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Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 18:53

171 for 7 a lead of 133 as George drives to the boundary.

Well done George and Craig. We need half a day of more tomorrow or it may not be enough.

It may not be enough anyway but it's a bit better than it was.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2019 19:08 by Grockle.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 18:56

Well done, Craig Overton for showing the resolution and discipline that those that are primarily employed for their batting failed (George apart) to show.

If, as still seems more likely than not to me, Kent go on to win this match, then the most obvious difference in the match is liable to be the fact that Kent made a decent start in their first innings, and we made a decent start in neither innings.

I'm not convinced with the whole "bat Hildreth at three because England have vacancy," line of thinking. Andy Hurry added that "we'd only do it it was right for us," but the very obvious question is this:

If it's "right for us now," why had it never previously been so deemed i.e. is there anything at all that has changed at Somerset to justify the change or is this nothing more than a product of the England situation?

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Mike K (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 18:57

Another 30 runs or so could make for an interesting finish tomorrow.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 18:59

Tom Seymour
I never attack people for having alternative views, but the reverse is definitely not the case.
We never made a move to sign Clarke of Worcester who went to Notts and scored a hundred a couple of days ago, AGod.

Ohh you do Tom we all know it and see it. You've done it this season.

I'm not attacking you. I'm just telling you and others how it is going to be this year. Don't like it? Don't post.

Do you know we didn't make a move? Was it likely he was going to go there anyway which is sometimes the case. Was it reported that we did not? I'm simply asking because I can't remember it being discussed at the time.

If we are as 'hopeless' as you say don't we need half a dozen new batsmen?

There is one point to be made here though. Who was the last specialist batsmen we did bring in from out of county before Nick Compton?


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2019 19:04 by Grockle.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Tom Seymour (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 19:15

Do you know we didn't make a move? Was it likely he was going to go there anyway which is sometimes the case. Was it reported that we did not? I'm simply asking because I can't remember it being discussed at the time. (Reported from a Press Box regular - ask around)

If we are as 'hopeless' as you say don't we need half a dozen new batsmen? (2 or 3 will do)

There is one point to be made here though. Who was the last specialist batsmen we did bring in from out of county before Nick Compton? [b](We signed Adam Hose, but then the clowns cocked up and let him go

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

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2019 21:49 by Grockle.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: AGod (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 19:15

Not sure I recall, Grockle, though I don't think that Nick was the last person to be recruited from without as a batsman - I think Nick was already here when Tom Cooper came here? Obviously he came from out of country rather than merely out of county but, as you know, he was never the official overseas signing, so I think he counts. I know Tom bowled a little off-spin but I think it would be stretching a point to argue that he didn't count as a specialist batsman (put it this way, we certainly didn't sign him for his bowling, I wouldn't think!).

Contrary to what one correspondent told us, I think we can feel pretty darn confident that Mr Hurry realises that there are issues with our batting, so I do suspect that we will see some recruitment from without in the not too distant future i.e this winter.

At the moment I think we're in a strange place - we have on staff all of the following who are or have been top three batsmen for a significant part of their careers:

Tom Abell
Eddie Byrom
George Bartlett

Yet three of these men have found themselves batting at, what, 4, 5 and 7 in this match, whilst Hildreth bats at three.

I'm not at all convinced that a batsman of Eddie's temperament is ideal down the order at 5, as opposed to up in the top three. As a predominantly back-foot player, I've always rather felt that Tom's technique is better suited to batting in the top 3 than at 5 (where he batted last year). Obviously, Tom is up to four for this one. Personally, whilst I don't think we'll see it happen, I'd have no problems seeing both of Eddie B and Tom bat in our top three. That would leave Hildreth where he's made the vast majority of his runs. Obviously, the elephant in the room would be Mr T.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Somerset LaLaLa (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 19:54

How many of the winter England touring squad came from non-test hosting counties? I'm not sure Clarke would have improved his selection chances by coming here.

On that subject, who will be our no 3 when Hildreth finally gets the nod?

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Mike TA1 (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 21:14

Day three of the match against Kent, Photos

Daniel Bell-Drummond just managed to get the bottom of the bat on the ball otherwise he would have been bowled.

Heino Kuhn cleaned bowled by Craig Overton.

He then went on a celebratory run, that is far better than shouting in the batsman's face.

Alex Blake also cleaned bowled this time by Lewis Gregory.

Marcus Trescothick out lbw to Darren Stevens, the photo gives the impression he was bowled he wasn't.

Maybe the ball was moving around a bit for the ball to take the edge of James Hildreth's bat playing a defensive shot, he was caught by Ollie Robinson off the bowling of Darren Stevens.

