Friday night was another chance to see Sussex in some T20 action. The day had been mostly grey and rainy, but I had faith in the weather forecast, and at ten minutes to four o’clock the rain stopped and the sun started to shine. Work had been a bit of a bind on Friday, so I didn’t actually get stuff wrapped up until 5.30pm, and then I headed off to Hove.
I stopped in Tesco and did my usual pre-match stock up, taking advantage of the £3 meal deal, and then walked to the ground. Despite the fact that it was a quarter past six, I was able to get a seat in the third row at the end, in the general area at the Cromwell Road end, which gave me a completely unfettered view of the wicket. I was quite pleased with myself. The only trouble with going to the cricket by yourself, is a slight concern about leaving bags unattended while going to the loo / bar. I don’t want to lose my seat, so I don’t want to take them with me, but I don’t want them to be stolen or taken by an attendant. So when I use the facilities, there is always a slight fear that my bags might not be there when I return. So far, this has been a completely unfounded fear, it has to be said.
Middlesex won the toss and decided to bat first. As it got closer to 7pm, I wandered up to the bar for an ale They had Shark’s Ale, obviously brewed specifically for the cricket ground, but unfortunately it didn’t taste that great, and so I only had the one pint. I had a second pint in Sussex’s innings, Amstel that time, which was more refreshing.
Middlesex got off to a flyer, Dawid Malan and Paul Stirling piled on the runs for them. Stirling got 88, and Malan ended up not out on 115. Eoin Morgan came in at #3 and I was looking forward to seeing him play, but unfortunately he was out first ball – shame. Middlesex ended on 221-2, and it was going to be tricky for Sussex to equal that.
I was glad I took my fleece, because although it was sunny, as soon as the sun disappeared, either behind a tree or a building, the heat went out of the day. After all, it is still May, and so there isn’t really any underlying warmth. Bring on July, I say…
Sussex tried, but failed. Luke Wright did well though, he got 91, and when he partnered with Chris Jordan I thought they might be in with a chance. The required rate was 15, but it was sticking at 15, and they were doing well. I had to pop off for a minute though, and when I got back they were both out. It was all over at that stage really, but I stayed another over and saw Beer fall, and that sealed it, it was time to head off.

I do like going to the cricket, regardless of the outcome, although it is nice when Sussex win. It’s a combination of things I suppose; the atmosphere, the fact that it’s outside, the communal focus on the action, the lack of distractions (i.e., kids, I suppose), the pace of it… Even with T20 and its insistence that an innings take no longer than 1hr 15mins, it is still relaxing. And it was certainly what was required on Friday night after a tough day at work. More to come over the next few weeks about cricket, hopefully better news for Sussex. They’re in the bottom half of the table, but with a few good results, they could get back on top.

TTFN.

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