May 6, 2012

LV= County Championship, Sunday May 6

5pm: Alan Gardner at Middlesex v Worcestershire

5pm: Alan Gardner at Middlesex v Worcestershire

Was Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell right to gamble in pursuit of victory? He certainly thinks so.

2.40pm: George Dobell at Sussex v West Indies

The floodlights are on and there is a surprisingly large crowd at Hove.

There was one moment, as the West Indies team formed a huddle, when they looked very like penguins trying to keep out of the wind. They embraced the warm-up with varying levels of enthusiasm ranging from the passionately keen - Darren Sammy - to the distinctly underwhelmed - Darren Bravo.

This also represents a decent opportunity for a few Sussex players to impresses. Chris Liddle enjoys a rare chance to play first-class red ball cricket - he fails to hit the seam enough, I’m told, so is seen as a limited-overs specialist - while Amjad Khan will be playing against the side which he faced in his only Test.

2.20pm: Alan Gardner at Middlesex v Worcestershire

As Worcestershire stumble towards a heavy defeat – they’re now eight down – a Belgian interloper to the Lord’s media centre has been asking why Worcestershire agreed to the arrangement described below. He also wondered how the game was sustainable, given the small handful of spectators dotting the white seating areas. The first question was probably easier to answer ...

It turns out our man from Leuven is an adherent of the game, though, and has even been to Lord’s before, to watch Middlesex play Rajasthan Royals in an exhibition game a couple of years ago. He plays in Belgium, for the recently founded Leuven Cricket Club, though admits the lbw law remains a bit of a mystery. Interestingly, he says his favourite form of the game is Test cricket, describing the IPL, which is playing on the screens in the background, as “not my piece of cake” and “a lot of slogging with no finesse”.

So there you have it, the future of Test cricket solved. All we have to do is convert the rest of Belgium and point them in the direction of the ICC.

2.10pm: George Dobell at Sussex v West Indies

West Indies will bat when play finally begins here at 2.45pm. Bearing in mind that they only have XI fit players here, I presume the selection meeting was quite straightforward. Play can continue until 7pm.

I had an interesting chat with Dave Brooks, the Sussex CEO, the Morgan report. Suffice to say, it seems more unlikely by the day that Morgan’s recommendations for the reduction in the championship schedule will be accepted.

1.15pm: George Dobell at Sussex v West Indies

The appetite for play is diminishing by the moment at Hove. The umpires have just inspected and decided that they will hold an inspection at 2pm. It means that, at best, the West Indies will have five-and-a-half days cricket ahead of the Test series. The forecast for later in the week isn’t promising, either.

Those on Twitter may have seen that Sussex’s Luke Wright fears he may have picked up Dengue Fever in India. He has just had some blood tests.

The beer tent - there is a beer festival in Hove at present - is doing much better business than the ice cream van. The steel band looks cold, miserable and, having tired to playing Dreadlock Holiday and other suitably upbeat music, will shortly revert to playing the Johnny Cash version of Hurt.

1pm: Alan Gardner at Middlesex v Worcestershire

At lunch, Worcestershire are not so much staring down the barrel as making a close-range inspection of the trigger mechanism. They are five down with 73 on the board, chasing 283 after an enterprising double declaration overnight that saw Middlesex forfeit their second innings in order that both sides could pursue a result.

Worcestershire’s bravery soon began to look foolhardy, however, as Steven Finn, Tim Murtagh and Gareth Berg kept up a relentless line and length under heavy cloud cover. Murtagh claimed both openers, Michael Klinger lbw to one going back up the slope and Daryll Mitchell edging to second slip, before Berg capitalised on the pressure built up by Finn by dismissing Vikram Solanki in his second over from the Pavilion End.

Toby Roland-Jones had Moeen Ali – like Solanki – caught by Andrew Strauss at first slip in his first over before James Cameron and Matt Pardoe added 35 at a run a ball, to bring a little colour to Worcestershire cheeks. But Berg scalped Pardoe, caught at the wicket, to leave the home side in jolly spirits over their midday repast.

12.25pm: George Dobell at Sussex v West Indies

There is a bit of rain in the air, but the teams are keen to ‘give it a go’ at 1.40pm. The chief executive and groundsman have just taken me out to the pitch to underline the fact that it is very wet. There is a real possibility that, having given it ‘a go’ for 10 minutes, the game will again be abandoned for the day.

Just spoken to the ice cream man. He hasn’t made a single sale yet.

11.20am: George Dobell at Sussex v West Indies

Morning from Hove.

We’re due to start at 1.40pm here. It has rained over night and Dave Brooks, the chief executive at Sussex, has (very politely) taken issue with my suggestion that there could have been play yesterday. It certainly has been wet down here over recent weeks, but there really didn’t seem much of an appetite to get out there. It's just as cold and dark today and, as of yet, none of the trio of absent West Indies players has arrived.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on May 7, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    Oh dear! A second terrible LBW decision by the umpire today!

    Thankfully it shouldn't cost Gloucestershire the game.

  • testli5504537 on May 7, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Now the Irish fella is bowling and we just need the Australian Crook to bowl now!

  • testli5504537 on May 7, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Really enjoying the two South African's and West Indian bowling and the two Kiwi's batting in the Middlesex vs Gloucestershire game.

    Can't beat ENGLISH county cricket!

  • testli5504537 on May 7, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Glad to see England's future is safe with Sussex's pace attack of an Indian , South African and Dane!

  • testli5504537 on May 6, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    A new low. Gloucestershire have lost to Holland.

  • testli5504537 on May 6, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    A new low. Gloucestershire have lost to Holland.

  • testli5504537 on May 6, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    The biggest frustration of the new county championship season for the holders has been the repeated failure of their batting. Now in their first pro-40 match of the season their top order is flaying the Leicestershire bowlers all over Old Trafford. I wonder how Lancashire fans feel about this.

  • testli5504537 on May 6, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    im sorry but i dont think ive seen a worse decison by a captain for a while worcestershire are one of the favourites for relegation how did they think they could chase down such a score its ridiculous embarrasing im absolutely astounded its not brave captaincy but sheer stupidity shameful. they could do with all the points they could get and have just thrown a way a possibility of pickin up a few points in order to chase a fantasy and an almost imposible win key word here 'fantasy' why??

  • testli5504537 on May 6, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    George, if the ice cream man is finding business a bit slow, maybe he can make a few quid by offering to act as 12th man for the West Indies ...

  • testli5504537 on May 6, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Middlesex and Worcestershire's decision to set up a game at Lord's should make for exciting cricket.

    But I would question the judgement of both teams in foregoing valuable bonus points. Middlesex stand a good chance of winning, but I honestly can't see Worcestershire chasing down 283, and they might have been better placed trying to bag a couple of batting bonus points. Particularly with other games also finishing in rain affected draws.

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