Ben Stokes was at best only partly responsible for the most exciting moment of the second Test

Posted by
3 minute read

We were at Old Trafford on Friday for the Bens’ hundreds. There were some tense moments and some exciting moments and Ben Stokes didn’t play a direct role in all of them.

We’re not sure whether his pride was pricked by this old match report, but the day began with Special Correspondent Dad offering us alternatives to The Device.

The original Device was designed to carry the ‘maximum’ number of pints – which is to say only six. Dad has apparently since created two fours that can be joined together to create an eight and also a 12.

At least we think it was a 12. In truth, we didn’t really register the number as there was no way we were going for anything other than the original, which is a design classic.

We weren’t even through the Old Trafford security gazebo before The Device had attracted attention. If you are ever short of middle-aged men and urgently need to acquire some, we recommend that you fashion a device and take it to a Test match. We estimate it draws an envious look roughly every 15 yards and a complimentary comment from a stranger on average every half-lap of the ground (which was somewhat annoyingly how far we had to go to get to the draft beer stall).

There was however a potential problem. For one reason or another, we haven’t actually been to Old Trafford for quite some time and apparently they’ve (quite understandably) switched from plastic pint pots to waxed paper ones.

Would the apertures of The Device still be fit for purpose in 2022?

You bet your boots they would.

It is worth mentioning at this point that while at the match we ran into a reader of this website who was viewing the game from a very different part of the ground. He told us that the drinking receptacles in this privileged area were fabricated from a rare substance known as “glass”. Hopefully this decadence will feature in an upcoming match report that we are basically trying to elicit from him by writing this paragraph.

We imagine that beer also played a part in the most exciting moment of the day. This was perhaps even the most thrilling sporting event we have seen in our life.

After exiting the ground at the close of play, we were within a few yards of a rotund match-goer when he tried to execute a quick dash across a busy main road.

Now as you’re no doubt aware, the quickest route between two points is a straight line and in the absence of any obstacles, this is the path one should take when attempting to cross a road as rapidly as possible. As the man in question veered away on a Bob Willis run-up kind of curve, it immediately became apparent that he had enjoyed many refreshments while watching the cricket.

But how many? As the curve segued into a sideways stagger straight down the middle of the road, it was obvious the answer was ‘too many’.

Then came the really exciting bit. There is a certain point at which a drunk can just about remain upright but where their efforts to do so tend to result in overcorrection. This is the point at which our wannabe traffic-dodger found himself. After first halting his sideways momentum and coming to a complete stop, he launched himself straight forwards in a desperate attempt to reach the safety of the central traffic island. Almost immediately realising he was en route to a tarmac belly flop, he then overcorrected and began staggering backwards.

This is a spectacularly exciting situation in which to find yourself when your initial aim was to ghost across a road between moving vehicles. Somehow or other, he survived lane one. Undaunted, he then executed a one-handed 90-degree swing around the traffic light that would have seen him launched straight into the next lane of moving traffic if a fractionally less drunk companion – quite possibly his son – hadn’t grasped his shirt and held him back.

Send your match reports to We’re only really interested in your own experience, so if it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. (But if it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.)


  1. This is without doubt one of the most exciting match reports ever published on this site.

    Proof positive, if proof were needed, that King Cricket and his family should be left to their own devices at cricket grounds more often.

  2. Many moons ago, Thunderbirds’ Tracy Island was a Christmas bestseller. So much so that it sold out. Blue Peter brought out a DVD (VHS?) of how to make one’s own island out of cardboard and sticky backed plastic etc.

    Any plans for something similar for The Device?

  3. Pleased to see (or rather, to surmise from the colour of the cups) that you were making the correct beer purchasing decision, ie visiting the Cask Ale bar.

    The supplies at said bar on Saturday (the day when I was in attendance) lasted much longer than I feared they might based on previous ‘nothing left by 1pm’ experiences.

    The move back to paper cups was a significant topic of discussion for me on a recent trip to Headingley, so I had expected the same at Old Trafford. The relative pros and cons, not least with regard to the knock-on impact on the serpent-creation activities within the Fosters Party Stand later in the day, were discussed at length on Saturday.

    But the real news is that the seats I front of where I was sat had QR codes which, rumour has it, could bring about the delivery of Peroni or Neck Oil to ones’ seat. As these seats where occupied by a family who didn’t appear to be interested in partaking in this option, the rumour went unconfirmed.

    1. Apologies for the mistakes in the above, I promise that alcohol played no part in those errors, for which I alone must take the blame.

      1. Think they slowed the march to nothing left by employing the one lad who took 46 years to pull each pint.

Comments are closed.