Cornwall and Devon see victory hopes hindered by bad weather
The all too familiar line "play abandoned for the day without a ball bowled" emerged from Herefordshire yesterday, as Cornwall's Minor Counties Championship weather frustrations continued.
This is the 11th successive season that a complete championship day has been lost to the weather by the Duchy. It amounts to 24 days lost, and it is effectively 25 if you add the four overs played at Pontarddulais in 2009.
The weather front that gave the home counties a deluge reached Eastnor by yesterday morning to prevent play starting on time. The umpires ordered lunch at 12.30pm, and did not take long afterwards to call off the day's play.
With a clearance not expected until mid-evening, it was a wise decision. A little extra time can be made up this morning, with the start of play brought forward to 10.30am.
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That will be dependent on the state of the ground, which was already recovering from the effects of heavy rain.
Cornish skipper Tom Sharp will be keen to get in as much play as possible with Cornwall in a reasonable position to force a win if, time allows.
On Sunday, 23 wickets fell, with Cornwall ending the day on 80 for three in their second innings, a lead of 97 runs.
Devon and Wales will try to play a single-innings game at Exmouth today after losing a second day to bad weather.
Groundstaff at Exmouth did everything they could to get play on yesterday – even cutting a replacement wicket to replace the water-damaged original.
Wales were not too happy about bowling on a used strip, particularly as there were damaged bowlers' footmarks to negotiate.
A lunchtime inspection was inconclusive – umpires and captains could not agree on the fitness of the ground – not that it mattered once the rain started again.
Shortly before half past four. the decision was made to call it a day and have one last go today.
Minor Counties Championship regulations permit a one-day declaration game in order to try to get a result.
The side batting first is allowed 60 per cent of the overs available, a figure which cannot be calculated until a definite start time is known.
There are no bonus points to play for, but the winners can claim 16 points if a result can be forced.