The car park attendant was worried that he’d be out of a job soon as a) his car park was almost empty when I arrived just before the start of play and b) everyone was parking ‘neatly’. Day 4 of county championship games are running the risk of being days for the diehards – those of us who turn up even in the worst weather since ‘it’s going to get better soon’.
At the start of play only about 250/300 in attendance – augmented by a coach party of Yorkies (fans, not chocolate bars) – but even so upset one Essex member as he was ‘surrounded by them’. Numbers are low because, dear reader, I’m sure you realise that the good folk of Essex are extremely pious and being Sunday morning are attending to their spiritual needs but will flock to the Cloud in great numbers later! (Note to self…must stay off the strong coffee! These fantasies are getting worse!)
Let’s hope Essex v Yorkshire ‘gets better soon’! Fifteen wickets in three days play doesn’t augur well for the probability of a maximum of 25 falling on the last day.
However, within 90 minutes Yorkshire had lost their last five and managed a lead of 62, with 74 overs left in the day. Harmer – on whom so many Essex hopes lie – took two for close on 150 as the match is now 403 plays 465. Perhaps he’s missing teaming up with Porter who seems to be so far down the pecking order it’s criminal!
At lunch Essex reach 19/0 with no alarms and by tea 119/0 again ‘alarmless’; Sir A 80no and Browne 29no – the latter playing himself into some kind of nick after his few recent innings. Yes, this match is going nowhere fast and we all knew it at 11am this morning but it’s a funny game so you never really know.
After 45 minutes more play, another drinks break and then four balls (from Duke the wicketkeeper) the teams shook hands but not before Sir A had scored his second century of the match and Browne using the time for an extended net and a half century. Time called at 167/0
The winner has been the pitch which after the first 20 minutes on Thursday has become a bats paradise – yes, it gives players the chance to learn how to build and play long innings but it’s not offering anything to the bowlers of both sides who must be very dispirited – two of the three matches here so far this season have developed into ‘bore draws’ and unless better pitches come along ‘days for the die hards’ will become ‘weeks’