My brother, as he admitted to me last night on the phone from the County Ground, is no Henry Blofeld. However, even allowing for his limited commentary skills, it was fairly obvious that last night’s 40-over game between Gloucestershire and Essex was as excitement-free as they come.
The result was never in doubt from the moment Essex reached sixty-odd for no wicket off 14 overs in reply to Gloucestershire’s paltry total of 184. The next 25 overs were apparently a succession of singles that Gloucestershire seemed happy to concede, and Essex were delighted to take.
My brother despaired at Alex Gidman’s defensive fields. Why, he questioned, would you have no slips in place when the opposition need thirty off 7 overs with seven wickets in hand? I could provide him with no answer.
The weather didn’t help. Even allowing for my brother’s usual exaggeration (‘it’s freezing…no, it’s literally freezing…it must be minus 4’), the low temperatures, and consequent small crowd, contributed to a low-key occasion, devoid of atmosphere. He talked me through the closing balls surrounded only by deathly silence.
Some 40-over games are great, but often they’re rubbish. This was one of the rubbish ones. Of course, if Gloucestershire had been the ones reaching a target with overs and wickets to spare, things would have been very different. What a game that would have been!