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Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 07:41

WSM... you seem to confuse *wanting* a team to win with *expecting* a team to win. The former has to do with being a fan of a team. The latter does not.

I bet you that if you held Tom Abell down last night, put the thumbscrews on him and asked him if he genuinely thinks that a win here is more likely than a draw, then he'd admit that it is not. And that would be because he knows how much conditions were loaded in favour of the batsman AND because he knows that our pitch is usually at its very best for batting on day four .. in other words, batting will probably be even easier today.

Now, each cricket ball seems to have its own vagaries .. *maybe* the new nut will swing more and/or for longer than the first one that we took... if so, then we may be able to put them under pressure......... but if you, WSM, are expecting significant help from the pitch, then you will be out of luck. If you're expecting significant help from overhead conditions? Ditto.

Yeah, I know, you've still got the notion that Hants are so incompetent and feckless that they will fold anyway if only we can bowl accurately............but weren't Lancashire badly out of form, with bad results behind them etc going into our last match... and how did their batsmen fare against accurate bowling from us on a flat pitch? Also, we already did a good job of bowling accurately, for the most part (TG and LG especially) yesterday... and they did not fold. Oh, and one of the best batsmen of the past twenty years is currently at the crease..

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 14/05/2018 07:42 by AGod.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Mike TA1 (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 08:29

Lets think positive, if this match end in a draw it will still not be a disaster, but if we win that would be great.

If I have worked this out correctly with a draw we would have closed the gap on Notts to seven points, with still a game in-hand.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Farmer White (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 08:30

Late arriving at the County Ground I made my way to the boundary near the covers store. The ball was screaming across the grass and crashed into the boards in front of the Ondaatje Stand. Hildreth I assumed had been on the other end of it. But no, Dom Bess was making his case to move up from number ten in the batting order. I wonder if he has a wry smile to himself when he makes a phone call to Customer Services somewhere and the automated voice replies, “You are being held in a queue.”

The next thing I noticed was the size of the crowd. Certainly the largest of the three days to date and well spread around the ground. Even the Somerset Stand, farthest from the pitch, had enough of a spread of people to be described as polka dot. There was, I thought, more of a smattering of people not entitled to a bus pass than is normal at a Championship match these days. The weather, and perhaps Somerset winning matches and riding high in the Championship drawing people in.

It would have been a good morning to bring someone along to a Championship match for the first time. The weather would have done nicely to illustrate the term ‘cricket weather’, and there was space to amble, chat and relax whilst taking in the cricket. One of the great joys of Championship cricket on days such as this is that you can amble and roam as much as you like and you will feel your belongings are as safe left in your seat as they would be locked in a safe at the bank. I can think of no other event where you could do that with 2000 strangers in the venue.

The cricket too was of a type, as Hildreth and Bess set about building the Somerset lead, to hold the attention however much you ambled and however many people you talked to. That is the other thing about the Championship. You could sit, at random, next to virtually any one of those 2000 people and converse with them for the rest of the day and it would feel like the most natural thing in the world to do. One straight drive from Hildreth a thing of such perfection it would have you talking of the beauty of his stroke play and making comparisons with the power of Renshaw’s drives and perhaps remembering Trescothick’s cover drive. And it would not matter much whether the person you sat next to was a Somerset supporter or a Hampshire supporter or whether you knew them or not.

On this day I found myself a perch towards the back of the lower tier of the Somerset Pavilion next to Gimblett’s Hill. The Hill was packed and bathed in sun except the back row which follows the arc of the sun and seems in perpetual shade. As I looked back at the cricket Bess drove Weatherley back over his head for four to the Botham Stand just as the man himself might have done. As is his wont Bess took no prisoners. Berg, the pick, and the and most persevering of Hampshire’s bowlers, bowled him what looked like a slower ball bouncer only for it to be caressed, if you can do that with a hook, to the Colin Atkinson Pavilion. Later in the over, pitching up, Berg found himself being driven brutally backward of point for another four.

That took the score to 410 for 8, over 80 runs scored since the start, and still an hour to go to Lunch. It was scintillating stuff and it had brought the crowd to life. The County Ground buzz had much to buzz about. I looked at the scoreboard for some explanation. 83 runs so far in the Hildreth Bess partnership and Bess had 60 of them. I have said before Bess marches towards the sound of gunfire. The story continued out in the middle. Bess striking boundaries. Hildreth placing the singles and rotating the strike. It shouldn’t work that way around with a number four and a number ten. But as I said earlier this number ten is held in a queue. And he was making a case to jump the queue. One cut backward of point off Wheal being particularly forceful.

Not that Hildreth, for all the art in his stroke play, is incapable of using main force. He selected Berg, who had switched to the Somerset Pavilion End, to hit back over his head for four. He then cut Wheal backward of point. There were four fielders on the boundary for Hildreth who was now on 163. “They can put fielders on the boundary but they can’t stop the fours,” said the Hampshire supporter siting in front of me. It wasn’t entirely true but the way the Somerset score was mounting it felt like that. It had mounted to 463 for 8.

