It was kind of the sports editor to let me post on two consecutive days but it’s not that often that a game involving Surrey makes the headlines without any reference to Kevin Pietersen. Thankfully Rory Burns and Moises Henriques are going to be alright although the latter has had to have his jaw operated on and will need extensive dental work, his teeth going into his jaw too. Yesterday I was critical of the decision to abandon. On talking to Sussex Chief Executive Zac Tamouzi today less so. The programme recalled a incident in the opening match of the 2006 20/20 series against Hampshire captained by Shane Udal in the absence of the other Shane. Matt Prior was run out at the non- striking end. He thought and most others too the ball was dead after a turned down lbw appeal and he was requesting a new pair of gloves outside the crease when his stumps were shattered. Imagine if Sussex had insisted on playing out the game against a a Surrey side denied two batters as subs are not allowed to do anything but field? As with the 2006 incident it’s simply not cricket and creates bad blood when there was enough spilled. Perhaps there is too much fear of being slaughtered in social networks but to achieve such a victory when two of the opposition are in hospital would attract most unfavourable publicity. Zac also mentioned that two Surrey players were actually sick. I wonder how well they would have coped if there were conscripted 100 years into trench warfare?
To appreciate the full beauty of Arundel it’s necessary to walk the perimiter of the ground. There you have spectacular views over the downs through opening in the trees. It’s an idyllic, peacefully pastoral setting. Jack Russell was selling reproductions of his paintings at a booth and I was tempted to add these to my collection. As opposed to footballers, cricketers are much more accessible. My walking companion knew Paul Collingwood the Durham skipper well and as we passed a roped off enclosure holding the Durham players (imagine a premier footballer coping with such accessibility ?) he came over. Later I passed Matt Prior who talked to a group I knew in the marquee and though he is the man of the moment nobody troubled him.
As for the match, Tim Linley – recently recruited from Surrey – made a break through with 5 wickets but a feature of Sussex this season is we never maximise our advantage. The two last players put on 48 and Durham achieve their third bating point with a total of 302. At close of play Sussex were 48-2. This one will not go to a fourth day with 12 wickets falling on the first.
One problem with Arundel is, unlike the cricketers, is its inaccessible. I took the Brighton train to Southampton where you had to change at Ford for the line to Arundel. I got on the wrong train at Ford taking me back to Brighton. After alighting at Angmering, I returned to Ford to wait for another for 20 minutes. It’s only 5 minutes from Ford to Arundel. You can actually see the castle fortifications. The trick is to book a taxi at Ford. The last leg took over an hour and I had spent so much time on the station platform at Ford that I felt like an lag from the nearby open prison out on community work.