Yestereday I returned to the County Ground Hove . Stumps were drawn with the game well poised. Sussex were 61 runs ahead but 4 wickets down in their second innings. Ben Brown and Tom Haines are at the crease but unless Henry Slocombe and Jack Carson put on another rearguard action for the eighth wicket there is not a lot of batting left. The match could go two ways; Haines and Brown could dominate the first session and the home side set Northants a tricky fourth innings total or both might go cheaply leaving Northants an easily achievable win. Sussex’s nemesis are the pace bowlers Gareth Berg and Ben Sanderson who so far have taken 9 wickets and in Northant’s home victory 17. The pair even scored 57 runs in a last wicket partnership. There is normally moisture in the morning air at Hove which aids the quicks too.
I watched the match in the lower pavilion. Here gathered a group of hard core Sussex supporters typified by my neighbour Brenda . Brenda kept up an constant chat of commonplace content about the Sussex supporting friends she knew and poor Jo in the ticketing and membership office who had a puffy eye. The group were confused by the online ticketing system . And so was I. I went on line to acquire a ticket for the T20 game between Sharks and Surrey only to find you can only reserve these . However I was never allocated a seat nor paid for one. In this and most consumer transactions these days you are forever referred to the website
Brenda certainly seemed to know everybody She chatted with Matt Prior who has been drafted in as coach for this and the next game against Yorkshire. The hope is that he will bring his experience and winning mentality to a young squad, the only problem being its the senior , overseas players Stiaan Van Zyl and Travers Head who are underperforming