When the boundary boards were not being peppered deep point and third man gathered in a rich harvest of gently steered back foot drives and cuts as both Hildreth and Bess took advantage of the gaps in the infield to rotate the strike where the boundaries were not available. The harvesters couldn’t though stop the boundary when the batsmen cut clean and hard, past backward point, and between them.

Edwards resorted to the last throw of the pace bowler leaking runs on a flat pitch. He bowled a succession of bouncers just within the height limit either to tempt the hook or restrict the scoring. It did restrain the scoring rate for a while and induced Hildreth into one hook that went so fine it flew between keeper and first slip for four. Then, infuriated by the persistent short pitched bowling someone in the Somerset Pavilion shouted, “Rubbish!” Edwards responded immediately with a fast ball well pitched up. Hildreth drove it back past him with some ferocity for four which seemed a bit inconsiderate.

Then Bess cover drove Vince hard to the Colin Atkinson scoreboard which dutifully increased his score to 80. “Shot!” said the Hampshire supporter in front of me, and added, “Perhaps if the wicket is that flat Hampshire can bat out tomorrow.” It was a thought that was beginning to impinge on the thoughts of Somerset supporters too. And then in the over before Lunch Hildreth pulled Alsop’s occasional slow left arm straight to mid wicket and he was gone for 184 and Somerset were 472 for 9.

After Lunch Groenawald set about ramming Somersrt’s dominance home. He cleared the ropes twice, and Bess, although starved a bit of the strike pushed towards a century until he was bowled by Berg, his fifth wicket, for 92. Bess had played straight and looked startled at the result. Hope perhaps for Somerset’s bowlers, or perhaps a misjudgement. 506 was a formidable total, only thoughts of the pitch flattening submitting a nagging doubt to dampen the spirit. It constituted a lead of 275 of which Groenewald, in his display of summer pyrotechnics, had contributed 25.

As Hampshire took up their defensive positions in the face of that 275 deficit Overton and Gregory powered in. The Hampshire batsmen looked in no trouble as they began the job of shoring up their position. Then Adams stopped shoring up, attempted to cut Gregory, and edged to the keeper. 15 for 1. Next Vince edged hard and low to Overton’s left at third slip. Overton got a hand to it but it went down. He was furious with himself but he has caught a number as difficult as that and they cannot all stick.

Soon Weatherley took another brick out of Hampshire’s defensive wall and had the Hampshire supporters in front of me shaking their heads. It had taken a long time for Somerset to manoeuvre Bartlett to deep mid wicket and satisfy themselves the rest of the field was where they wanted it. Groenewald duly dropped short, Weatherley pulled, Bartlett accepted the gift and Hampshire were 49 for 2, still 226 behind.

“The next batsman is Hashim Amla,” said the announcement. “And that will be about it,” replied the Hampshire supporter, referring to his view of the paucity of the batting to follow. “I am afraid it is,” was his colleague’s reply. Somerset never got to see the batting to follow because Amla and Vince set themselves to rebuild Hampshire’s wall and bat out the day. They did precisely that, Vince taking 158 balls to battle his way to 50. Amla scored more quickly but without diminishing the security of his wicket.

The Somerset bowlers applied themselves to their task. They attacked the batsmen but found little aid from the pitch. I watched a few overs from the Somerset Pavilion roof terrace. I was directly above the line of the stumps as Gregory and Groenewald pushed at the Hampshire wall. The Quantocks did not seem sure about Somerset’s chances. Only one field was ploughed to reveal its version of Somerset maroon.

As I watched, Gregory was getting some very gentle swing but it didn’t remotely trouble either batsman. Only twice, and from two balls in succession, did he obtained significant late swing. It beat Amla both times to gasps from the crowd. Groenewald, as far as I could see from behind the batsmen, was getting no movement and was maintaining a consistent middle and off line with the occasional ball a foot outside off, perhaps to tempt the drive. What I saw did not generate confidence that a wicket was about to fall.

Overton tried a longish spell. He beat the bat once or twice and had a loud lbw shout but it looked high. Leach and Bess tried some short spells of spin, Leach from the River End and Bess from the Somerset Pavilion End. Neither really looked like taking a wicket although Bess did elicit one or two gasps with balls that might have done something. Abell tried himself immediately after Tea in the traditional opening bowler’s slot and was punished. Perhaps he should consider whether he is beginning to over bowl himself and think about when his intervention with the ball is likely to be most effective. His bowling has been a key asset this season. Its use may need to be targeted.

And so Somerset enter the final day still nearly 100 runs ahead. Hampshire enter it with eight wickets still in their defensive wall and a flat pitch on which to defend them. Apparently Maurice Tremlett used to tell his teams that trying to win a Championship match was like trying to push a wall over. You have to push relentlessly. If the third afternoon and evening were anything to go by there will be no lack of pushing from Somerset. The question will be: how strong a wall will Hampshire and the pitch constitute?

