Spoilt for choice as I embark on my 31st day of cricket watching in the last 60 days – how lucky am I?
The match at Chelmsford has the look of 400 plays 400 unless there’s something special happening whilst Surrey/Northamptonshire looks more like coming to a conclusion today.
And the forecast for Chelmsford is worse than the Oval…so the Oval it is and it didn’t take long for Surrey to take the last two wickets and enforce the follow on…207 ahead. However the clouds came over, the lights came on and a very light drizzle delayed the start of the Northants defence.
Somehow or other, we’re about 8 overs behind expectations at lunch. Never quite understand rain breaks when it’s not really raining! No one put an umbrella up, no one rushed for cover during that exceptionally light almost non-existence drizzle but we still had to wait for it to pass! Club cricketers across the land would have been straight out there!
I suppose the difference is these are professionals and can’t risk an injury but they are in the entertainment business and watching non-existent drizzle doesn’t rank high on my list of ‘how to be entertained’! I imagine the rules are made by some health and safety ‘expert’ at the ECB who probably knows the price of everything and the value of nothing or how cricket works!
Interestingly, a counter argument to ‘they’re professionals’ is that the outfield wasn’t covered or mopped up after the rain and it was okay to run around on, so why not play?
There’s always the bad light argument to add to the pot but the light was the same at the start of the innings as it was at the end of the other. Just seems odd.
I know the weather is one of the loved variables of cricket but it’s management can border on the absurd!
In terms of play, Northants reach 14/2 at lunch with Gay having been hit on the elbow twice in the last over (no common sense applied like ‘let’s go off for lunch and get things sorted’) which lasted 5 minutes and long enough for Foakes to need two drinks! Why?
After lunch…the first over of a spell and a wicket falls! To me this is one of the odd features of this season so far – I reckon I have seen that happen close to a dozen times! Atkinson does for Procter for 9 (80+no first innings) and a long ‘hang time’ gave Curran S time to move three times in perfecting the catch!
A long afternoon session (2 hrs 45 mins) was brought to an early end by the worst light of the day as the grey clouds rolled in, full of threatening rain but who knows. Surrey bowlers had kept to their lines and lengths throughout (ok, the odd exception but in the main very tight) which brought Northants to 140/7 before the umpires decided they needed a cuppa. There’s a nominal 39 overs to go but it looks like Northamptonshire will be heading up the M1 in their coach sometime this evening.
And so it came to pass, Surrey winning by an innings and 5 runs and didn’t really break into a sweat (and certainly didn’t need any spin this innings). Twelve wickets in the day shows Surrey’s class.
The Atkinson/Overton partnership really took the game away from Northamptonshire yesterday and just added scoreboard and mental pressure but Surrey would still have won but it would have taken longer.
So my decision for tomorrow has been made for me!