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Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 11 May, 2018 21:38

Tom Seymour
... Won't be there to see it, so I look forward to a series of true and, more importantly, objective reports.

Will you be able to recognise objectivity Tom? You can spell it seemingly but it isn't usually something you yourself are familiar with on a regular basis.

While on the subject, please don't go any further than suggesting that people on here are liars or reading them will be about all you will be doing in the very near future.

Or can your final paragraph be read in some other way?

Edit - sentence now makes sense.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 09:31 by Grockle.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Tom Seymour (IP Logged)
Date: 11 May, 2018 21:45

I am always objective Grockle, and you can read my final paragraph however you wish without any further clarification (though I do not see it as being needed) from me.

A glass half - empty or a glass half - full?
Regardless, both glasses need filling up.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Farmer White (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 02:49

And so Somerset started the match against Hampshire in second place in the Championship table, 17 points behind Nottinghamshire but with a game in hand. As far as such a thing can be said so early in the season they have their Championship future in their own hands. And such young hands. Only three of the side that took the field were over 30. The rest all under 27, six under 25, three aged 20. It would be a phenomenal feat if such a side could challenge for the Championship, let alone win it.

They added to the pressure on themselves by selecting a side tailor made for winning the toss and batting, then won the toss and put Hampshire in knowing Hampshire must have wanted to bat first. Perhaps looking at the cloud above and the grass on the pitch below. Perhaps thinking, as someone said to me, of the Taunton pitch’s propensity to flatten towards the fourth day. Perhaps all three, and possibly more, for such decisions are never simple, simplistic or as easy as they may sometimes seem from beyond the boundary.

Inserting a side on winning the toss immediately puts pressure on the bowlers. It is one thing to have the responsibility of bowling when the opposition has elected to bat and the expectation is of runs to come. Quite another to choose to put the opposition in and then have to deliver on the unspoken promise of wickets to come. I have often wondered if this is one of the factors, among many I have no doubt, which contribute to what the tide of history suggests is the failure of so many decisions to insert. Indeed, Somerset have been twice inserted by the opposition at Taunton this year and twice the opposition have lost.

And so Somerset’s young blades took the field and immediately ran into choppy water. Whether affected by the weight of expectation, over eagerness to exploit the insertion and conditions, or just not getting it right Gregory bowled a curate’s egg of an opening spell. His first three balls gave an indication of the mixture that was to follow. Two no balls and then a ball of pure grandeur and beauty as viewed from over the umpire’s head. It was slightly angled in, moved away late, missed the bat by an amount that millimetres were designed to measure and elicited involuntary gasps of awe from all around. After three overs of ill-directed balls interspersed with two or three which might on another day have taken a wicket he was withdrawn from the fray 21 runs the wiser.

Overton started well with two maidens but, switching ends to replace Gregory at the Somerset Pavilion End, did not look as threatening as he can. He had a tendency to overpitch, perhaps in pursuit of the movement an insertion demands. Eventually Vince took advantage to the tune of 12 from an over. Tim Groenewald, a brake on scoring this season, had replaced Overton at the River End and quickly found the edge of Weatherley’s bat. The ball flew to where the quarter-century experience of Trescothick’s midriff should have been and Renshaw put the catch down. “What a gift that was,” someone said.

Groenewald, Somerset’s oldest player at 34, persisted and pushed as Hampshire took advantage of any youthful waywardness, until Adams edged to the keeper and Hampshire were 44 for 1. Abell, Somerset’s unexpected strike force this season, replaced Overton as Hampshire started to attack Groenewald with some success. The runs were coming at over four an over, the score was rising towards three figures and the lessons of history must have been ringing in Tom Abell’s ears.

Abell may make history himself one day and he certainly has the capacity to shape it. Here he started to shape the Hampshire innings. As it seemed to me he ‘wobbled’ a ball through Weatherley’s defence, found the pad and it was 86 for 2. That brought Hashim Amla and the experience of over 100 Tests to the crease to face Abell and Jack Leach, who had replaced Groenwald at the River End, with one between them.

