Niall O’Brien - Kent frustration did offer a couple of victories to relish

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PE0PLE who have been reading my articles over the last number of weeks would have noticed how much I have been mentioning David Sales and how I felt he was poised to get a big score soon.

I really felt he was getting back to somewhere near his old self.

At Canterbury, on a slow sluggish track, he applied himself expertly for the best part of a day to rack up 140.

In the process he helped us score 418 in our first innings and give us a chance of a victory.

Unfortunately the wicket was so slow that a positive result was always going to be unlikely.

We wanted to go for the win and set up a game so we gave Kent the chance to chase 260 in 60 overs which was very fair.

But Kent didn’t play ball and shut up shop very, very early – much to the disappointment of the crowd and ourselves and to the bemusement of some of my old team-mates down there who could not understand why they didn’t go for it.

So a draw was the result and, having had to give my Heineken Cup final ticket away, I was not best pleased on Saturday evening.

But I was cheered up as my boys Leinster did the business over the Ulstermen to record a second straight Heineken Cup win and a third in four seasons.

The trip to Kent was not all about frustration, though, and I did enjoy a win.

On one of the evenings I had the pleasure of taking down our head coach David Capel at Trivial Pursuit which was very pleasing.

Things were not so good for Kyle Coetzer’s lucky meerkat.

The poor thing gets a lot of abuse and has found himself in some precarious positions this season such as up a flag post and in ice buckets while at Kent he was hung from the ceiling at one point.

Unfortunately I had to pull out at very late notice on Sunday as my thumb was too uncomfortable to bat with.

I felt I couldn’t force the ball away with the kind of power and venom that would be needed for a one-day fixture so David Murphy took my place.

Our spinners and Lee Daggett did a great job to restrict Sussex to 180 on a tricky wicket.

Sussex at one stage were 70 for nought off 10.

It was always going to be a tough chase with Sussex having three spinners in their side.

That included our very own Monty Panesar who entertained the crowd as always when his bat broke in half while batting.

Sales again scored freely and his lbw was the changing point in the game.

From there it was always going to be difficult for our late-order players to score against their attack.

So that meant a second defeat out of three with one washout.

It seems the CB40 campaign is going to be a difficult one to reach the later stages but the Championship and t20 will be hugely competitive for the club and we are very enthusiastic about our chances.

Meanwhile, England and the West Indies have been battling it out in a very good Test match at Lord’s with Shiv Chanderpaul occupying the crease.

The West Indies have surprised a lot of us with how close the game has been which is very pleasing for the neutral.

It should be an excellent summer of international cricket.