v Hampshire 50
By Grockle et al
May 10 2017
Sorry Jim. I may put the kibosh on the winning run by turning up too early though I won't get there until 1pm. Absolutely beautiful day here in Taunton
v Hampshire @ Taunton 10 May 2017
40 overs gone by the time I get to the ground and we have too few at 218 for 8. They were 205 for 5 when I got here with Elgar and RvdM in but a crazy run out stopped that when Dean called Roelof through, he came then turned (no idea why), put Dean off and had him scrabbling to get back while the Dutchman was left in mid pitch on a pretty easy single. In came Craig Overton but he was caught behind wafting at spin quite quickly and then Josh just dollied one up to mid on trotting in and here we are.
Elgar is once more bossing the show (and he isn't here for the Gloucestershire away game and next home one) the rest. But he is out now trying to run it down and snicking behind off Dawson for 78. Last two in and 9 overs to go for Jamie and Tim. Oh dear.
Having said that, our tail is never backwards at coming forward and Jamie and after hitting a huge 6 to the temporary stand on the Caddick side he then puts Dawson between the Trescothick and the Somerset halfway through the next over.....anything over 250 would be better than anything under one has to say as the 43rd comes to and end at 242/9.
Fidel changes ends to the River and Jamie can't keep himself from having a hack and is done playing on at 249 for 28. Not bad from 2 for 1 but not good enough for this game I am afraid.
Rossouw and Alsop open for Hampshire and the South African sets his stall out early after a couple of sighter overs. Max Waller is not playing to day and our seamer attack is soon being dispatched to all parts. Although Alsop skies oneand goes cheaply, it doesn't stop Rossouw who scores his 50 off 31 balls before Vince has got off the mark. 44 runs off 11 balls shows how he has taken the seam apart and the rate does not slow down until RvdM is brought on after they clear the first 10 overs at about 8.5.
The 100 arrives before 15 overs have been bowled and Rossouw moves into the 90s as we move towards the end of the 16th. His 100 is pretty inevitablebut Vince keeps him below three figures until after the 20th over which they reach at 133 for 1 Vince on 35 and Rossouw on 98.
The hundred comes, the 150 comes, Vince goes in the 30's but the Hampshire train trundles on wiith Bailey joining Rossouw and no bowler except Tim has the ability or the variation to change the result. Jim Allenby might have made some impact but once again he seems reluctant to put himself in front of the batsmen with a ball in his hand and as a result RvdM and Groenewald are just not enough to hold batsmen on a bare wicket. Trego comes on for the 28th with Hampshir on 178 - one wonders what he is expected to do in this situation but he may change the concentration and get a consolation wicket or two. He goes for 4 off his first - when you compare that with Jamie O's 4 overs 1 maiden 1 for 52 you can see how outclassed we are in this game. Maybe it is time for those giving out the orders to work out that telling him to bowl fast and short isn't the way to use him effectivcely in this format.
At the end of the 29th Hampshire need 51 and no one thinks they will struggle to get them. The batsmen seem to want to get away as quickly possible as Rossouw passes his career best one day score at 138 and seems to have no intention of stopping as the next ball goes to the boundary as well.
AAs we move towards the close, Rossouw passes 150 and Bailey dollies a catch to midwicket and then Dawson skies a top edge and it is 4 down with less than 40 to go. Ervine is not daft enough to throw the game away with nearly 20 overs to play and the two men at the crease look to accumulate to victory needing about 3 an over.
Ervine gets one that rises to him from Jamie and he goes as Overton gets his third (makes it look much better than it was I am afraid) at 225 for 5.pqs: qs:
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:14:16:35:10 by Grockle.
Nevertheless a wonderful knock by Rousow and Elgar and Hose seemed fine and Ryan behind the stumps was as good as his namesake.
I considered there to be a couple of risky team selections.
Steve Davies is a fine batsman / wicketkeeper who, as everyone knows, has had a very disappointing time with the bat so far with us. Eventually his ability and class will shine through, and it could have been yesterday but that we will never know. To my mind, it would have been worthwhile to have given him another game yesterday.
Ryan Davies is our only other ‘keeper on the books, so if Davies Senior is out of the team, it follows that he would be replaced by Davies Junior. He may have scored a few runs in the Seconds this season, but what does that tell us about his ability to open in an important one - day game? His 2 ball innings was an abject failure, and if you were going to play him at all, he should have been much further down the order.
Allenby and Hildreth in the top 5 both failed and were the victims of very poor shots. Trego, Hose and Elgar played well and sensibly, but once again the first two mentioned fell to injudicious shots just when the innings should have gathered momentum. And then there was the comical run out of Van der Merwe – real schoolboy stuff!
