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.
We hit a boundary and then the rain comes. An hour and a half is lost.
I am ecstatic. The good news is that rain looks like it will be a factor all day. Good – I bust out the rain dance like I’m James Brown with shoes on fire.
Brown survives a decent looking lb shout and is then, after lunch, plumb leg before, to Broad.
But it’s a no ball! Broad looks cross. Probably not helped by the scream of laughter emanating from the pavilion steps.
Next ball they go up for a caught behind. Not given. He then edges Broad away for 4. I can hear the big bowler’s teeth gnash from here.
At 235-5 we lose another hour to rain. This is awesome.
Notts take the new ball. Then, guess what? Rain stops play! We lose another half hour. Tea.
It continues sheeting down. Four beautiful hours out of the game might just be our saviour. We troop back out at 17:00 and we need to survive 24 overs.
We don’t – but you knew that already, didn’t you?
Third ball after the rain break Brown, who has been – how shall I say this diplomatically? – shit, but he has eaten up 66 balls with his never settled, scratchy 25. He goes lbw to Abbas, who is eating through us.
Abbas continues tucking in. He gets Head to play a horrid, cross-batted defensive shot and he takes the long walk for 48. 239-7.
Meaker comes to the wicket. I’m not confident.
I am right not to be. His duck takes 10 balls and Broad has him all ends up. 240-8. 157 from the follow on.
Claydon survives a very tasty looking leg before shout. But not for long. Broad soon has his third wicket. We are 246-9 and I think I just saw a very brown rapids up ahead and a paddle going overboard.
Broad castles Beer for 4 and, despite four of our batsmen passing 40, and another passing 20, we have only one half century to our name and we have let ourselves down. This is quite the pattern.
Our hope lies in the rain. We are asked to follow on. We can just bat time, take the sting out the game and be patient.
Again, Wells and Salt seem determined to enrage me. They hit Broad for 14 off his opening over.
I have no idea why they insist on playing this way. But they do, and they wrack up 35 before Wells gets bowled by a very grumpy Broad for 20.
There are three overs left of the day. “Whyyyyyyyyyyy?” I scream as he trudges back.
To finish the over, Salt then smacks Broad for six. This pair bug me.
Last over of the day, Salt hits Abbas for 14 off the last over. We end day three 69-1. We are still 221 behind their first innings but – if we can rustle up some of the discipline and sensible batting we have so far not displayed at all – we might just save this fiasco.