Cricket kept the whole family entertained '“ Kieran Howard

Louie's finally had his first taste of cricket, and doesn't Hampshire's Dale Steyn know it.  We bravely trialled the little man with three and a half hours of the bat and ball sport last week.Â

Monday, 17th September 2018, 4:23 pm
Updated Monday, 17th September 2018, 5:28 pm
Hampshire v Somerset, Specsavers County Championship, Ageas Bowl, Eastleigh, Hampshire. Pictured is: Jak Leach chops Dale Steyn onto his stumps Picture: Neil Marshall

He accompanied us to the second, and ultimately final day, of Hants' Specsavers County Championship Division One victory over Somerset.

The tickets were free thanks to our Sky TV package, so we had nothing to lose. 

Steyn, on the other hand, had a bit more to lose and would have possibly rather fielded a little further away from a noisy toddler, even if it was a fairly cheery and happy one.

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Day Two got underway at 10.30am and we optimistically believed we could make it there for the start of play. That was never going to happen. Not one of us was even dressed by 10.30am, let alone sitting in The Ageas Bowl.

In the end, we squeezed through the turnstiles, with our usual excessive luggage, a full two hours after most, at 12.30pm. 

We were in position and ready to cheer our home county on to victory, just in time for the commencement of the lunch break.

We must have seen about two balls before they called an end to the morning's action. What timing. Those already seated must have wondered if we'd just turned up to watch an empty field for half an hour. Some probably felt we could have achieved the same results by sitting on a bench in the local park for 30 minutes.

Anyhow, the players did eventually return to the field and we were able to witness another three hours of wickets and runs.

Miraculously, it was also 180 minutes which didn't include Louie tearing around like something possessed.

Of course, a regular supply of food and a mobile phone with a decent data package did play an integral role in that particular achievement.

He watched some of his favourite programmes, but insisted on noisily commenting on each of them.

Unfortunately fast bowler Steyn had been tasked with protecting the boundary nearest us. 

He was forced to position himself just a few feet away from where we had set up camp.

He must have felt like retiring through injury at times though, particularly when Louie decided to laugh out loud at his warm-up routine just after the interval.

The South African kept nipping off to bowl an over here and there, but in hindsight, that may have just been to escape the interruptions of our two-year-old. On review, it was a successful afternoon out. Lennie enjoyed it, despite being startled by the odd 'howzat'.

Kerrie now knows what an over is and Steyn got the win.