The small crowd had sat all morning, in sunshine, reading newspapers, solving crosswords, chatting. The delay, which was surely avoidable, was caused by damp patches on some used pitches. Gloucestershire, second from bottom, began without their captain, Courtney Walsh, absent with flu. Jack Russell was at Trent Bridge and, in the absence of their two Test players, it was easy to imagine the Bristol public finding an afternoon of television more appealing.
Last season, without Walsh, Gloucestershire finished sixth in the Championship and reached the last eight of both knock-out competitions. This summer, if they lose to Somerset in the NatWest, the season will be over. The batting is to blame: they have three bowlers in the leading averages but only one batsman, and that fleetingly: the mercurial Andrew Symonds. All style, little substance, is how one regular described them.
He had gone home, fed up, before play started. Butcher's length varied sufficiently for Tony Wright to play two lusty pulls before he was forced to play at a peach that left him off the pitch and gave second slip a neat low catch.
Rob Cunliffe seemed mesmerised by Steve Watkin's length and line. Bobby Dawson cut Butcher before being caught behind while Watkin drew Symonds into another slip catch. At the same score, 63, half the side had gone when Tim Hancock misread Butcher.
No Russell but his deputy, Reggie Williams, was as gutsy and he and Mark Alleyne exchanged fire with all Glamorgan's bowlers without being able to break up attacking fields. The pair doubled the score but not long after the captain, looking groggy, had reached the ground, Alleyne fell to Butcher, surprised by the bounce. Martyn Ball mis-timed to mid off and Williams was eighth out for 44 off 109 balls, a lesson in application.Reuse content