Another defensive this time it was Eddie Byrom who was caught by Ollie Robinson the bowler was Matt Milnes

Craig Overton (four runs) partnership is sixty with George Bartlett, it shows what can to done if you play without taking too many risks.

We need these two to stay in in the morning.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Bagpuss (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 21:55

I wonder if Joe Clarke has improved his Test selection chances by moving to Trent Bridge. Four Nottinghamshire batsmen have been awarded Test caps amongst the 90 players to debut this century. Between them they have played 27 Tests; two fewer than Tim Robinson, with 29 caps and two more than Chris Broad, with 25,who both played in the 1980s.

Of the four Nottinghamshire Test batsmen of the 21st century one, Samit Patel, was picked more as a spinner who could bat than primarily for his batting, another, Alex Hales, earned his place during England's interminable hunt for an Andrew Strauss replacement at the top of the order on the back of considerable success as an ODI opener. Usman Afzal is a handy name to remember for a Sporcle quiz. The fourth is James Taylor, who may have proved to be the real deal, but thanks to a fairly rare cardiac condition he shares with a few boxers of my acquaintance (canine, not WBO) his Test career was over just as he was starting to make an impression.

Meanwhile Nottinghamshire have been casting their net around the counties to recruit batsmen. Many have trod the path to Trent Bridge, Somerset's Matt Wood and Neil Edwards among them. Few have had much success. Will it be amy different for Joe Clarke? Maybe. Certainly Notts have been on a right old recruitment drive in the last nine months or so - Derbyshire's Ben Slater and Northamptonshire's Ben Duckett join him in a batting line up of imports - only four of the side currently playing Yorkshire are home bred, none of them in the top six. They've had a good start to the season. Add James Patterson to the mix next week and Somerset will have to be a whole lot better than they've been against Kent.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 21:55

Tom Cooper and Adam Hose were both recruited AFTER Nick not before him guys. And Tom wasn't domestic really.

I checked in the Press Box as you suggested. Seemed to have been a certainty that he was going to Notts so little point in only going through the motions.

No inclination to discuss the rest Tom. I'll decide on your level of aggression. I don't particularly need to explain myself to you. You are on borrowed time and unless your posting behaviour hits requirements I'll treat you as a semi troll. One person thanked me for dealing with the issue quickly and I'll do it again should you do it again.

Advice given applies.


Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Tom Seymour (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 22:03

Then so be it Grockle, do what you think is right.

Now what is a semi troll?

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

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Scrumper (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 22:05

I'm sure they said the Q&A was 20 mins after the end of yesterday's play, unless I'm going mad (again).

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 22:23

No idea Scrumper but there was no reference to it today. You may be right.

I may need to clarify my question about specialist batsmen. I'm talking about first class, domestic based and pre Nick Compton. So for example Adam Hose was Post Compton and came thru our training system to an extent. Tom Cooper was also post Compo and wasn't particularly signed for first class duties. Didn't he also bowl?

Zander would also not apply as he was an allrounder Neither would kolpaks - Mackenzie for example or Internationals like Alviro.

So who was the previous domestic first class specialist batting contract before Nick Compton's?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2019 22:53 by Grockle.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Somerset LaLaLa (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 22:41

The Q&A is on the club website for yesterday. Still the BBC feed managed to post Tom Abell as Hampshire keeper today...

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: wsm fan (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 23:24

The Q&A was Saturday evening 7pm after play.
Mr Hurry & Mr Cornish fielded questions from a reduced attendance of 60/70 maybe.
Stragglers coffee machine out of order!
Ondatje closed due to a failed annual safety inspection.
T20 overseas 2nd player, nothing to report yet.
Mr Hurry is not against the use of the loan system, no names mentioned (insert Jack & Dom.......?)
Long room issues (quite heated!) then somewhat took over proceedings......

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Bagpuss (IP Logged)
Date: 07 April, 2019 23:37

The Q&A session was on Saturday. I wasn't there. Rumour has it that the Long Room members may be about to revolt and it has something to do with pizza*

*I may not have got that exactly right.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Farmer White (IP Logged)
Date: 08 April, 2019 06:53

Day 3 (2nd day of play)

Also available at the top of the home page on my website at:


with the report on the previous day's play immediately beneath it.

A repair job for Somerset

County Championship Division 1. Somerset v Nottinghamshire. 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th April 2019. Taunton.

Third day. 7th April – Repair job

Overnight. Somerset 171. Kent 84 for 2. Kent trail by 87 runs with 8 first innings wickets standing.

