The Test match in Sri Lanka this week had the same effect on me as Pompey’s start to their away campaign in League One.
It was great and had the perfect outcome – but it was all a bit too comfortable and scare-free.
I’ve been following the England cricket team for about as long as I’ve been supporting the Blues, and I still can’t quite get my head around either of them winning matches without much fuss.
It just doesn’t seem right.
With England, I’m used to them having decent little runs of form and the odd spectacular victory. But they shouldn’t be going to countries where they’ve not won a series for 18 years and winning a Test with a day to spare without even having to get into top gear.
Since 1981, when I watched my first game, there have not been too many seasons when we were dominant on the road.
The only real exception to that was the wonderful 2002-03 season, when Merse and Toddy led us to glory – though even then, we only won 12 league games on the road, a smidgeon over half the 23 played.
Before that season and since, our away form has veered between poor and average. For every unexpected triumph on someone else’s pitch, there have been plenty of days and evenings to forget.
So you’ll understand why a record of seven wins and two draws in our nine away games so far is making me feel a little dizzy.
I generally follow our away fortunes on the radio or TV and over many years I’ve been used to the wireless relaying news of early Pompey dominance and a goal turning into an equaliser and, usually around 4.38pm, a later home winner. Or worse.
This season (so far) it’s different, but you must forgive me for being slow to get used to it.