateful.

Last night as considerably better, having tired myself out by sitting watching cricket all day. Was woken by the sounds of Wiseman preparing to go for a run next door – that is he was preparing next door, rather than going for a run in his room. On returning from his run at 8.30am, he knocked on my door, which elicited an appropriate sub-duvet response.

Breakfast was taken at 9am. Wiseman entertained us once more with his unique croissant-buttering technique, and we even struck up some convivial early morning conversation, something neither myself or DC are renowned for, with an Englishman on a nearby table.

And so on to Day Two. Right now, the sun is shining, although showers are forecast. Nevertheless we are in good spirits, and I am confidently starting the day in shorts and sandals again.

Come on England.

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