Sussex 30 for 1 v Glamorgan 101 (Garton 4-16) – No Result
T20 cricket is, like much about our Article 50 awaiting country, living in interesting times. The counties who launched the brave new world of Twenty20 cricket nearly a decade and a half ago now find themselves on the wrong side of modern. The media and ECB (sometimes you can tell them apart) eye the city-based franchise world of the IPL and Big Bash, and decide they want some of that. They will have found much in Hove to support their world view, as perversely because that is cricket, would those who believe the past is the foundation for the future and that the 18 counties of varying size and debt should continue to be the spine of cricket here.
We got less than 18 official overs although many more balls were bowled but, surely, nobody could feel shortchanged as the play we did see was as compelling as it was bizarre. George Garton took an amazing 4/16 as Glamorgan were bowled out inside their allotted 14 overs (the match start being delayed by 80 frustrating minutes) for 101. 26 of those were extras as Sussex took wickets regularly and spectacularly but also coughed up wides and no-balls for fun. Tymal Mills being particularly guilty – but then he also took two wickets at critical moments. In reply, Sussex reached 30/1 off 4.1 overs – technically behind the run rate, about level with Duckworth Lewis – but,despite valiant efforts from the ground staff as the drizzle became rain then stopped then started then stopped then half started then, the game fell five agonising balls from becoming official. No result.
Rain will fall on city-based franchises of course. This is England (and Wales). Cricket being cricket, umpires will continue to communicate in huddled whispers with only occasional nods to the crowd. We only knew this game had been called off because the players began shaking hands on the balcony. But, maybe, at the football grounds the ECB is dreaming of there will be magic ways of restarting quickly and, rather like Corbynites believe in untapped reservoirs of eager non voters, there will be tens of thousands not single digits of thousands cheering the groundsmen as they sweep the outfield with their tractors. Who knows?
What we do know is that tonight two teams gave their all for a match that, ultimately, couldn’t even do them the courtesy of generating a result. That’s cricket. Long may it continue.