Essex finally win a Twenty20 competition

Essex look almost certain to win the Pro40 this year, and as they cruised to victory in the Twenty20 Floodlit Cup yesterday, it was easy to see why. Derbyshire did well to contain the Eagles to a total below 200 after Irani and Pettini made 60 in just under six overs. However, the game dawdled to an end when Phantoms wickets fell to insufficient cost to challenge their target.

Whilst the result was predictable, I had forgotten how much I liked visiting Derbyshire. The former Race Course Ground is some 11,000 seats light of my usual haunt, and its team are often viewed as the minnows of county cricket, but the friendliness found from fan to steward to player gives the place a strong community feel. A Test ground might have a superior square, year of tradition or impressive facilities. But you can’t tell me there is anything purer than watching a game from a chair you’ve had to pull from a stack and place at the boundary yourself.