As the county season draws to a close this week, most will be focusing on the nail biting finish in Division One.
I won’t be. Surrey, and therefore I to, will be busy giving Derbyshire a farewell kicking as we reascend to our proper place in the heights.
In truth the match holds little interest for either side, and I remain a little bitter that poor conditions in May mean that we are in Derby rather than the Oval.
Last night was spent feverishly hammering a calculator, and what little numerical reasoning my brain possesses, to come to grips with the one real point of interest – Ramps’ batting average.
In the end I managed to figure out – by hurling the calculator at the wall, using a word I will not print and looking it up in a newspaper – that Ramps needed to score 22 runs and be out once to stay north of 100 for the year and thus join Boycott, Bradman and co. in cricketing Valhalla.
I engaged in all sorts of idle speculation as I drank myself to sleep watching The West Wing: Would he dig in for 2 not outs? Would Butcher move him down the order? Would he work his wonders for another 300 and make a run at Bradman’s record?
As the lager, fried Spanish sausage and Greecian cheese had their own debate, I tossed and turned; weighing the possibilities and dreaming of the last hurrah.
Then Butcher dropped him, the twerp.
I don’t really mean that. But I was looking forward to it all. But in the end Ramps finishes with 103.54 and 8 centuries.
Back in May, at the Oval for the first Derby game, I remember sitting with a very old friend of mine. We made a prediction for the season: Ramps – not out. For the whole season, just not out.
It didn’t happen, but we were close.