So… this is not… this is not going that well.
We are mired in T20 disaster and, although we have now strung two decent performances together in a row, this has netted us… zero (count em) points.
Now we have Essex away. And Stiaan van Zyl has fractured himself and is out for four weeks. Perfect.
Oh and Jofra Archer? The one who has spearheaded us not being dire? Yeah, he’s been picked by England so is unavailable. Double perfect.
I walk along Hove’s seafront and consider going for a long walk off a short pier.
Travis Head is back, which seems a small boost. I swap him for Archer and decide we’re going to rely on Ravi Bopara’s bowling, which I feel I’ve under-utilised till now.
Rashid Khan comes in place of Olly Robinson, because the big man bowled like a drain last time.
It goes without saying we lose the toss and are injected into the field.
We lose an hour to rain. I sit on the steps and watch it dripping down. I’m not a fan of Essex. The match is reduced to 18 overs-a-side.
I open with David Wiese. We tailor the bowling plans for Varun Chopra and Daniel Lawrence. Chopra takes us for 10 runs, but has two ropey shots he could easily have been dismissed for.
Mitchell Claydon takes the pill from the other end and Chopra soon spoons one to Wiese at mid off. He’s gone for 11 and they’re 17-1.
One DIY enthusiast and Australian import Mister Steven Smith danders to the wicket.
It’s fairly dull cricket. I bring on Ravi. That livens things up.
They plaster him all over the wicket. They savage him for 25 runs off his over. Smith has raced to 34 off 11 balls and they’re now 67-1.
Chris Jordan comes on. Smith picks up where he left off by smearing him for four first ball. But, second delivery, Smith is caught in the gully by Salt. 71-2.
Ravi manages to ‘only’ go for four runs in his next over and then Jordan continues. He beats Lawrence for pace and they’re now 78-3.
Next, Tom Westley gets himself all tangled up and Jordan has 2 for 1 this over. 79-4.
After Bopara’s appalling opening over, he actually bowled ok and now he gets Adam Wheater for 1, leg before wicket. 79-5.
Essex have lost 4 for 8 at this point. I’m sat on the dressing room armchair chuckling.
Luke Wright has an inocuous over before we bring back Claydon. He gets Aaron Beard, who has made 34 from 27. 160-6.
Claydon and Wiese then proceed to rip through the tail. We end up getting shot of them for 177 all out and, Wiese will begin the next game on a hat trick.
Rain stops play. We lose the best part of an hour. The match is reduced to 8 overs. Duckworth and Lewis decide that we need to chase 92.
We start well and plunder 13 off the first over.
And then Phillip Salt does what he does best. He chips one to Adam Zampa off the bowling of Jamie Porter. We are 13-1.
Laurie Evans decides that anything Salty can do, he can do better. Porter takes his second of the over. This time it’s Wheater who takes the catch. 18-2.
Luke Wright takes a wander to the wicket. He’s soon wandering back again. 18-3
Delray Rawlins and Bopara decide to mount the fight back. They cut and parry, plunder runs and even, occasionally, play some cricket shots.
Bopara eventually goes to Sam Cook for 26 off 19 balls, and 57-4 looks a lot more respectable.
But it is not respectable enough. We lose this one by 34 runs.
At least we’re consistent.