A brief synopsis - Lord Grantham won the toss and elected to bat first, showing considerably more cricket sense than financial. Matthew and Tom duly marched out to open the batting. We didn't see much of the House innings, although fairly early on Matthew padded up to one he should have blocked and was dispatched back to the Pavilion. They seemed to have run up a reasonable total by the tea interval, bolstered considerably by some middle-order heroics from Mr.Barrow the formerly-closeted gay valet, the only real cricketer on display. Any sensible skipper would have put him in much earlier, but this is Downton so of course he couldn't bat before the Quality or Mr.Carson. Predictably, Mr.Moseley, who spent the entire episode blathering on about the beautiful game, waved his bat ineffectually at a straight one and lost his middle stump, but gained a Golden Duck for his mantelpiece (probably not the first one).
The House must have declared over the tea and scones because when play resumed (announced by an unseemly cry of "Time's up, Gentlemen", probably by one of the village pub landlords) the Village side went in to bat. For some unknown reason their skipper sent Dr.Clarkson in to open, presumably forgetting that he's Scottish and therefore knows nothing about cricket. This was confirmed when he faced his first delivery - a luscious, leg-side long-hop from Mr.Carson. The good Doctor uncorked a classic cow-shot and holed-out to Tom Branson the former chauffeur at deepish mid-on. Tom took a difficult, high, one-handed catch with considerable aplomb, given that he's supposed to be new to the game - obviously a ringer.
At that point the House team gathered in the square to celebrate, as is customary when a wicket falls - and the episode ended! You may think that the House had won, but the laws of cricket make it quite clear that the Village had another nine wickets in hand, more than enough to deliver the expected sound thrashing of the toffs. Since Julian Fellowes decided to leave us all to speculate in the dark, perhaps Mr.Carson, stirred on by his early success, tore through the heart of the Village batting order with his slow-medium long-hops and half-volleys. Maybe Mr.Barrow showed that he knows how to swing it both ways (doubtful), or Mr.Moseley redeemed himself with an evil googly. Alfred the footman is certainly tall enough to bowl a maiden over, or perhaps two? Or could it be that the Dowager Countess and Isobel patch things up over a flagon of the Village side's scrumpy, then force a draw by doing a double streak, hand-in-hand right through the middle of the square? We will probably never know. Play up, play up and play the game.