Sussex lost by 3 runs last night in the Royal London Cup, the limited 50 over format which they were the first to dominate. Although the game went to the last ball most present did not think Sussex would overhaul the Middlesex total of 367. The key element in this innings was a first wicket stand of 268 by Gubbins and Malan. In the limited over game if you can build such a foundation it means you can take greater run risks in the middle order.
Heavy rain descended just when Sussex commenced their innings. A hot day was forecast but did not arrive. Watching on a cold rainy night is not much fun though enlivened by the presence of former players John Snow – a mantle now of silver, not black, hair – Alan Wells and Paul Parker in our Players Club bar. Before Bailey scored a crash bang wallop 112 for Sussex which kept us in the game but the total of 309 as calculated by the Duckworth Lewis method – which no one has explained to me properly as I doubt they understand it – was always going to be demanding. One negative feature of Sussex this year is lack of athleticism. At least 3 players were carrying excess weight. Crisp fielding is essential to keep runs down which explains partially the substantial Middlesex total.
With Sussex all but out of the Royal London and only 5 games left in the Championship to scramble out of the relegation place they occupy, including two against leaders Yorkshire, the hopes of achievement rest with a victory next Wednesday over Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the T20 blast.