Middlesex till we die
God Helmighty
By Rod Ed
August 11 2017


Excellent view

Rod Ed travels all the way from Scotland to report for MTWD. He gives a detailed report on the atmosphere or lack of it and the countdown to an extraordinary finish. Thanks Rod     

My two day trip to watch the Middle was blighted, first by our inept performance against Warwickshire meaning no day four, and secondly by a day of torrential rain on Wednesday. Having had a day of rain at Southport I suggest that anyone joining me at Headingley in September should bring a brolly! 

As we arrived a the Nursery End we were beside James Harris and a limping Gubbo. An early indication that Harry was missing out again. During the wam up Stirling was withdrawn and put through some stretching and gentle running. The intensity was such that even Gatt would have passed as fit. 
 
We moved to Warner Upper 40 minutes before start to find most seats reserved like poolside loungers with newspaper rather than Germanic towels. 
 
We found four seats together in time to see Sussex win the toss and elect to field. Pre match conversation was difficult due the incessant blaring music. Once the music stopped and the game started most people continued their loud conversations and ignored the action below. 
 
As opposed to the order listed Simpson opened with Stirling and dispatched the second ball from Wiese for a glorious straight four. Archer from the other end had Simmo playing and missing and not long after Stirlo was dropped by the keeper. Jordan had the fifth over and third ball Simmo was tamely caught at mid on. Eski cut his first ball for four and then reverse swept Briggs for four more. Garton bowled next and was hit for the first six of the night but hardly anyone around us noticed, far too busy chatting and drinking. 
 
Stirlo seemed frustrated by not getting the ball away and holed out at long on for 40. After 10 overs 73 -2.
Morgan now in and just got a six as the fielder juggled on the boundary. He tried it again and was easily caught for 10. Franco soon followed straight down deep mid wicket for 2. These two captains call this "keep coming hard at the bowlers ".I call it brainless batting. 
110-4 off 15.
 
Scott 8 off 11 swung and missed a straight one. Eski now reached his 50 off 38 yet no one noticed. A top score from someone who couldn't get in the team earlier. 132 off 18, Higgins played on and off the last  ball we attempted a bye to the keeper who threw to the bowlers end where no one was backing up. Two runs were stolen, would they be important at the end of the night? ? 147-6.
 
Luke Wright and Chris Nash open for Sussex to face Higgins. First ball four through backward point, another follows so Simmo stands up. Southee from Nursery End first ball four, second ball a bad  drop.Third over is from Finn and the fourth from Helm .Then Southee returned. Finally a bowler got two overs in a row ,  Helm, but van Zyl was scoring at ease . 47 -1 after power play compared to our 46-1.
 
The endless conversations were briefly stopped to sing Sweet Carolone. 
 
Higgo returned, first ball four. Stirlo now on and just conceded four in the over.
 
Finn now , first ball four!  I see a pattern developing and am not sure one over spells are a good idea. Van Zyl now out caught by the enthusiastic Sower off a Stirlo full toss.Required rate 7.1 with current rate 7.7.
I missed the third ball of Finn 's next over as the people in front stood up to get more drink. Next ball he did rearrange Taylor 's stumps.
 
Eventually Sower came on in the 12th, I didn't see the sixth ball as the people in front returned and managed to ignore my sarcastic complaints. Once Sowter has bowled Brown the rates are equal and he has two overs 1-6.Spin to win, where have I read that before !
35 off 5 becomes 24 off 4, and Laurie Evans is needlessly run out.Wasn't he Man United's kit man years ago? 
18 off 3 and Nash hits 4 but is LBW to Sowter. 
10 off 2 with 4 wickets left. Jordan caught  behind  off Southee 
5 needed off Helms final over.
Dot,dot,wicket, dot, 2, dot 
We win by 2 runs. Remember those byes!
The group in front only watched the last five balls all night. 
 
Despite the win I don't think I'll repeat the T20 experience and I dread to think what Franchise CC will be like when no one in the crowd has a team allegance