250 was never going to be a challenging target on that pitch, and so it proved. What can one say about our bowling? If any coach or D o C says – “We can take a lot of positives out of this”, then they should be summarily dismissed.
We have striven to find a reliable strike bowler for several years, and there is nobody on our staff who can fill that role.
Jamie Overton, another whom I considered to be a risky selection, and Davey both proceeded (as has already been mentioned on here) to bowl short-pitched tripe. After his first 3 overs, Jamie’s figures were 3 – 0 – 40 – 0 and Josh’s final figures were 4 – 0 - 40 – 0.
It has been suggested that they have been instructed to bowl in that way, which beggars the competence of those who gave those orders. But even so, don’t the bowlers themselves have anything between their ears? If the first 4 balls that JO sent down were each smacked away for 4 runs, should not he have said to himself (or indeed his captain on the field) – “this isn’t working and all I am doing is feeding the batsman runs without the likelihood of taking a wicket, so should I try something else like good old fashioned line and length?”
Apparently not! Heaven help us.
To his credit, when he returned to the attack later (but too late to make any significant difference) Jamie Overton bowled somewhat better taking 4 wickets with a flattering analysis after the initial onslaught of 9 – 2 – 64 – 4.
The most encouraging aspect for me was the batting of Adam Hose. I hope before long he is given an extended run in the County Championship.
And this armchair coach is convinced that Davies jnr is a much better keeper than Davies snr. Keeping is not always about looking tidy in a comfort zone, but about the risk factor you are prepared to take. How much more effective is Tim G with Ryan stood up and dropping the odd one, than with snr stood back taking the odd ball tidyly?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:11:13:56:08 by Railboy.
...." no one from the crowd shouts rubbish and we move on."
You should have been seated near to me yesterday, Railboy, because you would have heard some pretty uncomplimentary comments about the bowling from fellow spectators.
In case you have reading comprehension difficulties, I repeat what I said above - "To his credit, when he returned to the attack later (but too late to make any significant difference) Jamie Overton bowled somewhat better taking 4 wickets with a flattering analysis after the initial onslaught of 9 – 2 – 64 – 4."
He had by then cut out the "short - pitched tripe" and he took some wickets.
And, unlike you, "this armchair coach is (very far from being) convinced that Davies jnr is a much better keeper than Davies snr."
I don't think anyone is complaining about balls short of a length, it is those that are fired in half way down the pitch that are the problem !
I suspect that you are privy to news from the dressing room, but us lesser mortals do not have such access.
There was no mention of Steve Davies' "neck injury" on the game's preview on the club's website the preceding day of the game. In fact Ryan Davies was not included in the squad. Nor do I recall a PA announcement being made yesterday to that effect, so it is not "completely irrelevant".
Perhaps we "keep up" by paying money to watch an underwhelming performance?
The thing that strikes me about banging it in at Roussow is this - Graeme Hick is the only batsman of Southern African origin that I can think of that had a noted weakness vs short stuff. I'm not wild on any bowler bowling persistent short-stuff but medium-fast bowlers doing so (Davey) is, IMO, ludicrous.
I feel that, in general, we tend to bowl poorly at left-handed batsmen. In games where our opponent has one or more quality LHBs then I think we should look long and hard at picking Dom Bess to give us the option to turn it away from the LHB.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:11:18:11:51 by AG on apple.
The ball was struck with such force, I think it would by now be somewhere between Dorchester & Weymouth, had it not been taken !
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:11:18:41:23 by Grizzzly.
However Grizzly, the bowler is not deliberately bouncing it over the keeper. When searching for a Yorker the bowler frequently delivers a full toss, when striving to bowl "a length" the occasional result is a half volley. Therefore when attempting a bouncer it is not inconceivable that the bowler may get it wrong from time to time. Fact is that Jamie only bowled one such delivery yesterday whilst taking 3 wickets with short pitched deliveries that the batter could not handle and the closest thing Rousseau gave to a chance were the 2 attempted pulls, one of which just got over mid on and the other fell short of backward square. Agree that Davey is unlikely to frighten a batsman.
Meanwhile on the field Somerset’s performance, in counter balance to the scoreboards, like the painting of Dorian Gray seemed to decay horribly. Unlike Dorian Gray’s picture which had the good grace to do it out of sight in the attic Somerset’s performance did it in full view of everyone.
Ryan Davies opening in place of Stephen Davies and out of place in the batting order was the first bit of paint to peel. A fast late inswinger, or so it looked from my perch at the top of the Somerset Pavilion, straight onto his pads from Kyle Abbott would hardly have been his introduction of choice. Jim Allenby fared little better against Fidel Edwards popping one up to the bowler. At least at 1 – 2 Somerset were in familiar territory in this competition this season. A few blemishes in the developing portrait but none that have not been repaired in other matches.
