Fifth day of the odyssey

Before I start on the travails of the fifth day, I need to address an omission from yesterday’s blog – for the first time in a long time, the ghost of Bill McLaren in having an expert of two sitting behind me wasn’t there and it was a pleasure to watch a game without others opinions being rammed down your throat!

Anyway, today -the fifth of this short odyssey- was the second innings of the one day Royal London one day cup match between Essex and Surrey at Chelmsford. Only the second innings as domestic duties were required this morning as well as keeping an eye on the decline of England and ascent of Pakistan at Lord’s.

One of the issues with one day cricket is that it becomes formulaic and becomes immediately un-memorable so one turns to find the more unusual aspects of the game. Well, I’ve been coming to the County Ground at Chelmsford for over 30 years and whilst the slope at Lords is of high renown there are aspects of other grounds which look unusual and here at Chelmsford there seems to be a hollow at one end into which feet can disappear- hence the umpire above looks as if he is footless as opposed to footloose!

And another thing.,.

Whilst Chelmsford is a little way from the coast, seagulls still visit from time to time but this one, patrolling the outfield at mid on, seemed to have a longer tail than most…like some cricket teams over many a year!

And to the cricket…Essex batted first and scored 294 with Surrey using the same strategy as last week of having three spinners bowling the middle overs. Surrey score 295 with wickets and overs to spare. Elgar, Roy and Foakes all batting well and with style and getting into the runs.

The good thing is that no team in either division is dominating the tournament yet so every game is important to every side and net run rate could come into play by the end. But we shall see.

Off the field and elsewhere, corruption stories are developing- seems the 1st Test in Galle in November I’m going to see has already been decided and parts of India v England in Chennai in 2016 were allegedly ‘fixed’. Some English and Australian players are having their integrity called into question but these are just allegations at the moment and giving the media something to feed on…when they really should look at the state of English cricket at test and first class level and also how and why Pakistan did so well when their own domestic game is in such turmoil.

Tomorrow is the odyssey’s ‘rest day’ and back to the Oval on Tuesday for more one day fare.

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