David Hopps at Somerset 209 v Essex
They began queueing before 1000 outside the gates at Taunton, men and women of a certain age. Therre were no sharp-suited marketing types among them. Just county fans looking forward to the start of a new season, clutching sticks, or haversacks or rolled up newspapers, eager to lay claim to their favourite seats as another Somerset season began.
Somerset, the county where passion for county cricket is as strong as anywhere in the country, but the county which is not expected - certainly not in the first season at any rate - to host any matches in the new tournament. Cardiff and Bristol will lay claim to the regional side in the west.
Perhaps they deserved better. Instead a Somerset side which was denied the Championship only on the final day of last season, succumbed tamely against a promoted Essex side for 207. Most of them seemed to come against New Zealand left-armer Neil Wagner, whose inclination is to attack and who went at four an over. The pitch will turn increasingly and Ashar Zaidi, a rarely-used slow left-armer in the Championship, returned 3-18, only missing out on a career-best because of a late drop at slip.
Elgar was pugnaicious, Hildreth briefly flowered and Trego responsible, but 209 feels a hundred short.