Dean Elgar has applied our base coat on which the rest of our four innings to date have been portrayed. He set himself to do the same again on Wednesday. Peter Trego, laying on the vibrant colours at speed worked in tandem with him. Elgar’s solidity giving Trego the freedom to attack and Trego’s scoring rate giving Elgar the time to build a base. Trego had some of the good fortune which fast workers sometimes need. Dropped before he had barely started, one or two fortuitous edges and miss-timed shots falling safe but for the moment his fast brushwork served Somerset well in this age when 300 plus first innings are needed to fill the canvas of a competitive cricket match.
Then once too often he tried his no-nonsense expressionism, missed the ball altogether and another piece of the Somerset painting fell away. Trego had scored 55 from 46 balls in a partnership of 84 in 13 overs. Elgar remained and a restoration job, given Somerset’s recent performances, remained a realistic if demanding possibility. Hildreth, following an innings worthy of the colour and genius of a van Gogh at Cardiff, had barely lifted his palette when he pulled a ball straight down the throat of long leg. Modern art at its worst. Difficult to understand. 90-4 and a long partnership was becoming a necessity if the flaking picture which Somerset were presenting was not to disintegrate beyond repair.
Step up Adam Hose. He is yet to display the brilliance of a Hildreth or the dominance of a Trego but he has, in this tournament, shown the confidence and controlled aggression necessary to repair the sort of damage which awaited his arrival at the wicket and which is increasingly evident in today’s young cricketers. With Elgar he commenced to rebuild the crumbling canvas which 90-4 represented. His hand was a little shaky against the leg spin of Mason Crane, the ball taking or missing the edge on several occasions. Otherwise he went about the second re-touching job of the innings with assurance along with Elgar who worked away steadily at one end while Hose reached a deserved 50 at the other.
The Somerset innings, though nowhere near reflecting the perfection with which the scoreboard continued to portray it was beginning to show signs that with judicious application of technique it might get somewhere near a presentable exhibition. Then Hose, emboldened, tried a Tregoan flash of colour, tried to hit Crane back over his head, slightly misjudged the leg break and skied it to Dawson at long-off. And so the part repaired portrait of Somerset’s innings peeled away for the third time. The scoreboard continued its dogged perfection
Enter Roelof van de Merwe, who’s majestic masterpiece worthy of a Turner or a Constable destroyed Surrey. He set out with Elgar to, yet again, repair the increasingly serious and largely self-inflicted dilapidation of the innings. Two glorious sixes left no doubt that he knew the scale of the restoration project ahead of him. The score, when he rolled up his sleeves to start work, was 170-5 in the 31st over. At least another 130 would be needed in the last 20 overs though a doubling of the 30 over score would normally be expected in this day and age before the innings could claim to be fully restored. Just as those two sixes, with Elgar apparently secure at the other end, gave hope that this might just be achieved Elgar and van de Merwe tore a huge strip right out of the middle of Somerset’s fragile canvas by racing each other, neck and neck and flat out, to the same end of the pitch. 203-6.
The picture which Somerset would have intended to portray at the outset was in tatters. Beyond repair. By 224-9 the art of stealth run collection that is Elgar’s batting was spent. He has given so much this season but the disintegration at the other end was more than even he could repair. He had nothing more to give. What had seemed a painstaking filigree of an innings actually fashioned 78 runs from 88 balls. Apart from the occasional six, two this time, he scores his runs almost invisibly. Were he an artist he might be accused of forging his runs, for the eye seems to leave no evidence in the memory of how quite how so many came to fill the scene.
Jamie Overton tried his best to patch up one or two of the holes and hit 28 from 24 balls before summing up the totality of the innings by apparently trying to despatch a Fidel Edwards yorker to the boundary. And that was it. 249 all out, more than five overs unused and a bigger hole in the canvas than the bowlers could reasonably hope to patch over. The scoreboard meanwhile, faithful to the end to Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, remained a picture of absolute perfection. Would it had been kept in the attic for it painted a perfect representation of an imperfect innings.
And so to the Hampshire innings of which the scoreboard kept an ominously perfect record throughout. Roscoe Rossouw played an innings of which Jackson Pollack might have been proud. Just as Pollack poured paint repeatedly and at speed in every direction on huge canvases so Rossouw scored at speed, hitting the ball repeatedly and in every direction to every corner of the canvas which was the County Ground. As with Pollack there was coolly directed method in the apparent mayhem and the result was decisive. Hampshire reached the halfway point in the 18th over with nine wickets left and Somerset’s canvas was in shreds.
Somerset tried to stop Roussow’s innings before it started by pitching short and, in the case of Overton, fast. No doubt there was theory behind the approach. There was enough discussion on the field about it. All it seemed to achieve though to my untrained eye was the same as would have been achieved by handing Pollack more paint. The canvas was filled all the more quickly. Davey went for 10 an over. Jamie Overton for 40 off his first three overs. By comparison Tim Groenewald, pitching it up, had one spell of 8-0-31-1 although for most of his spell the pressure such as it had ever been, chasing 250, was off Hampshire.
