2nd XI County Cricket is a new experience for me, with time on my hands it was rude not go along and watch Essex v Kent firstly at the County Ground, then at Billericay CC.
I’m going to try to explain how 2nd XI County Cricket works, to get it straight in my head as much as anything.
There are 3 ‘competitions’ running through the season
- Second XI Championship – Current Champions Leicestershire (3 Days)
- Second XI Trophy – Current Champions Leicestershire (1 Day)
- Second XI t20 – And yes! Leicestershire again!
Looking through the fixture list I’m trying to see a pattern to the fixtures but I really can’t! The 3 formats seem to be spread out fairly evenly; sometimes they roll on, as was the case for Essex and Kent – 2 T20 matches on the Monday, followed by a 3 day Championship game on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
The T20 competition follows the Finals Day route, and the Trophy the Semi-Finals and Final way. The games are mostly played at ‘out grounds’ with the odd one featuring at the main county grounds.
As far as the cricket I saw goes this will be mostly photos from the 2 days rather than words.
The Essex 2nd XI and Kent 2nd XI started the week at the County Ground in Chelmsford, with a T20 starting at 11:30 then another in the afternoon. Kent finished the day with 2 wins to their name.
Kent batted first in the morning and made 138-9 in their 20 overs with Adam Ball top scoring on 36and Calum Haggett making 30.
That total should have been reachable for the home team, but – and this is quite shocking – 6 batsmen were run out! With 2 sets of 2 run outs in the same over, if that makes sense? In 2 overs, 2 men were run out, it was actually quite unreal to watch! Yes Kent’s fielding was very good, but wow the decision making and running by the Essex batsmen was incredibly poor!
In the end Essex fell short by 2 runs as Paul Walter who’d made a valiant 19 was bowled out. I imagine the dressing room would have been a quiet place for the home team.
I’d got over heated watching the first T20 so retired to the cool of my living room. The afternoon game didn’t go well at all for Essex as they were bowled out for just 79 runs! Kent responded with the necessary runs in 12.3 overs with just one wicket down.
I had planned to stay at home on the 2nd day of this match up, but glorious sunshine meant I just couldn’t stay indoors, it would have been rude not to go and watch at least a few hours of cricket.
I made a first visit to Billericay Cricket Club and what an impressive facility I found. A quite stunning pitch surrounded by trees, I believe the pitch is maintained by Essex CCC and it certainly shows. It must be a total pleasure to play on for the Billericay club players.
I was able to put the chair I bought last year to good use, a cheap in the bag affair, it was I have to say very comfortable. Shoes off, strapless dress on, sun lotion applied, the sound birdsong and leather against willow, I was in heaven.
Kent were batting and went in for lunch on 118-3 – I had a wander to look at the ground and saw a second pitch as well as an impressive pavilion. I left for home as a 4th wicket fell and thunder claps sounded. Play was abandoned for the day with Kent on 201 for 5.
My first foray into 2nd XI cricket was enjoyable in spite of the results on Day 1 – I’ll certainly be looking out for fixtures on any spare days this summer.