It was Vince though who lead Hampshire’s charge. He hit Leach for two fours and Abell for one but Abell went through his defence twice. Then Abell moved one away late from Vince, the ball took the edge and Davies took the ball. “Oh Yes!” drooled the man in front of me well before the umpire had raised his finger. It didn’t look quite so sumptuous as that first legitimate ball of Gregory’s but it was essentially the same delivery and deadly. 105 for 3 and 111 for 3 at Lunch.

On my customary lunchtime circumnavigation of the ground the general view was that three wickets before Lunch was a reasonable return for putting a side in. My bones were telling me Somerset really needed four given the pitch and the conditions and Hampshire had perhaps twenty too many runs. Whether it was history or young Abell that was right about the decision to insert still hung in the air.

Stopping at the kiosk next to the terrace at the top of the Somerset Pavilion en route to my seat I missed the first ball after Lunch. I didn’t miss the huge cheer that accompanied it. “Who was that?” I asked the person who rushed by from the terrace. “Amla!” he smiled. “Strangled.” Groenewald had lodged a reminder that the older generation still had a part to play in this team. One ball late, but I might have settled for 111 for 4 at Lunch provided Somerset were able to push on.

As I looked beyond the Trescothick Stand the point of the Quantocks was developing an embryonic shroud of slight rain. Some way to the east of the ground the sky was coated in a film of the smoothest silken silver-grey cloud that often presages the onset of steady persistent light rain. Neither was an immediate threat but both hung in the air like the question of the wisdom of the decision to ask Hampshire to bat. 111 for 4 could go either way but it was an uneasy feeling.

Now the two generations of Somerset cricketers worked in tandem. Groenewald hit Rossouw a nasty blow under the heart, both he and Overton went past the bat a number of times and Overton had what looked from 100 yards a particularly good lbw shout. Rossouw and Alsop counter attacked for Hampshire although in the process Rossouw gloved an attempted hook against Overton at catchable height through the out of fashion leg slip position.

Once again Hampshire were pushing Somerset back as they moved past 150 still four down. History and Rossouw, who was scoring freely, were beginning to get a little shrill with their questions about the wisdom of insertions. Somerset answered with Gregory who replaced Overton. Wayward in his first spell, better in a short spell before Lunch, he was now transformed. He whistled past the left-handed Alsop’s outside edge, then found his inside edge and the ball hurtled towards the stumps, upending the leg stump on the way through. 165 for 5.

Bess meanwhile had come on at the River End and although I could not see the ball pitch from my position he had found a hint of turn in an earlier short spell from my end. However he did it he induced Rossouw to pop the ball straight to Leach at cover. 178 for 6. Somerset were working their way back into the game and becoming more chirpy in the field as they did. The Somerset crowd does not chirp but it does buzz and it was buzzing now.

Gregory had found his touch and was really hounding the batsmen with one of those spells that makes you wonder why a wicket does not fall every over. With Bess on at the other end, Leach warming up, Groenewald and Overton taking breath for another charge and Abell seemingly always on hand to take a wicket at the drop of a hat I did wonder what the batsmen were thinking. With six front line bowlers, Gregory with his testing movement when he gets it right, Overton with his lift and accuracy, Groenewald constantly homing in on the off stump, Abell fizzing it through and moving it late, Leach turning it one way and Bess the other batsmen must sometimes wonder just how far down the season the light at the end of the tunnel is.

This is still a young bowling attack. It doesn’t always get it quite right. It didn’t in the morning session. Experience and age perhaps not yet quite in the optimum combination. It is though becoming a formidable attack and with some years of development still to come.

That kiosk next to the roof terrace of the Somerset Pavilion is a real nuisance. I only went there twice today I promise you. This time Abell took advantage and this time Renshaw held the catch. McManus the sixth Hampshire batsman to get a start and not go on. And then Gregory, now bowling as he can, trapped Berg lbw. 198 for 8. And that was it, for that innocent looking silver-grey cloud was now enveloping the Quantocks and sprinkling just enough rain over the ground to send the players off and most of the rest of us home.