The answer seemed to be that the secret of the art of bowling is to pitch it up. Yet the more I think about that the more a doubt nags. Even Groenewald’s 4 an over spell and one wicket would not have put Hampshire under enough pressure at any stage in their innings with a target of 250. It needs to be remembered too that the one wicket that did fall in the first half of the Hampshire innings was that of Alsop caught skying a pull shot off a short ball from Craig Overton. In his second spell Jamie Overton bowled very fast and dropped it short as much as he pitched it up yet the figures for that spell were 6-2-24-4 with the short pitched balls looking particularly effective in that spell.
Perhaps the real picture of this match was this. A Somerset score at least 50 below par. A long innings of endless artistic perfection from Rossouw. At the innings break I found no-one who could see a route to a Somerset victory. The bowlers, in the knowledge that a containment policy alone would present the match to Hampshire, perhaps tried to attack on an unhelpful pitch. Pitching it up worked to a degree for Groenewald but firing some in short also worked to a degree for Craig Overton, bowling short failed for the slower paced Davey, bowling fast and short failed in Jamie Overton’s first spell; bowling fast and short and fast and full worked brilliantly in in his second spell. It was a spell to savour.
Another thought. Rossouw’s wagon wheel shows he hit as many boundaries forward of cover and mid-wicket as he did behind them. They could not all have been off short balls. In fact, his wagon wheel is a piece of, near symmetrical, abstract art that you can understand. Perhaps in the end it would have made no more than a few overs difference wherever we had bowled to him.
Cricket is as much art as science. Perfection is rare. Perhaps we had ours at Cardiff. Perhaps Rossouw had his on Wednesday. The batsmen overall could undoubtedly have done better than they did in this match. But perhaps the bowlers, whether under instruction or not, and faced with a near impossible task, rather than keep it tight until the match ebbed away as inevitably as a Salvador Dali clock, tried for a win. It didn’t work but they did after all, in spite of Rossouw’s monumental masterpiece, come within four wickets of it.
And a final thought. In spite of all the criticism most of our top seven and some of our bowlers in this competition have been subjected to over the past couple of weeks we did come into this match, as CP points out, having won four out of four, the only unbeaten team in either group of the competition. We cannot have played that badly. In the old days, once (occasionally if) you had disposed of your minor county four wins was what it took to win the Gillette Cup. Overall the picture Somerset have presented in this competition to date is not a bad one.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:12:05:52:37 by Farmer White.
- since when have we been unable to pay on the gate at the Coal Orchard entrance? I waited ages for a parking space in that car park because of its convenience, then was told I had to walk round to the main gate to get in (and be charged an extra £1.50 for the privilege to use a credit card). Consequently, we were 1 for 2 by the time I got to see the green grass of home.
- noticeable that Trego and Elgar played and missed a lot in the first few overs I saw, while Roussouw, Allsop and Vince did not. I wonder if there was a little juice in it early on?
- just before Trego missed Berg's slower ball, I had felt we'd recovered and were set for well over 300; unable to shake off that feeling during the disappointment that followed, I felt we were 150 short at the interval - although I agree with MM that RR may have rendered 400 insufficient.
- impressed by Hose as much as I was unimpressed by Hildreth. Back in the era when I saw a lot of Somerset cricket, I never saw Jimmy Cook (for all the runs he scored) make a 50. Similarly, I may never see Hildreth make more than a flirty forty.
- had high hopes of watching Davey bowl, but was disappointed. My feeling from afar is that he only ever takes wickets in the first three overs of a match - is that unfair?
- Sean Ervine clearly shouldn't have been given, tho am surprised there's been no mention of his obvious dissent.
- our attack way too samey on a flat pitch on a hot day, tho whether anything would've made a difference to Roussouw I doubt.
- all catering closed within seconds of the end of the match. Unusually for me, I was in no hurry to get away and would've appreciated a leisurely beer or ice cream.
- great to hear Tractor in splendid voice, especially during Trego's spell.
- the ground was in splendid condition, beautiful as always on an unexpectedly hot and sunny day - and great to see such a big crowd for this competition. A Hants supporter near me commented on locals leaving near the end as 'rats leaving the ship'. I refrained from remarking that the few he'd just seen filing down a gangway between overs were more than the entire crowd at the Rose Bowl for the televised Middlesex game last week.
Mark Lathwell was, generally, the opposite for me. If I was there, he'd make loads.
A few years ago, I had a run (being an infrequent viewer) where, every time I turned up, Arul Suppiah would make a ton.