Day Two opens with thumping rain. We lose the best part of an hour.
They pay it around, we bowl fairly tightly. I bring Thomason on first change of the day.
Soon, it pays off. Ruairidh Smith chips a dolly back to Thomason for a regulation caught and bowled. Gone for 26. 306-8.
My favourite player to type, Timm van der Gugten, trots out to bat. The little Dutchman is not bad, is he? I tell Thomason and Bopara to try and smash his teeth out.
I sling Will Beer back on and, as I probably ought to have realised, the tailender can’t cope with the spin.
Except, actually, it’s that pain in the proverbial Marchant de Lange who goes. Caught by Evans off Beer for 46. 339-9.
Michael Hogan hits Bopara for a couple of boundaries but eventually Bopara forces van der Gugten into a nudge, which is gathered by Rawlins at first slip. Out for 19.
All out for 349. A challenging total to over take.
Lunch comes and goes, and we slowly – so slowly – begin to build up runs.
Tom Haines, however, is not going to be amongst the run getters. He’s trapped lbw by van der Gugten. Gone for 5. 10-1. Not a decent start.
Stiaan van Zyl trots out to join Laurie Evans. But not for long because, as the weather zooms in, the visibility diminishes and the rain pelts down, he lets the Dutchman clean bowl him with a horror show stroke. Gone for 12. 21-2.
An hour is lost next ball. I’m screaming with fury.
We go back on and manage not to lose a wicket for five whole minutes. Sadly, as we reach 17:30, van Zyl miscues a forward defensive, Labuschagne makes no mistake and van der Gugten has 3 for 20.
Just the 295 runs to get to equal their first innings’ total, then…
Oh yeah, and the rain has made the outfield run like quagmire and we have to take an all run four.
Travis Head was batting well. Then Smith trapped him lbw for 14 out of nowhere. Gone for 14. 60-4.
Bopara goes along like a train, with Delray Rawlins coupled on like a carriage. 23 off 30 balls is brilliant – including some smashed sixes, which raise the temperature of the crowd.
Then the train crashes. Out, caught Cooke, bowled de Lange. 101-5.
At the end of day two, we trail by 224 runs. Rawlins is 30* and Ben Brown is at the wicket with him, 16*