The lovely ground at Chester-Le-Street

On June 5th and 6th 2003 I went to the Second Test Match between England and Zimbabwe. This was the first Test Match ever to be played in Durham, at Chester-Le-street, and the first time a new ground had been used in England for 101 years.

Is was lovely and sunny for both days, with a good sized crowd, especially on the Friday. There was lots of atmosphere, and plenty of beer drunk!!

The cricket was a bit one-sided. England dominated, and by the end of the second day had almost won. They actually won on the following day - so both matches in the mini series were won by England in three days.

On the first day, Butcher and Trescothick got 40's, but then wickets fell until the new guy McGrath, and 'old guy' Alec Stewart came good towards the end of the day with 60 odd not out each. I saw a few celebrities - Bob Willis, Phil Tufnell (fresh from winning a 'big brother' series in Australia) and Mike Gatting.

On the second day I watched Alec and McGrath practising in the nets, and even had a brief word with Alec (and he's subsequently been honoured by the Queen with an OBE!). More runs were scored by Giles, and England got past 400. When Zimbabwe batted they collapsed to 94 all out. New bowler Johnston got 5 wickets in his first match, and Anderson and Harmiston also got wickets.

It was a great couple of days - as with many sports, so much better watching it live.

Lumley Castle dominates the skyline

Second Test Match

The pavillion covers nearly half the ground

The detailed scoreboard

First Test Match

Hondo chats to the crowd

McGrath and Stewart in practice in the net

Test Series Averages

A few protesters outside the ground