So, the visitors are still batting. 77 is still 122 behind our first innings, but they’ve got 9 wickets in the hutch whereas we folded like an advanced origami class.
We spend a lot of time on our bowling plans. It takes 12 minutes before Libby miscues to Garton and van Zyl takes a great catch at short leg. Gone for 54. 86-2.
Rikki Wessels comes in and just runs through us. When we get him, he’s hit 62 off 93 balls and moved them to 207-3, a lead of 8. Wiese ripping his poles out was the only thing that brightened my day.
Oh joy, Moeen Ali is next at bat.
At lunch they’ve gone to 223-3. That’s all I have to say about that.
Fell gets his century (101 off 151) and that moves them to 267-3.
Ali has also galloped to 29 off 33 as well. We’re in trouble here. Again.
I keep tinkering with the field settings. It sort of works and then it sort of doesn’t.
Then it sort of works again. Fell falls for 112 when Claydon decimates his stumps. “Up ye!” as they say in Scotland.
By tea, we’re in the mire. They lead by 170 and are in a commanding position of 369-4.
There are two hours left of the day’s play and they are battering us. Ross Whiteley has scored 52 off 74 balls, and we are so far under the pump you could repurpose us as a well. 386-4.
This pitch is a road. A road that is leading us to, gulp, another season in Division Two.
Eventually, in despair, I sling on Travis Head. He’s bowled well in the one days, it’s 16:30 and they have scored over 400. What could go wrong?
Whitely slaps him for six in his first over. And his second. But our Aussie has the last laugh when he draws him forward, he misses and Brown swoops to stump. Gone! 64 off 85. 418-5.
Ben Cox comes in and just goes postal. He is eventually stumped off Will Beer by Brown for 45. Off 27. I’ll say that again: 27 balls.
I hate him. 484-6.
There’s an hour left of play. They’re going to declare and give us a tricky little 10 overs or so to negotiate aren’t they?
Simi Singh lasts four balls before Wiese has him caught in the deep by Beer. 489-7.
At 503-7 they declare. Ali carries his bat for 122 off 141 balls. They lead by 304 runs. It is only day two. We can only lose this.
Sussex’s Second Innings:
They have quite the total to bowl to. We have only to bat time. Nothing else matters.
The only way to save this game is for basically the entire top to patiently and, with anal retention like Boycott on a bad day, bat it out.
So imagine my delights when, with 29 minutes left of the day, Phillip Salt is dismissed lbw for 17 by Joe Leach. 21-1.
I’m not proud of my response. I’m sure his mother is lovely really.
This pales before the way I describe Luke Wells when he manages to let Leach trap him lbw as well. 36-2.
Things can only get better.
Stiaan van Zyl gets bowled – BOWLED – by Patrick Brown for 5. 47-3.
I can live with the season we’ve had in this competition. But I hate that we are sliding out of the promotion race so limply.
At least we have Ravi Bopara strolling to the wicket. He can stabilise our attac-
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Gone. 3 balls. Caught Wessels, bowled Brown. 54-4. Humiliating.
We limp to the end of the day. It’s pathetic, insipid, embarrassing. 69-4. They lead by 235.