Alan Gardner at Essex 42-2 v Lancashire 319
Hello from the ECG press box, where I have just been comprehensively beaten by Scyld Berry - doyen correspondent of the Telegraph - in my introduction to reflex ball. Given that there is a picture of Scyld in the 2017 edition of Wisden by my side, photographed on a 1986 tour of the West Indies, my 3-0 defeat does not reflect too well on the benefits of youth. Although Scyld has kindly said that the fixture didn't have first-class status, so I will have time to improve my statistics.
On the pitch, James Anderson is whirring in with rather more athleticism to curve the ball away from Essex's two right-handers. Varun Chopra and Tom Westley are two batsmen who know what it is like to be talked about as England prospects, but they both remain uncapped. Chopra is only a year or so older than Westley, though most have concluded his time has passed; the latter has a chance to nudge the selectors with Division One runs this year. For both, the season starts here - and you'd fancy their partnership might be key to Essex's chances of getting up towards Lancashire's 319, which was a few more than they looked like getting yesterday afternoon.
The Saturday crowd is slightly sparser but still a decent number in. If the sun shines throughout, maybe my reflexes will warm up, too...