The challenge is to get Sussex promoted after five seasons languishing in the second tier. There was money to play with but my acquisitions have plunged us into the red. We have squeaked a victory from the jaws of defeat, despite accidentally sending Glamorgan top in the process.
It actually starts ok. Van Zyl is tippy tapping away and Salt is batting fluidly. Of course, Abbas bowls him for 46. 100-2.
Head comes to the wicket and, by lunch, we are 158-2, Head on 43, van Zyl on 46.
Head gets his 50, moves to 52 and… you know this already don’t you? Broad traps him lbw. The Sussex disease appears to be getting started and then packing up and going home. However, 131 balls is handy at this stage.
I watch Mr George ‘I-need-a-score-here-or-I’m-a-born-in-Oxford-Scotsman-who-is-never-playing-again’ Munsey wander out to the wicket.
I’m sort of not really concentrating and, suddenly, Munsey has passed his high score and is on 32 from 55 balls.
“Yes, big man!” I shout. Fletcher bowls him next ball. 223-4 and still 67 behind their first innings.
On the bright side, he may have saved his job.
Ravi lasts four balls and spoons one off Fletcher, which is caught well by that thorn in my butt, Duckett. 223-5
At tea, we are 256-5 and 34 behind Notts. This is still a saveable game. Just. Probably. Maybe. If it rains.
We have 2hrs and 11 minutes left to survive when Notts take the new ball. Van Zyl edges us ahead of them with a well taken boundary. We lead by 4 and they will have to bat again, which will use up more lovely time.
Next ball, Brown brings his 50 up with a four off Abbas. 50 from 60 balls because NOBODY LISTENS TO ME.
As we bring up the 300, Abbas finally gets van Zyl. He is toppled for 86 from 250 balls, which could be crucial. 300-6.
We enter the final hour of play with Brown 70 not out and Wiese supporting well. At 346-6 we have a lead of 56 runs and the game is really finely balanced.
Brown scores an unconscionable amount of thick edges for four and is then dropped. Lucky, lucky, boy.
At 18:05 our lead is 75 and we are 365-6. We have saved the game – unless something disastrous happens. Which you wouldn’t rule out, of course.
Wiese continues to play paddles for boundaries down to third man and Notts refuse to point one in. Insane captaincy.
Wiese is finally bowled for 45 in the penultimate over of the day. It has been a beautiful innings.
Meaker survives an lb shout, which was optimistic, and Brown is left stranded on 93*.
We draw, 389-7.
Van Zyl is given man of the match (why?) and we take 9 points. Notts not only stay above us by taking 13 but, with a game in hand, leap to second.
We are now equal with Leicestershire in fifth and two points behind Middlesex.
But we haven’t lost and we can thank van Zyl, Brown and the weather gods.