Mother nature, once again, was the winner on day two of Northamptonshire’s County Championship encounter with Essex at the County Ground.
With 46 overs going to waste on the opening day and a further 83 on the second and the contest in such an underdeveloped state, it is difficult to see how, barring some willingness on both sides, anything other than bonus points will be taken away.
It means that negotiation or something out of the ordinary is going to have to occur if this particular game is to produce a positive result for either of the sides.
The County’s stated target on the previous evening was early wickets on day two but when play started on time, rather surprisingly given the abysmal forecast, it was the visitors who quickly seized the initiative.
Both Jack Brooks and Chaminda Vaas looked short of a gallop which, given their lack of recent action could be forgiven, and they were picked off by James Foster who helped himself to an offering of unthreatening short stuff from both ends.
Both Foster’s cut and pull shots got a good airing as he raced from 25 to his half century in 30 balls which was relatively express in pace after the watchfulness of his first day efforts.
At the other end, Ravi Bopara was taking it all in before he took Lee Daggett, who had also failed to hit a consistent length, for three boundaries in an over.
The first was eased through extra cover, the second slashed in front of point and the third was streakily top edged over the slips cordon and although this was the first sign of any lack of composure from the batting duo, it didn’t really hint at any chink in the armour.
Fifty-seven runs from 13 overs was Essex’s return from the first hour but with the light deteriorating according to the umpires, play was halted and their decision looked especially well-judged when the rain arrived a short while later.
And that was that. Two days, 63 overs bowled and a game that hasn’t really gone anywhere.