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Re: 'The Nearly Men' Lord's Final
Posted by: sfwithers
Date: 26/05/2019 12:24
Well, that was a fantastic team effort. There has been some criticism on this board at times about Somerset not always performing as a team - not this time. I'm not sure whether Somerset would have batted it they'd won the toss - I think they back themselves chasing. Either way, they clearly had a plan, and rarely have I seen a team stick to the battleplan so diligently.

The Sky commentators somewhat grudgingly finally had to admit that Somerset were better in all departments – and convincingly so, batting, bowling and fielding. Davey never looks that threatening, but could have been close to man of the match for his opening spell, which set the tone beautifully, especially as he clearly had a bit of a niggle. But the bowlers kept a beautiful line and length, they never got after van der Merwe who looked more of a threat than the much-vaunted Crane. The fielding was first rate; I had a very bad feeling when Hildreth dropped that catch in the slips, but I needn't have worried.

I also thought the commentators overly bigged up the effects of Hants final three overs. Yes, it was a good finish for them, but Somerset would have take a score of 244 every day of the week. With a team that bats down to 10 and on what most people agreed was a wicket 'full of runs', that looked massively below par. And so the first few overs proved.

Maybe if Fidel had bowled from the other end, who knows. It's all very well bowling at 92mph, but if it's a leg-side half-volley a player like Banton (just how good is he!?) is going to hit them all day long, and that 4-6-4 made Hampshire's innings look inadequate. Somerset were able to win at a counter with only one six on the scorecard.

Great captaincy from Abell, and if he'd got a score he could also have been a contender for MOTM. As for Hildreth's batting... he scored at more than a run a ball while never looking like he was hurrying, partly the result of the lack of 'scoreboard pressure', partly the fact he's such a quality batsman.

If Somerset were to go on and win the CC (I'm not counting chickens here) with a young team featuring a lot of home-grown talent, it would make even more of a mockery of the ECB's treatment of them. Frankly, the ECB can stick the Hundred up their a**e.

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