Bowman on the Road: Sussex require white ball wake up
One could forgive a loss at stunning Arundel last Sunday afternoon.
That game was played out under beautiful sunny skies and a near party atmosphere.
As fans and players it was difficult not to get seduced by the surroundings. However tonight's loss at HQ against Hampshire might not be so easy to forget.
The plain fact of the matter is that our guys have now produced 30 overs of sloppy fielding. Dropped catches and misfields will not get you out of the group!
The notion of going off to Hove and watching another NatWest T20 Blast match keep me going though a tough day in the office.
This current competition is creating lots of interest. At 5pm my mate John and I were out the door in Queens Road, we both work in insurance broking, marching west towards the 1st Central County Ground.
On entering we immediately noticed two new imposing temporary stands on the north east side. In addition there was lots going on around the place. Including all the trappings of Sky TV. There was real buzz in the air under the bright floodlights, an expectant air of Sussex getting one over the old T20 enemy Hampshire CCC. John and I took our place in said temporary stand as Sussex took to the field.
Three opening dot balls and top opening over from Wiese had the home fans purring. However, batters James Vince (81) and Rilee Rossouw(49) soon got the hang of things as the scoreboard raced along. 100 with out loss after 10 overs will always mean that the side batting second are in for a tough night. If you are not taking wickets then fielders need to give 100% at all times.
Unfortunately no one in a Sharks shirt gave that out there tonight which meant that unnecessary runs leaked away. Eight Sussex extra's compared to two, 5 Hants catches compared to two, two dropped catches compared to one and two or three Sussex miss field leading to boundary's. That's around 20 runs difference. Hopefully you get my drift.
It all added up to yet another huge ask with the bat. Luke Wright (50) continues to impress but in truth we were never in the running. Fair play to David Wiese, a brutal 28, who had us hoping but trying to score 14 an over for half the inns was a challenge to far. In the end the 20th over was played out against a subdued and fast emptying County Ground as Sussex ended up 20 runs short.
After two home losses it would be churlish to focus on the positives of which are a few. However the message from this columnist is that Sussex need a serious wake up call out in the field. If they can find some inspiration and dynamics out there then this will give the batting crew something a lot more comfortable to chase. Perhaps that will come as head coach Mark Davis now contemplates three back to back road trips. We will bring to the 1st of these on Sunday as we take on Gloucestershire at sold out Cheltenham.
And about my £50 each way bet at 18 to one. Its by no way a dead duck just yet however Sussex's odds are on the slid to 33 to one!