As to that question posited by history it is still unanswered as far as this match goes. Whether Somerset did enough in the afternoon session to outweigh the runs scored in the morning session and to justify the decision to insert only the second day can answer. Somerset may have to work harder than they might have done to establish an ascendancy in this match. They will though have added some valuable lessons to their fund of experience which will pay dividends for years to come.

And, let us not forget, when Somerset come out to bat numbers one, two, three and five will be aged 22, 20, 20 and 24.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 03:04 by Farmer White.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 03:32

Fine Tom. I agree with you that the interpretation is pretty clear but I did provide the opportunity.

On the basis of your answer I will warn you to be careful if you wish to post here on a long term basis. Clear enough?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 03:37 by Grockle.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: wsm fan (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 05:40

Unless 1 of their top 7 does something its worth noting they only have a 4 man attack and they are seamers (dont count Vince as a proper option)
Fidel 36
Berg 37
Abbott 30
Wheal 21
If we can just bat time they could be in some trouble!
Abbott has been struggling this season
Fidel erratic at the best of times and fades into 3rd 4th 5th spells
Berg a nagging medium pacer who could bowl long spells but just back from 3 weeks paternity leave.
Got to bat properly of course but a very risky policy especially given we have selected 2 spinners which shows we view the pitch pretty differently to them too!

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 06:19

We have to watch the 'Taunton effect' where a player with no recent record has his great day of a season playing us here.

Other than that, if our batting holds together we can be in a good position at the end of today. Only having to bat once would be very good but Dom got some stuff on Day 1 so use him and Jack when they bat again if necessary. If Lewis and Tom get movement and Craig comes to the party in the second innings (he tends to have a good innings in a game) then we have a chance with this one.

We just do not need to give Hampshire the upper hand through our own fragility. I have no problems with a side earning it, I would just like to see us make them do that more often without our help.


Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 07:05

I wouldn't, necessarily, infer from our team selection that we expect anything out of the ordinary in terms of turn, WSM.

We may simply have decided that picking our best XI players is the best policy *unless* conditions are significantly out of the ordinary.

We've almost certainly decided - and with good reason - that Tom is a very handy fourth seamer.

I suspect that Old Trafford will have cemented that in the minds of Jason and Andy (and perhaps Tom himself). After all, Tom got far more swing than Jimmy did, up there!

After Tom's performance in the Worcs match, there may still have been a feeling at management level that Tom was a good option in helpful conditions, but perhaps less so if a track is flat. Old Trafford will have dispelled any such notion.

One can also say that it's unlikely that we are expecting the track to deteriorate, otherwise we would surely have batted, upon winning the toss.

Incidentally, it's a nonsense to have a toss in that situation - once Hants told us that they didn't want to bowl, that should have been the end of matters "That's fine with us, let's get on with the game."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 07:10 by AGod.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 07:18

So far as today concerned, my feeling was that most of the help for the bowlers seemed to me to come through the air, more so than off the pitch.

Help through the air for bowlers is, of course, something of a mystery (whether it will happen on any given day or not). In which case we might be fortunate and find that there is less of it about today (or indeed there could be more).

The pitch itself may be slightly less green so what help there was off the pitch should diminish a little today.

All that being said, if I had to guess what will happen today, then I suspect that both sides will total about 225 in the first innings....and then I hope to see Jack and Dom lay waste to their second innings, to leave a very gettable target, with some of that innings taking place on a dead final day track.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: wsm fan (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 07:24

We havent played 2 spinners for no reason!

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 07:35

I'm sure we always have reasons for picking a team, WSM.

But that reason may very well be 'Dom's a really good bowler and, with Tom in the team, we already have four seamers anyway,' more so than "Golly gosh, we're expecting this to do plenty."

Remember that, in recent times, whenever we've expected a Ciderabad, we've actually picked *three* spinners. Admittedly, that was under Matthew and perhaps Jason has no intention of ever doing that.. we shall see as the season unfolds...

