Middlesex v Kent at Lord’s, County Championship Division Two

Over the weekend, Saturday night to be exact, I finally decided to sign up for Willow.tv.  Within minutes, all I could ask myself was “what took you so long?”

It is only $15 a month, and all the major tours will be shown: Sri Lanka in England, India in England, Australia in South Africa, Sri Lanka in South Africa, New Zealand in Australia, India in Australia…and, supposedly, English County Cricket.  The latter, I must admit, I am most excited about.

Since I ordered it on Saturday night, on Sunday morning I was able to wake up, drink instant coffee, and watch cricket.  Specifically: England v Sri Lanka.  I was able to see Bell and Morgen’s fantastic partnership, followed by Strauss’s surprising declaration.  It was just wonderful to watch live cricket that was not either text based or audio only or a choppy illegal internet stream.

To the chagrin of my wife and my grades, I plan on spending a great deal of time with my new pal, willow.tv.

The only real drawbacks were the picture quality and the commercials.  Regarding the former, I am not going to whine too much. I could blow it up to full screen without losing too much quality, but it is not HD by any means.  Both ESPN3 and foxsoccer.tv are of better quality, for example.  And I was annoyed at the lack of a pop-out-able, re-sizable window.  But only Hulu offers that, so again, I am not going to complain too much.

I will say that the stream was not the slightest bit choppy.  It never froze and it never jumped.

The commercials were JARRING.  They were obviously not part of the live broadcast feed and they were consistently interrupting the calls of the broadcast team.  However, I did kind of enjoy the commercials – I have always loved foreign advertisements. Unlike in Southampton, every cloud does have a silver lining, I guess.

Final grade: B+

Back on the pitch: Sangakkara and Samaraweera’s 5th wicket stand at the Rose Bowl has halted England’s pursuit of an outright victory.  I must say I was impressed to see Strauss go for it yesterday with the early declaration, but it slipped through their fingers this morning.

The first test between the West Indies and India’s B team starts today in Jamaica, as well.  And the County Championship is back, too, with a host of four day matches throughout England.

And being that my head is throbbing and I am half asleep, that is all I can muster today.

Until tomorrow.

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