Today (and the next three) offers a delicious dilemma! Essex are playing Lancashire (inc Anderson) at the Fortress whilst Surrey host Hampshire at the Oval. All four sides are tipped for greatness in this season’s Championship!
The weather – still being very early Spring – offers sunny spells, showers and a ‘cool breeze’. Layers, coats, sunglasses and hats are the order of the day. But the array of ‘keeping warm’ apparel was wide ranging – especially among the fielding side and umpires!
I assume the above is a snood – if not, please advise as my fashion knowledge is extremely limited! 😜
So an early arrival at the Fortress proved wise as the members areas filled up very quickly and are almost full by the start of play.
If you’re looking for wickets then each match seems to offer them in spades. Middlesex’s top order fail again and lose 6 before lunch, Hampshire 5 and Lancashire 4 – but Notts sail through at 115/0.
Here at the Fortress Lancashire win the toss and bat. Jennings tries to knock the Porter/CookS combination off their lengths only to fall ignominiously; that set the trend for the morning. No one really settled, lots of scratching around but Doug Bracewell the latest Essex overseas signing manages to find a sweet spot on the pitch to make the ball roar and life a bit difficult.
Having said that the over rate is poor – 38 overs now needed before tea which at current rates will be sometime close to midnight. Something must be done! 😡
Lunch comes at 70 for 4…clearly Essex’s morning and within a blink of an eye Lancashire are 86 for 6 by early afternoon. Resistance by Bell (60) and Bailey (18) makes batting look easier – or were the bowlers tiring? Surely not…it’s only game two, and you need to move about to keep warm.
The breakthrough came just before 4pm and by 4.15 tea was taken with Lancashire 207ao, Cook S taking the last and his fifth wicket.
With increasing cloud cover, the prospect of rain I suspect JA is chomping at the bit to get out there and fillet the Essex bats! Let’s see!
The rain kept away but JA was clinical in his dispatching of both openers – Browne to the third ball and Sir A – back to the Pavilion in no time. Westley was dispatched by Will Williams (what were his parents thinking?) and Essex are being filleted at 38/3.
By the close – when the cold had really got hold – Essex were 98/3 but the need to keep warm – by whatever methods and clothing will be with us for a few more weeks I’m sure!