Or is it day 2, or maybe day 4?
This game has been seriously overshadowed by the off-field activities and the players have done well to keep their eye sufficiently on the ball to stay in the game. If the weather is kinder tomorrow I'd like to think we would declare overnight, they'd thrash a quick 130 and leave us 250 against the clock. They could use the win as much as us and it may be a good finish, but it has been an odd game.
Wavell again batted well without making that elusive "big" score, while young Master Redfern continues to look a wonderful young talent. While I have no doubt that harder times will affect him in the future - they always do, especially when experienced bowlers find weaker areas - I think Daniel will be an England regular in years to come. He is the one out of the current Under 19s who has taken to the first class game immediately and I look forward to his being a regular in the side next summer.
Who else may join him? Its all up in the air just now, but I can't see many southern based players being in there. Southern players rarely want to head "oop north" and the different tracks and way of life are rarely to their liking.
I've racked my brains today to think of southern players who have played for us with distinction. I pretty much ran out of names after Colin Wells, who was a fair player but not the force he was at Sussex. James Graham-Brown came from Kent but not for nothing did they call him Straight up and down...
So I would be surprised if the likes of Ed Joyce and Ed Smith, rumoured to be falling out with Middlesex, were to head up the M1. They are both good players, Joyce especially, but are likely to stay in or around the M25. Anyone we sign will be from the Midlands up, especially apres Rikki.
For me, the nucleus of next year's side would be:
Given that there won't be a better bowler on the market this winter, I'd go for Cork. Say what you like about him, he always tries his best and I think has matured a lot since he was last at Derby. Take a look at that batting - with Cork, a man who has scored centuries, at ten.
In reserve you have Lungley and Needham, Sadler and Telo. Tom New may be worth a punt as reserve keeper and very able batsman, Kevin Dean may get another year.
I think we need another top batsman from somewhere. I know no more than the rest of you who may be available, but assuming that the existing Kolpaks are allowed to stay, I'd spend the Clarke money on HD Ackerman, assuming he is available. Paul Borrington will not be available until he finishes his University studies for the year so another batsman is a must.
A spinner would be useful, but in the absence of any decent options, I'd set the stall out to give Jake Needham opportunities and back him up with Greg Smith, Dan Redfern and Graham Wagg.
You may not agree (especially with Corky) but I think such signings would see further improvement in 2009. As always, I appreciate your comments!