It was a morning of sustained Somerset brilliance. The bowlers, particularly Gregory, Davey and Overton attacked, pressurised and harried the Kent batsmen. It is true the conditions favoured the them. The Quantocks had retreated behind the haze that had shrouded them on the second afternoon. On the third day the scene was even darker than on the second. Taunton’s newly installed lights were on before mid-day and they stayed on until mid-afternoon and, as the evening light faded, for the final over. How many extra hours of Championship cricket they will afford Somerset in a season would be worth monitoring. It may be enough one day to give Somerset the time they need to win a Championship, or to avoid relegation.

I arrived an hour before the start, the Sunday bus timetable and the gathering Taunton marathon seeing to that. It may have been darker than the previous morning but it was much warmer too. The wind had dropped. In two coats it was actually quite pleasant and two teams of cricketers playing football brought an air of familiarity which had been strangely absent from the scene on the previous morning.

Gregory and Davey opened the bowling and immediately found enough movement to warrant four slips. Both sent balls tantalisingly close to the edge, a ball from Gregory tying Renshaw up as it squeezed past the inside edge. Davey twice went past the outside edge of Dickson’s bat and then found the edge from where the ball flew arrow-like neatly into the waiting hands of Hildreth at first slip. It was a dual demonstration of the art of swing bowling and the smooth curving patterns which the ball described through the air fell very properly into the category of art.

The same could be said of the cover drive off Gregory which Renshaw sent to the Ondaatje boundary. By what device Gregory induced a leading edge from a Renshaw attempt to turn him to leg I know not but the ball traced a perfect arc straight to Tom Abell at mid off from where he moved sharply forward to take the catch. The Somerset machine was beginning to crank into gear after its creaky performance on the second day. Kent, in the ascendancy at the start of the third day were 97 for 4 and no further advanced than Somerset had been at that stage of their innings.

Now Bell-Drummond and Kuhn did for Kent what Abell and Davies had done for Somerset. They began to move the Kent innings towards the prospect of stability. For Somerset Overton began to test the batsmen as Gregory and Davey had done with movement spiced with his ability to obtain lift. Only Brooks with his persistently full length offered any leeway and was driven as a consequence. A couple of people I later chatted to spoke of Brooks’ ability to take wickets in conditions where others struggled. His time would come they thought.

It was cut and thrust stuff as it had been throughout the match and it continued in like manner. Kuhn cut Davey viciously through point to the Caddick Pavilion dug outs. Bell-Drummond drove Brooks through extra cover to near where the old Stragglers used to be. In reply Overton fizzed a ball past Kuhn’s forward defensive to half-raised hands and cries of, “Ohhhh!” and then forced an inside edge which somehow evaded the stumps and provoked a sharp intake of breath. And yet gradually the batsmen were accommodating to the situation and the conditions and were moving Kent closer to the Somerset score.

As the intense struggle continued Azhar walked over to offer advice or perhaps support to Brooks as he walked back to his mark as he had done with Davey earlier. A succession of appeals were turned down my the umpires and the Kent score moved to within 30 of Somerset’s as Bell-Drummond drove Brooks straight to the Somerset Pavilion. The familiar buzz that usually permeates the stands at Taunton began to subside into a contemplative hum as Kent threatened to take control of the game.

And then there was a piece of sheer cricketing magic from Overton. Kuhn, whose batting reputation had come before him, was threatening to break away from the grip of the Somerset bowlers. Overton induced what appeared to be a distinct inside edge from my vantage point directly behind the keeper’s head. There was a marked deviation, although from 80 yards it is impossible to be sure what it deviated off, and Davies moved to leg to take the ‘catch’. Overton set off down the wicket, arm extended aloft and emitted a fearful roar of celebration as the cordon appealed in unison. The umpire’s finger stayed quietly by his side.

Back to his mark walked Overton. Kuhn took his stance. The crowd, or at least me, and, I suspect, Kuhn expected an Overton flier to whistle past his ears. Instead it whistled past the edge of the bat, hit the top of middle stump on the way through and deposited it a yard or too back from its moorings. What a cheer went up at the sight. It was a stunning piece of bowling which made the trip worthwhile on its own. The hum was gone and the crowd moved straight to chatter without stopping to buzz. 144 for 5 was progress for Somerset against the Kent top order but it was only only 27 runs short of Somerset’s total. Kent, in spite of the formidable efforts of the Somerset bowlers, were still keeping ahead in the match.

