One of the ‘endearing’ features of cricket grounds is trying to find somewhere to sit which provides comfort, warmth on the cold days of April, May, September (and often most months between) and cool shade when it heats up! And so it was today!
This week promises headlines of ‘phew, what a scorcher’ in spades as the country struggles with summer temperatures (just as it struggles with Autumn leaves, Winter snow and frost and whatever happens in Spring!). Everyone is seeking shade at the ‘Fortress’ but everywhere is crowded as a result and with even more areas roped off and out of bounds for members, we’re rammed in like sardines! Spectator comfort comes low on the list – and why change? The ‘trash and bash’ attracts volume who mainly don’t want to/care about the cricket…so there!
For the first visit this week, I’m hoping that the game is a ‘good’ one especially as the pitch looks like a batting paradise. But then I’m assuming that last weeks thrash stuff or resting if one of the 10 teams not involved will be banished from minds!
But no – Gloucestershire bat and by lunch have struggled to 104/6 with Harmer taking 3/31. I thought the aim of four day cricket was to learn how to build an innings, bowl teams out in tough conditions but Gloucestershire seem to want to implode. One day shots, poor footwork and shot selection, brain freeze, or overheating or all of them?. Will the match make it to days 3 and 4?
Gloucestershire continue their brain fade – Zafar Gohar runs out van Buuren when the latter was beginning to look settled and building an innings. Harmer ends up with another fiver – he should walk into the SA test side being accustomed to English conditions but then when has selection been logical?.
Gloucestershire succumb to 136ao leaving Essex 55 overs to bat today. To summarise Gloucestershire’s innings – Brain fade or an attempt at Bazball?
The loss of a quick wicket (Browne – cheap again) hints at a possible collapse but class batting from Sir A and Westley score at 1.6 during the afternoon to have tea on 37/1 off 21 overs.
There’s something in the pitch but these two Test bats are testing themselves (and the patience of some more experienced spectators) to see what happens when the ball gets older, the bowlers tire and the heat of the day starts to subside. Should be an interesting evening session!
Ninety runs in the last session of 32 overs, half-centuries from Cook A and Westley see Essex almost achieve parity by the close – but only one wicket down! This wicket requires patience and skill in building an innings and I suspect Essex to have a major lead by the time I next visit (Day 3) as tomorrow I succumb to an ODI at the Oval (my one-a-year ODI)!
Photos today concentrate on the disguise spinners use to try and baffle the bat…interesting styles and methods! But first…haircuts and hats!