Quite frankly, what would the point have been in picking a fifth seamer? Unless you fear being in the field for a very long time (and we surely didn't fear that, otherwise we would have batted first!), then how much will your fifth seamer ever bowl anyway? At Old Trafford, where it was Tom that was effectively in the fifth seamer role, he bowled a whopping 10 overs out of 144. The fourth seamer, Paul, bowled only 20 overs out of 144. So, given that the average CC1 innings probably lasts for no more than 70 overs or so...

Once you've made the determination that Tom is a quality fourth seamer, then that means that the only real remaining choice would be either to pick Dom OR to add an extra batsman of some description (Tom Banton?).

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 07:49 by AGod.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: wsm fan (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 08:09

I never said play a 5th seamer.
A batter a logical option if we didnt tbink it would spin.
I am glass half full and have been most impressed & surprised with Tom's bowling. But as he says himself lets not get carried away. A very useful option but he has taken 9 wicket in april/may with brisky medium, not 49 on flat ones in August.
He needs to be a welcome addition to our attack for me not taking the place of a main seamer.
All based on conditions clearly.
This match he is fine in a 6 man attack as 4th seamer.

Anyway, on route to HQ, if we are batting at the close we have it in the bag i say! (As long as they arent batting past midday!)
104 over day and sun is shining, Hamps are in dodgy form, lets ram it home today chaps!

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 08:12

Viz Tom; We have to see how well his body will stand up to bowling, I grant you.

But so far as Tom taking wickets on flat tracks... was Old Trafford not flat enough for you!?

Tom 4-0 Jimmy (first innings)!!

As for something potentially even flatter in August?

I think we'd be certain to pick two spinners on any such surface - I can see that Tom as one of only three seamers would *not* be ideal in that situation....... but I think that, on such a surface, the make up of our team would be the same as for this match (with Tom as 4th seamer). I wouldn't expect us to make the same mistake that we made at OT again (only one spinner on flat track).

A question might arise on a Ciderabad track, if Jason did want to pick three spinners. Would we be happy with Tom as the third of three seamers in that circumstance?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 08:35 by AGod.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: wsm fan (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 08:19

I say again a most welcome useful extra option.
Time will tell if he is a 10/20/30 wickets a season man.
If he can keep nicking wickets here and there and biwl even 6/8 a day to help manage a full days bowling then great. He has 5 balls this morning to mop up these final 2 rabbits!

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 09:01

He'll get them!!

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 11:19

He has also given us back what we lost to some extent as Pete Trego lost that edge with the ball at CC level.

I hope that also means we can keep Pete's edge intact for the shorter formats rather than demanding an over taxing workload from him in past seasons that he manfully tried to provide.


Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Grizzers (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 11:30

Two quick wickets.

Can’t help wondering whether Tom Banton would have been a better choice than Eddie for this game.

Anyway, now would be the perfect time for James to show everyone what he can do.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 11:35 by Grizzzly.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 11:42

Banton would have been out to that ball from Edwards too. So would Tendulkar, IMO. Not much can be done with a late in-ducker at 90mph!

(Yeah I know Banton and Sachin are RHBs but I mean if they faced an equivalent delivery for them).

We may struggle to get up to their total (depending, substantially on what Renshaw does) but, if so, then the blame will lie with yesterday's poor bowling performance, IMO.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: cricketharris (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 11:50

Surely, Agod, it is substantially what Hildreth, Abell and Davies do, too. And maybe Gregory and Overton and Leach. We may not struggle at all. But, we may. It is all in the lap of the Agods, I reckon.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 11:59

Appalling judgement and execution from Tom there. Very poor situational cricket.

The ball was too far outside off for a shot like that at that stage of an innings (just come in), to say nothing of the timing just before lunch. So it was poor judgement on two counts.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 12:06 by AGod.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Rod1883 (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2018 12:00

It's all going a bit wrong - Abell out for a duck.
71 -4

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