Last night, we took Tom to his first ever cricket match, the Twenty20 fixture between Sussex and Hampshire at the gorgeously beautiful ground at Arundel. It looked like we (Sussex) were going to lose for most of our innings, but a late flurry of boundaries soon put paid to the opposition. Tom clearly is a lucky person to take along – maybe I should take him to a few Seagulls fixtures next season. He took the whole thing in his stride, as he tends to do, although he was a little alarmed by the shouts from the crowd and the loud music as Luke Wright and Yasir Arafat (insert joke about dishdash here) swiped umpteen boundaries in the last three overs to wrap it up.
One thing the BBC report doesn’t mention is the way in which Matt Prior was dismissed. Chris Adams was batting at the other end and was caught from a no-ball. He started to walk but then people in the crowd shouted that it was a no-ball. By this point, the Hampshire players were together celebrating and Matt Prior was still half way down the strip. Everyone looked to the umpire, who confirmed that the batsman was not out, at which point the Hampshire fielders realised that Prior was out of his crease and threw down the stumps. Prior briefly protested to the umpire (he clearly hadn’t realised that it was a no-ball) before walking. Is there a Law on how a no-ball should be called by the umpire? In any case, it was certainly pretty unsporting on the part of the Hampshire players.
We topped the night out with a cup of tea with the bikers at the Hikers café at Whiteways on the way home. Frankly, if ever you think that a bunch of bikers makes you feel threatened, you should go and see the bikers there – mostly middle-aged men (some women too), standing around drinking tea and discussing health issues and the correct daily fluid intake (presumably in the form of tea), as far as I could make out.