And so to Arundel. And a bloody big queue. The old ‘followed the crowd and I ended up in Tesco’ joke might have had to be deployed because the obstruction in the picturesque town was not because of a traffic blocking level of interest in the final day of the Kia Super League but because the August Festival meant the roads were shut. Thus, after some swearing, I made it to the cricket ground with the match already four overs old. Still, mustn’t grumble.
There was a fair crowd here though and what they saw was a match that felt close at times but in which, throughout, the hosts always seemed to have the edge. Hayley Matthews and Mignon du Preez were responsible for 90 of the Vipers’ 138 runs. The next top scorer was Extras. Still, it felt like a more than suitable total and so it proved. The Diamonds lost wickets fairly regularly and when Katherine Brunt was unluckily run out on 42 that was that. There were some decent shots and plenty of potential but the Vipers, in their wide awake tangerine, were altogether sharper.
This is the final match of the group stage. It is something of a farce that the regular season lasts a mere five games. These groups come together for such a short time it must be very hard to gel. There was a more than decent turnout today which must surely be a good argument, along with playing standards and the need for more competitive fixtures, to at least make it a home and away 10 game season and then have four on finals day. The ECB could revisit their pledge to incorporate a fifty over element alongside the T20 as well.
But enough griping. The sun shone brightly and the cricket was good. Even though Yorkshire lost, I left in good spirits. I even managed not to swear at anyone as I fought my way through the festival traffic and back to the pleasures of the A27 in August.