Drat, drat and double drat...
With apologies to Dick Dastardly, that's how I feel, like most of you, tonight.
Eight wickets down with an hour to go and I got a text saying "we can't fail to win now". My reply, sadly and prophetically was "Dunno".
Fair play to young Adam London, who produced a very brave and skilful knock with a broken and recently dislocated finger in batting for almost two hours. Having said that, I wish the lad had wimped out and not bothered right now...
Fair play also to Derbyshire and Greg Smith in particular for getting nine out on a previously moribund track. When we finish up 281-2 in the morning it suggests there'll be hard work for the bowlers and I never expected us to come close to a win. Had they finished 270-4 we'd all have been disappointed ight now the closest word is "gutted".
There was a close call on the penultimate ball when there was a big shout for a catch. Shades of the Northamptonshire game. Had those decisions gone the other way, that would have been 24 points in the bag and we'd be putting candles on the promotion cake right now, needing only maximum bonus points against Essex to go up.
Two lost sessions were pretty crucial, methinks.
Chris Rogers did a great job as skipper, ringing the bowling changes and not allowing the batsmen to settle. I'd have been tempted to let Wavell have a couple in the last hour as he's got a golden arm, but maybe he was injured.
As it is we can still do it, but need to beat Essex while Northamptonshire don't beat Leicestershire and Glamorgan don't beat Surrey. We could probably do with maximum bonus points too. That's a lot of things to fall into place, but while there's still hope...
Bound to rain next week and scupper it, of course.
Let's remember one thing tonight though guys. In the County Championship, at least, we've played some terrific cricket this year. We've got to the last game of the year with an interest in promotion and John Morris has unearthed some terrific cricketers this year.
After such a season, progress next year will mean promotion, if we don't manage it next week. With another bowler and especially a spinner added, I'd fancy our chances.