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: hantssabre (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 08:31

Having been there for the last 2 days and seen quite a lot of Hampshire too I still think Somerset will win quite easily as once one of the current pair are out then you are down to the tail!

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 09:26

Yes, MIke, your maths is correct. A draw would leave us 7 points behind Notts and with a game in hand. This will be a far better position than we are usually in after four games - and most certainly a better position after that many games than we have ever been in since being promoted back to the top flight under Justin Langer.

It would be a strong position from which to build, albeit we will have already played 3 of our allotted 7 home games .. including both of the ones against what are probably the two weakest sides in CC1 (Worcs, Hants).

The fixture list will get tougher from here.

Remarkably, if WSM's info about Jamie Overton is correct then, given that Josh Davey is also now fit, I think we can say that EVERY bowler on the club's staff is currently fit.. every single one of them..... in the recent past LG, JO, Ben Green and Ollie Sale have all been plagued with injuries, yet all are fit.

It would be great if we could get through this 50 over window, with all bowling options still fit.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Clarence Parker (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 09:38

AGod, may I say that your posting of 07:41 today is IMO absolutely spot on the mark.

One can only hope that wsm will take the good points that you make on board. Sadly though, akin to expecting a comprehensive Somerset victory today, I am not confident.

Perhaps he should change his moniker to 'wsm supporter'?

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: geordie moonraker (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 10:20

While all of AGod's comments stand scrutiny, there are other factors. We are 100 ahead. The 2 batsmen in are indeed superb players but one good ball,one false stroke and they are gone, They both have decent scores already and I expect at least one, plus 2 others to be out by lunch.

I am assuming we shall bowl decently so that will be 5 down with the scores more or less level. Hants can't just shut up shop for 96 overs but must continue to push the score a little for a target of 100 in the last session would be gettable.

The bowling side always holds an advantage in situations such as these even on an unresponsive pitch because every ball is a potential wicket while the batting side needs to bat for a further 60 overs at least. So we only need 8 balls...Hants have to survive for 360 at least. The outcome is far from settled and I should not be surprised at a Somerset win.

That I hope is as objective as I can be 350 miles away.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 14/05/2018 10:22 by geordie moonraker.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Somerset LaLaLa (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 10:23

Vince has done enough to prove his England place and will go this morning. *Somerset* to win

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 10:34

Well, I hope you're right, GM.

But, if we don't get Amla either immediately, or in first few overs with the second new ball then I think that he, at least, will bat throughout the day, unless he's left high and dry by the others.

But, ultimately, our pitches don't deteriorate (which is why the decision to insert Hants, IMO, was the correct one, especially given the day one weather) and our guys are left with a dead pitch that is, effectively, 7 days old (I think Worcs only lasted three days?).

Let's hope for one of those new cherries that inexplicably swings a great deal!!

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 11:04

What's happened to Leachy?

Commentators seems to be suggesting that he's not out there?

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: Grizzers (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 11:07

Radio reports that he is having a scan after being hit on the thumb in practice this morning.

Bad luck indeed.


Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 11:10

Booger. Thanks for info, Grizz.

Hope and pray that he'll be good to go by the time the CC resumes.

Hampshire Day 4
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 11:23

As requested by the mobile users.

I'll close the main thread, ask people to post here and then merge them later.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 16/05/2018 10:45 by Grockle.

Re: Hampshire Day 4
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 11:34

NO early breakthrough so it's new ball or bust vs the centurion, Amla, and bust is more likely than the other alternative vs Hashim.

Re: Hampshire Day 4
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 12:02

If, as has just been reported, Jack's finger is bandaged up, but that he's stayed on the ground rather than gone off to the hospital then, hopefully (fingers crossed) the finger might be cut rather than broken?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 14/05/2018 12:03 by AG on apple.

Re: Hampshire Day 4
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 12:07

When more than one all-time partnership record (Hildreth & Bess), Vince & Amla start falling in the same match, then you know that it's irredeemably flat, pitch wise.

Re: Hampshire Day 4
Posted by: geordie moonraker (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 12:18

That is very true A God but batsmen are human and make mistakes.

Re: Hampshire Day 4
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 12:25

Yes, GM, and it sounded a bad one. And I am grateful for it.

All three wickets to have fallen so far have been to poor shots.

But ten wickets to poor shots would be a lot to hope for (so we're going to have to wring something out of this strip such that we bowl people out with great balls, rather than having to rely on gifts!)

Re: Hampshire Day 4
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 13:14

Right, so 4 down.

Roussow not ideally suited, temperament wise, to blocking all afternoon.

I'd think we'd do well to get Dom on against him again, as in the first innings, to try his patience.

Re: Hampshire Day 4
Posted by: geordie moonraker (IP Logged)
Date: 14 May, 2018 13:29

My thinking of level scores with 5 down is not too far away.I am still hopeful and if we do it it will be to the team's tremendous credit.

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