Apparently it’s been slatting it down all day in the South-East. Bad news for Surrey, who are pushing to become second division ‘champions’ in one of the few matters left unresolved this domestic season.
We use inverted commas around ‘champions’ in much the same way as if we were saying ‘most insightful’ football phone-in. It seems an entirely inappropriate word to use in reference to the second division of the County Championship.
Surrey are of course vying for ‘supremacy’ with Lancashire, who would have stolen a march on them had they not themselves been playing in Essex. We say playing; we mean lounging around indoors mournfully pawing at the rivulets of water running down the windows.
The other issue still outstanding is whether Hampshire will definitely get relegated from division one or not. They almost certainly will, but it’s not yet definite. Needing to win convincingly with either Sussex or Somerset losing while also gaining very few bonus points, they haven’t got off to a particularly good start. The Hampshire batsmen in particular have disappointed, being caught behind off every single ball they’ve faced.
Thus far that’s one ball, but a collective golden duck is still very much on the cards. Should this happen – as it almost certainly will – they will surely struggle to overhaul the 340-run first innings deficit. Our money’s on Hampshire relegation and Surrey ‘winning’ the second division after a pair of near-washouts.