It was chucking it down all afternoon, by six a sun so fierce emerged that spectator and player had difficulty seeing the ball and once the sun dipped below the Spen Cama pavilion we felt the cold. Middlesex posted a total of 221 runs, their highest ever score, with Dawid Malan contributing 115. When eventually Robinson got his partner Stirling out short of his century with 187 on the board, I said to my neighbour “We’ve got them on a roll”. Chris Jordan drove from Headingley to make the team. He was expensive with the ball but a last wicket stand, in which he contributed 35, did restore some self esteem to the Sharks who made 171-9.
One quality I much prefer in cricket at Hove to football at Amex is the accessibility of players. Our Executive club the Players Club as we pay for one overseas player is situated on the boundary and some of our members know the players. So when Chris Nash fielded in front of us my at the neighbour shouted
” Hey Nashy, my wife likes you but not your new beard …”
On the Monday against Warwickshire the players were asking us about the test score. Not infrequently one will hop over the fence to relieve himself in our loo. Such proximity is not without its danger as in the next door Mayo Wynne Baxter area a spectatator was felled last night by the white ball which you had no chance of seeing out of the sun.
At the end of the game, a gentleman slipped into the seat next to me and turned out to be the Sussex President. My guest is a real aficionado so we three composed our Suseex born outside Britain side to play that born within the borders namely:
Overseas: Barclay, Duleep, Goodwin, Dexter, Ranji, Pataudi, Greig, Imran, le Roux, Prior, Mushtaq Ahmed.
British: brothers Langridge, Sheppard, Suttle, Oakman, Gilligan, Parks, Fry, Tate, Snow, Kirtley.
As I left Hove at 10-15, I felt less disappointed than heartened by a most entertaining evening watching a form of cricket which I do not intuitively favour.