Bowman on the Road: Downbeat end to action-packed day

The Lord's scoreboard tells a sorry Sussex story / Picture by Colin BowmanThe Lord's scoreboard tells a sorry Sussex story / Picture by Colin Bowman
The Lord's scoreboard tells a sorry Sussex story / Picture by Colin Bowman
Thursday was a cracking day out for yours truly, combining the splendour of Brighton Racecourse and the spectacular home of cricket, Lord's. However the trip home from London proved to be a sombre one.

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend the Brighton Ladies' Day at their three day festival. It was an opportunity not to be missed. It wasn't until earlier this week it became apparent the day clashed with Sussex Sharks visiting Middlesex in the Nat West T20 Blast. After a hard look at logistics, it seemed both events could be done.

So with racecard in hand we bussed up to Race Hill and took our place in the grandstand on a sun-kissed afternoon. As usual the course looked breath-taking with the Downs running to the north and the English Channel glistening to the south. After four races excuses were made and long haul to London began around 3.30pm.

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Train to Victoria, tube to St John's Wood and then a 10-minute walk to the East Gate. It was there my friend Bryan was waiting with Edrich Upper tickets at £20 a pop. Pretty good value to be honest.

Skipper Ross Taylor led his team out with the ball in hand. Indeed we got off to a great start as the hosts had trouble in making boundaries. We took four good catches, the pick, a wondrous effort from David Weise, who nearly collided with Chris Nash in the process. Ground fielding was neat and accurate.

The pick of the bowlers was Chris Jordan who took 2 for 29 followed by George Garton 1 for 26. At half-time Sharks fans would have been very optimistic having to chase 148 for a famous victory.

Nash is having a great time right now, and his 52-ball 69 could and probably should have set Sussex up for an easy win. With Stiaan van Zyl scoring a steady 34 we looked to be on easy street. The runs just keep coming at the required rate of one a ball.

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Then 18 were needed off 18,12 off 12, and then five off the last over. But then all hell seemed to break out as Jofra Archer and Weise seemed to want to get the job done in one almighty head up heave across the line. We needed three off the last ball and it was the hosts who got up on the rails in the final stride. We lost by two runs.

It is two points dropped but this columnist still hasn't given up on quarter-final qualification and I suspect head coach Mark Davis hasn't either. We will all need to rally again tonight (Friday 11) as Gloucestershire rock up to the 1st Central County Ground, Hove. Win that and we will be back in the quarter-final hunt as we go to The Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Sharks are still very much alive in the Nat West T20 Blast.

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