After Armageddon style rain a day at the County Ground was on the cards. The day dawned early for me as I did my Mum’s taxi duties, and the weather was promising, it improved as game time got closer.
Having been 38 for 3 against Durham, Alastair Cook and Josh Rymell had a much better start, with some classic ‘Cook shots’. 2 young bowlers started from the Hayes close end for Sussex, but it was the experienced David Wiese who did for Cook, sending his stumps flying. He was out for 29 and Essex were 45 for 1
Tom Westley’s stay was short and sweet, he was caught by Will Beer from the bowling of 17 year old Dan Ibrahim. Essex were 50 for 2.
That wicket brought Feroze Khushi to the wicket, he’d scored 109 against Durham, a talented batter I was hoping for more of the same.
The youth of Sussex kept on coming, with 17 year olds James Coles and Archie Lenham working in tandem. They restricted the run rate well, until Rymell hit a huge 6 in the direction of the scoreboard. The positively ancient Will Beer took over from Coles. Rymell reached his 50 from 70 balls as Essex moved to 119 for 2. Khushi brought Essex’s 150 up with a 6 that sailed over Wiese’s head, that was also the 100 partnership in 103 balls.
Ibrahim return to the attack and trapped Rymell LBW for 78 from 96 balls. Essex were 165 for 3 after 32.2 overs. Khushi moved to his 50 from 69 balls in the same over. Khushi brought the 200 up with a string of 4’s from the bowling of Ibrahim. That over brought Beer back into the attack, it had looked like a change of pace, with Wiese removing his hat but he stayed in the field.
Wiese did however come on at the Hayes Close end in the next over. That did the trick for Sussex as Walter swiped at a ball to be caught by Lenham. Essex 219 for 4 after 38.5 overs.
Ryan ten Doeschate was walking back to the pavilion after facing just 2 balls as he was caught by Brown from the bowling of Beer for 2. Essex were 222 for 5.
Khushi was following him back to the pavilion, or the tent, 2 balls later, he was caught by Tom Haines from tte bowling of Beer, he scored 77 from 87 balls. Essex were 223 for 6, with Adam Wheater and Simon Harmer at the crease.
The pair put on 24 before Harmer was trapped LBW by Coles, Harmer stood at the wicket for a beat, clearly unhappy with the decision, but, out he was. Essex were 247 for 7.
Aron Nijar brought the 250 up with a lovely 4. Essex fans aren’t the best at appreciating the good things the opposition do, but they certainly made a noise when Nijar was dropped.
Nijar and Wheater put on 50 and brought the 300 up in just 26 balls, a huge 6 from Wheater saw both landmarks reached in the 49th over. Wheater brought his own 50 up with another 6 in only 28 balls, but was caught by Coles on the next ball, a wicket for Sarro. Essex had moved to 307 for 8. A very useful 28 from 16 balls for Nijar helped Essex to 321 for 8 from their 50 overs.
Sussex had a lucky break early in their innings when Westley dropped what looked like an easy catch, it is of course easy to make that judgement when watching. There was no luck involved the second time for Ali Orr, he was bowled by Jack Plom for 10 and Sussex were 22 for 1 after 5 overs. Captain Tom Haines was caught by Cook facing his 3rd ball, another wicket for Plom, and Sussex were 35 for 1 after 6.2 overs. Travis Head was next in. Plom was bowling with some aplomb as one of our neighbours quipped (Bob)!
That aplomb didn’t last, so, on came the spinners. Nijar struck in his first over, having Brown caught by Harmer for 26. Sussex were 66 for 3 in the 11th over. A wicket maiden for Nijar. Travis Head hit an entertaining 38 before going down to a ball from Harmer, the ball was missed, the wickets weren’t! Sussex were 92 for 4 after 17.3 overs.
I’ve watched David Wiese play many times but never noticed his stance at the crease before, it is, unusual, perhaps a way to compensate for his height? Weird, but effective. Ryan ten Doeschate came on to bowl, as Bob, the highly amusing man sitting in front of us said, he often comes on, bowls a long hop and takes a wicket. And so, he did, the important wicket of Wiese caught by Allison for 36. Sussex were 144 for 5 after 24 overs.
Get Carter, and we did! Bob’s words, Carter was caught by Khushi for 19 from the bowling of Harmer. Sussex were 172 for 6 after 30 overs. Coles who batted well for his 32 edged a ten Doeschate ball to Wheater and Sussex were 173 for 7 after 30.4 overs.
Jack Plom came back on to bowl and was soon in the wickets, having Ibrahim caught by Wheater for 7. Sussex were 186 for 8 after 36.5 overs. A super catch from Harmer gave ten Doeschate his 3rd wicket ( I was too busy watching it to get the photo), it looked like a ball going to the boundary, but he shot his right hand out and Beer was out for 23. Sussex were 208 for 9.
Archie Lenham put up some resistance but he holed out to a ten Doeschate ball, caught by Westley for 16. Ten Doeschate took 4 for 34 in his 9.2 overs and Sussex were bowled out for 224. This was a match well won by Essex, but it was great to see so many young cricketers plying their trade and doing well. It was also great to be amongst fellow fans who interacted and had us laughing all through the second innings. One of the best things about being at the game is the interaction with fellow fans.