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. Against Leicestershire we have, really for the first, put a performance together. The rise of Sussex looks set.
We are going to need to be at our best now. Glamorgan are coming to town and the they are second in the table.
Their batting doesn’t go as deep as ours, based on this season’s averages, but they don’t really need to. Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne is averaging 83 something I’m sure we can all agree is not too shabby.
We are four games into the season. Phillip Salt, Travis Head, Ravi Bopara and, randomly, David Wiese all average over 50 with the bat. Luke Wells is just a little behind at 41.
With the ball, we are slightly less well off – only Wiese and Bopara are in the 20s, everyone else is around the early 30s.
I spend much more time on selection, training and team shape. Olly Robinson looks miserable and his form is listed as one star.
I’ve actually been impressed with his 133 overs across the four games he’s played, but young 19-year-old Will Sheffield has sky high form and is a left arm quick, which might give us something different. I check the conditions and I think Hove is going to lay on a range of options.
This is a biggie.
Day 1: Glamorgan’s first innings
So, of course, we lose the toss and Glamorgan stick us in the field.
I casually toss the new cherry to Sheffield. “I believe in you,” I say and walk off. “Just enjoy yourself,” I add over my shoulder.
Glamorgan go well before Mitchell Claydon gets Connor Brown for 6. 28-1. This is tricky. It brings Marnus Labuschagne to the wicket.
We either get him early or we are going to have a lot of overs in our legs.
At the other end, Charlie Hemphrey ticks along as we focus all our efforts on the Aussie. When Claydon sneaks a slower ball through the gate to bowl him, I’m staggered to discover that he’s lasted 82 balls for his 57 and Glams are 86-2.
Owen Morgan becomes a victim of the mighty Will Beer for 2, and they’re 97-3 as we approach lunch.
At lunch, it seems to be about honours even. Labuschagne is 32 not out and looking ominous but 103-3 is full of potential for us too.
Just as Labuschagne really starts to look on it, notching his 50 with nonchalance, that man again, William Beer Esquire gets him – plum lbw.
He celebrates sedately. In the changing room, I go mental. 145-4 and we’ve got him for less than his season’s average too.
They begin motoring and we start to see why they are near the top of the table. They get to 232-4 before rain stops play. Tea.
Then rain. And some more rain.
Glamorgan continue racking up runs and we don’t really seem to be doing anything to stem the flow.
We take the new ball. It doesn’t help.
End of day 1