Barmy Kev reports on an excellent day for the Middle with two tons from our openers, which triggers conversations about ice cream on a cold day tarnished by bad light. And edited to add some pictures of our first day as Champions at Lords.
There is an extra spring in my step for my 1st County game of the season for the Champions of England. I've been waiting for this moment with great anticipation. So much so I turn up 2 minutes late! We are batting due to an uncontested toss and there is no bag search for first game. The score on arrival I am relieved we are 1-0 .
Up until lunch few alarms, a run out chance and an edge to non-existent 3rd slip. Reporting is easy. At lunch we are 105-0. Good decision for putting us in Mr 10D.
Robbo' hook that wasn't a century
No pressure after lunch. Robbo on 99. We are enquiringly about Peter the ice cream man as he hooks the ball hard and low, the Pavilion with Specsavers ad in front applaud ecstatically as the ball is well fielded for a dot ball. Next over his ton up off 140 balls excellent knock with superb timing of the ball.
Proof that he did make it soon after
Gubbo not quite as quick but hits two sixes of little Harmer. Not so nervous as previous occasions I have seen him in his 90s. On 99 another chat about Peter the Ice cream man much shorter as Gubbo makes his ton. Looks like we are surviving till tea wicketless. One over before tea Gubbo caught behind a close shave off of bowling of Beard for 101.
After tea it was slightly dark but playable. As umpires talking about light Essex fastest bowler Wagner is bought on by 10 D who certainly wants to get off the pitch. He bowls two short ones and they are off. Complaints were made about tactics and why the hell can't we use our floodlights. At 4.30 would the local residents really suffer? Light seems to be improving but the umpires reading says under radar. The forecasted 60+ degrees did not materialise. I was not willing to sit at around waiting in the cold so left feeling a tad frustrated as play continuing round the country probably under floodlights.
Nevertheless, it was an excellent day for us and just hope we can achieve a result out of this good start.
Well covered Kev.
A batting display of top quality by Robbo and Gubbo (twins?) thoroughly enjoyable day in the 19oC temps forecast...
Was a shame the bad light took hold,we did comment about the lack of use of lights on first day back home.
Make hay tomorrow,pile on the runs for batting points.
A successful return home of the champions today,and pennant flying proudly
The restrictions set by Westminster City Council mean that the light usable days are saved for Test matches and ODI's, something like 14 days they can be used and about 6 times in the evenings.
That's going to fk up City Based T20 if they need them worse than us in the CC on a cold dank day in April.
WCC need to take a long hard look at themselves and realise hat without light there is no cricket and revenue on match days outside the ground will disappear (rather like the light).
I know lots of rich folk live around the ground but to still manage to sway the council to comply with draconian light regulations (which probably wouldn't effect many of them at 3:30pm on a Friday afternoon is just plain daft.
ECB need to bring their influence into this to,why should we be the only county not allowed to use floodlights to bring he light up to a playable standard.
Tend to agree regarding the lights....we need to be able to use them.
Furthermore, I think we should be progressing toward ensuring we can play under lights properly. If that means a different coloured ball then so be it. Too frustrating when play is ceased due to the current rules despite no apparent issue with any of the players' safety.
Further to my frustration , there was a good crowd today. I reckon anyone who is not a regular would really be put off from attending again, after what happened after tea. I don't blame Essex for their tactics given their position , but this was a bad advert for County cricket. There needs to be some kind of rule change where you have to bowl spinners when light reaches a certain level, rather than short change the public.
I do get confused about the light regulations. My understanding was that if the reading is below a certain level the umpires are obliged to take the players off irrespective of who is bowling. I'm not sure whether that level is fixed or simply set in stone for the match the first time the players come off. Once set, the umpires are obliged to take the players off at the same level, again irrespective of situation. An Oval Test against Australia was drawn a couple of years ago for that reason. Just imagine, too, if the sun had not been shining on St Toby's Day last September and the players had come off with Toby on his hat-trick!
I suppose there may be an understanding that if slow bowlers are used the umpires will "forget" to consult their meters.
I would like to see a reversion to the system whereby the umpires could offer the batsmen the option of coming off. When that was the system, the batting side knew that if they decided to stay out they would have to stay out come what may unless the light deteriorated even further. So two well set batsmen could stay out, a wicket might be lost and then more lost as new batsmen struggled to cope with the light. That is an incentive to come off even when going well. I would tweak it so that poor light would be offered afresh if a wicket falls.
Of course the fielding side might object that they cannot see the ball properly, so I would suggest there ought to be a level of really poor light at which both sides would have to agree to stay
Bad light stopped play at a number of locations today, some presumably because they do not have floodlights. Or they haven't paid the leccy bill. So we weren;t the only ones affected.
Hardly going to be a cracking the flagstones type of day in April anywhere in the country yesterday so bad light would have come into play. Been in grounds before where the lights haven't been put on for one reason or another and others where there were no lights anyway. Barring out grounds are any of the major county grounds that are non floodlit now ?
With the advent of T20 many saw the chance of making some coin by putting them up, some are rather old school but many of the newer ones are of a good technical standard and will last for ages thus repaying their initial cost back to the counties when play is not lost and they are required.
Adelaide, you're pretty much right. Once the umpires consider the light bad enough to be affecting play/posing danger they bring them off. At that point a light meter reading is taken and used as the standard for the rest of that match.
As I said last night, I don't think bad light should be a thing with floodlights available now. As Kevin said, a good crowd is denied cricket by negative tactics. The umpires were booed off at Trent Bridge for coming off and on and off again yesterday.
It was noticeable there were a few breaks up and down the country but they were back on again. Perhaps they were trying to find 50p to feed the meter.
While, trying to secure a win is our priority, I understand they were circa 2,500 in the ground denied a session of cricket, which could have been avoided. Had Middlesex been struggling I would have felt the same way.
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