The forecasters’ seaweed yesterday foretold of almost non stop rain today – not enough the reconstruct a biblical flood, but perhaps enough for a few flash floods so my plans were unsettled until drawing the curtains this morning revealed an overcast but dry start.
Incidentally I did show this photo to one of the professional photographers at the ground today – he seemed underwhelmed or miffed that he didn’t get the snap? Who knows?
Further consultations with those reading the weather runes foretell the deluge starting at various times during the day but some play could be possible. So I replenish the lunch stocks courtesy of ‘St Michael’ and head to the Fortress. I’m lucky as both Essex and Surrey are at home and I’m taking the easier (and cheaper) travel option!
The RLODC match is Essex v Yorkshire – the latter offering a similar level of development players as Essex so it could be quite even.
The same pitch as Sunday’s game against Glamorgan is being used (300+ played 200) and hence the same short boundary. Humid but not overcast skies greet the Essex bats who seem to struggle to 43/2 off the first 10 overs; Yorkshire are being treated with a level of caution which may mean the end score is on the low side.
But Roelofson and Westley steady the ship with a 150+ partnership and reach 184/2 before the wheels really come off – one wicket brings another so much that the remaining eight fall for 56 and Essex are 240ao with 3 plus overs unused!
Errors in batting and the order expose the level of failure on a pitch which from on ‘high’ in the Pearce Stand looks sand coloured and dry but from ground level has more than a tinge of green…perhaps that explains the batting style?
Yorkshire set off at pace – faster than Essex but are then pulled back by Snater (almost a hat trick) and Nijjar so that they are soon well behind the required par score – but did score more in the first 10 than Essex but lost more wickets!
Stories of floods at Lord’s and elsewhere in London start to trickle through and hint that the clouds approaching may not be that friendly and the forecast reconstruction is on its way.
By 3.30pm or so, after 19 overs, Yorkshire are 76/6 and it’s been spitting since the start of the innings. But then the thunder around the ground brings clouds ready to open – and, boy! Do they open. An attempt to look at conditions sent the umpires scurrying to their Pavilion and within minutes, not only were the covers flooded but large puddles appear on the outfield and the drains unable to cope.
So Essex do take the win under the DLS system but really, the standard from each side was Second XI but charged First XI rates. If – and a big IF – this ‘development’ tourney is to continue it needs to have the same level of experience on each side, and lower entry fees!
That seems to make sense but when was the last time anything ‘sensible’ was decided by the ECB?