A win at Lord’s is very special. After that victory last week against Middlesex, our skipper Ben Brown said we hadn’t won at the Home of Cricket since 2005, so that made it even sweeter.
Conditions had been perfect for bowling on day three, but batting was easier on the final day, especially after two heavy rolls, and the Middlesex batsmen applied themselves well.
In fact, after Browny and Stiaan van Zyl’s centuries to set us up in the first innings, James Harris and John Simpson’s innings were the best of the match.
We had to work very hard to bowl them out as a result, but that made the win even more satisfying.
If you haven’t played higher honours, then Lord’s is the best place to play for a for a county cricketer, so to get ten wickets in the match was very special for me. I asked for a stump. The groundsman said no, but gave me a bail instead!
I’ve lost a bit of weight during my rehab, so I tried to be careful with the famous Lord’s lunches. I stuck to fish for the first three days to keep the calories down. I did have a steak on the last day, though. Ten ounces! And on a bowling day! Seemed to do the job though.
We celebrated the win with a few beers in the dressing room, soaking up the atmosphere at Lord’s, before we headed out into London. It was the 4.32am train back to Hove ... I’m not sure whether is the first or last!
Picture special from Sussex v Gloucs at Arundel
Beer brings cheer
That was followed by three days of proper rest and recovery. Despite bowling something like 50 overs in the match, I actually felt I could bowl again the next day and I didn’t have any soreness, which wouldn’t have been the case last season.
I’ve worked really hard on my fitness during my rehab from the injury, so it was great that the body held up. We’re pretty fit as a team and that contributed to our ability to keep bowling where we needed to bowl on that final day at Lord’s.
Dizzy said after that he didn’t think that was something we would have been able to do last year, so it is satisfying to see everyone’s hard work translating into results.
I paid a visit back to my mum’s in Kent during the time off, and she looked after me nicely with some home cooked meals. It wasn’t all relaxation though.
Back at home we’re renovating our flat with a new bathroom, new kitchen, new everything and there was no way my girlfriend Lauren was going to let me not crack on with some painting. She’s a hard taskmaster!
It’s nice to hear a few people starting to mention my name in terms of England, but I’ve not spoken to anyone from the set-up since a county XI match I played against India A at Headingley last year and I’m not concentrating on it.
First and foremost, I want to help get Sussex into division one and to start challenging for the Championship as opposed to worrying about promotion from division two.
If higher honours follow because of my performances, then great, but for now I’m concentrating on getting wickets and wins for Sussex.
The more I bowl, the more I learn the importance of sticking to a game plan and not panicking if wickets aren’t coming.
Steve Magoffin was a great example for me in the first couple of years of my career. If he wasn’t getting wickets, he’d just bowl as straight as possible, give away as few runs as possible and then throughout the day he’d pick up wickets here and at the end of the day he’d have four for 60 from 20 overs.
I try to be the bowler that does that now, and then if that helps someone like CJ with a bit of extra pace shoot a few out, then we’re doing our job bowling as a unit.