As Easy As ABV
Plane sailing for ABV
By Dasher Denning
August 5 2019
Dasher Denning reports on another disappointing day for Somerset and cider running out for the West Country supporters at an outground.
We travelled to Old Deer Park with two points between the sides. Middlesex were on six points having played 5 and won 3, Somerset on four points having played 5 and won only two. As Somerset fan @mattcrivelli rightly said on Twitter:
“I'm not saying this is a must-win game but this is a must-win game #MidvSom #T20Blast2019 #WeAreSomerset”
It’s got to be said that the omens weren’t good from the start. We met in the Sun Inn, a lovely little pub halfway between Richmond station and the ground, and watched England versus Steve Smith. Smith won. Kev bumped into some fellow Barnet fans and they discussed their win over Somerset’s Yeovil Town the day before.
Things didn’t improve when we got there. I have a theory about outgrounds with short boundaries that you bat first and put scoreboard pressure on the opposition. My feelings on this were only strengthened by attending the Middlesex v Somerset RLODC group game at Radlett earlier in the season when Somerset got well and truly battered having won the toss and put Middlesex in. Just to prove Einstein’s theory about the definition of insanity, Tom Abell again won the toss and put Middlesex in.
Oh, and the bar ran out of “cider” (or rather Magners) before 3pm, though that was probably a good thing considering they were charging an extortionate £4.50 for a small bottle. On a side note, you worry for the country’s future under the millennials when the young barman said that it was “about £20” for four bottles before asking his mate to add it up on a plastic calculator.
Predictably having been put in, Middlesex raced to 50-0 off six overs. The outfield was very uneven, with one ball bouncing over Jerome Taylor’s head for four having landed about ten feet in front of him. Having said that, Middlesex didn’t have the same problems when they fielded.
Middlesex lost their first wicket on 78. Which brought in some bloke called AB de Villiers. So much for this theory that the Blast can’t attract global superstars. ABV announced his arrival by hitting a six that would have endangered one of the planes approaching Heathrow if it had been thirty seconds later.
Malan went with the score on 116, only for some bloke called Morgan to come strolling out. Lots of people cheered him, not sure why. Meanwhile, ABV brought up his half century with a six. It’s worth pointing out that there were huge numbers of Indian and South African fans in the ground who seemed just to have turned up to get a glimpse of ABV. One lad next to me literally videoed every delivery he faced on his phone and another group even booed Simpson for not getting ABV back on strike as he chased his century. In the end it was not to be, Middlesex’s innings ending on 215-4 with ABV 88 not out off 35 balls.
Enjoying the game?
Somerset’s reply stuttered initially, with Babar Azam going cheaply for the first time in his Somerset T20 career. However, Tom Banton – who I think will be opening for England by the time of the next T20 World Cup – and James Hildreth took the fight to Middlesex , whose seamers clearly hadn’t been watching their own team’s innings. If they had been, they’d have surely realised that anything pitched halfway down the track ended up going out of the ground. In fact, Somerset got to 50 in less time than it took Middlesex, just 5.1 overs.
It was at this point that Kev and I had a disagreement about the title for this report. Kev said he’d already decided it was going to be something related to ABV (easy as ABV?). I said that if Tom Banton took us home then it was going to be called “Top Bantz”. Kev looked at me blankly, claiming that he’d never heard of the word “Bantz” before. He looked even more puzzled when my mate Ian asked if he’d heard of the phrase the Archbishop of Banterbury.
It was also at this point that I committed the greatest cricketing spectating faux pas ever. I went for a piss and then moved places, heading from the pavilion area over to some friends who were over by the ground entrance. Hildreth went while I was at the urinal and by the time I’d got to the other side of the ground Somerset had slipped from 79-1 to 107-7. Sowter was at the heart of everything, taking four wickets for barely anything and also taking a catch to help Finn’s figures look just slightly less horrific. That was game over, though the Somerset lower order had a good go and if captain Abell hadn’t been caught brilliantly by Finn on the boundary then who knows? It all finished with a comedy run out that summed up the day really for Somerset fans.
So not the result I wanted but a great day out with good friends in front of a capacity crowd (3840 was announced I think, plus the 10 or 20 who watched from the road outside). It really does beggar belief why the ECB want to dismantle such a popular competition and replace it with something that literally isn’t cricket. It also makes you wonder what’s going to happen with all of the lovely outgrounds that exist in this country if the counties have to try and attract people to what is seen by the governing body as a second class competition.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:08:09:11:47:02 by BarmierKev.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019:08:05:21:59:31 by Seaxe_man1.