On a day overrun with the prospect of excellent sport – Wimbledon, Grand Prix, Tour de France and the World Cup Final – all on TV as I’m not prepared to pay exorbitant prices even if tickets could be obtained- I take myself off to the CloudFM County Ground for Day 2 of Essex Warwickshire.
There’s about 600 or so others here at the start of play so it’s not being played to empty grounds; although there is the option of watching two of the above events in the Pavilion (members only) but why would you when you’ve..,
Warwickshire start their first innings and reach 57/4 lunch off 30 overs; not a poor effort but a very poor one. No one seems to have any idea against some excellent fast bowling and seem dumbstruck by spin; ok, they’ve lost two key men to the Lions match but the standard on display would surely shame second eleven games.
An extended afternoon session…just because Warwickshire were nine down at the appointed time sees them dismissed for 161 off 66 overs. No one really settled although Burgess and Ambrose (not sure if spies or a comedy double act) showed the most cohesion but when clouds rolled in a bit more, Siddle was offered the ball and ripped out the middle and lower order as if turning a herring into a kipper. But with a lot less smoke! Five for 33 all told was as fine a display of fast bowling, seam and swing as you’d ever see and the experts here at Chelmsford have him picked for the Aussies in the Ashes.
Overall it’s five wickets for the Aussie, two for SA, one for NZ and one for England born players! Suppose it says it all about County cricket!
Essex have a lead of 84 – not quite what they had in mind earlier before lunch and Warwickshire making a bit better effort this afternoon; but we’re half way through the game, it’s still cloudy and forecast to be that way, but I wouldn’t want to face Harmer batting fourth!
Essex enjoy what looks like an extended net with no alarms or concerns and have a lead of 150 or so at the close. The only blemish being Browne falling to Rhodes just before the close. Rhodes is becoming a ‘golden arm’ – the player you turn to when you need a wicket.
The World Cup Final is building up nicely…time to pop home and see the end. Wonder how it will go?