Blake threatened briefly to extend the advantage before trying to cut Gregory, only to edge the ball into his stumps. 160 for 6. Just 11 runs short. And then a piece of cricketing magic to match Overton’s dismissal of Kuhn. Bell-Drummond edged Gregory towards the slips. The ball flew like a bullet in a steep trajectory. Someone who was watching the batsman through binoculars assumed four runs over the heads of the slip cordon. Unfortunately for Bell-Drummond the part of the slip cordon over which the ball flew consisted of Marcus Trescothick. From the top of the Somerset Pavilion a catch looked impossible. Until that was Trescothick’s outstretched hands caught the bullet far above his head. There was a hesitancy, perhaps of disbelief, from the field and then a huge roar and engulfment of Trescothick.

The memory of that catch rippled around the ground for some time afterwards. “That was quite a catch from Trescothick,” and “Did you see that catch by Trescothick?” the most common things I heard during my lunchtime circumnavigation. “Well done Banger,” the immediate response from the top of the Somerset Pavilion. 165 for 7. Somerset pegging back Kent’s advantage.

Lunch came with Kent 172 for 7. One run ahead. My customary lunchtime circumnavigation registered a general consensus that Somerset had bowled extremely well and stuck at the task of retrieving a disadvantageous position. There was also a consensus that any Kent score over 200 would put significant pressure on Somerset in their second innings, given the prevailing conditions. I managed to reach the covers store just as play resumed and so I watched from there in conversation with two other Somerset supporters for the rest of the Kent innings.

The innings realised another 37 runs and took Kent to 209. Overton had Stevens caught neatly at slip by Gregory. Robinson seemed to check a shot against Brooks or perhaps it was a slightly slower ball and Byrom took the catch at midwicket. Abell brought himself on at the end to beat Milnes’ defensive push and induce an edge to Davies behind the stumps. Kent were 38 in front. “We don’t want to find ourselves 40 for 3,” was my statement of the blatantly obvious but the obvious contained the seeds of a fear in this low scoring match.

The fear began to bite before I had time to return to my seat. Returning from a purchase from the kiosk next to the covers store saw me seeing a perfect cover drive from Trescothick followed by an attempt to drive again, this time through the on side. The umpire’s finger was raised as the ball deflected off the pad. Time, I thought, to get back to my seat. Not enough time because as I emerged at the top of the stairs I heard, “The next batsman is …” and in walked Tom Abell with Hildreth in the last wicket slot on the scoreboard. 7 for 2 according to the top of the scoreboard. 17 for 3 when Azhar pushed almost reluctantly at a ball from Podmore, as if he had failed to judge it, and was caught at third slip. When Byrom edged a defensive shot to the keeper Somerset were 32 for 4 and the seeds of my fear had borne an unwelcome fruit.

Any remaining vestiges of hope of a Somerset victory were now in the hands of Abell and Davies. Almost immediately one of those silken cover drives of which Davies is the master fed the hope. It seemed to cover the ground like a snooker ball does baize. If hope has to be borne of something that stroke would do as well as any. It signalled an attempt by Davies and Abell to turn the tide of the match. When Abell drove through midwicket towards the Somerset Stand the batsmen took two runs, Somerset moved into the lead and an ironic cheer rose from several voices around the ground. It was perhaps Somerset’s nadir in a match of lows. Only the exceptional bowling of the morning stood apart.

The irony soon turned to genuine cheering and applause when Davies drove again through the covers to the Somerset Stand with a timeless quality which transcended anything that was going on around it in this match. It is one of the joys of watching cricket that however badly your team is doing there is always the prospect of seeing one of its members playing the sort of stroke or bowling the sort of ball that has held spectators in awe for generations past.

At tea Somerset were 53 for 4, 15 runs ahead. I found myself in conversation in the small gap between Gimblett’s Hill and the Somerset Pavilion when play resumed. We discussed the spirited fightback by Somerset’s bowler’s before lunch rather than the batting collapse which followed it. As we talked Abell and Davies set about trying to continuing to try to retrieve the near hopeless situation they had inferited. They are perhaps at opposite ends of the classical batting spectrum. Right and left-handed but above all the contrast between the sharp, overtly powerful stroke play of Abell and the silken, deceptive power of Davies’ strokes.

The detail is lost in our conversation but the impression left is of the two distinct styles combining to push Somerset forward. And then Abell drove hard with the most classical of cover drives at a ball wider than was safe and edged to the keeper. 90 for 5. 52 ahead. Abell 30. Not far enough ahead but just enough to dare to hope. As Davies moved into the 30s I commented that he was on “borrowed time” in this match as no-one had reached 50.

I reached my seat at the top of the Somerset Pavilion just as Davies’ “borrowed time” ran out. As I took my seat he was bowled for 39. “He played on,” someone said. 103 for 6. 65 ahead. When Gregory lost his off stump trying to keep Claydon out Somerset were 111 for 7. 73 ahead. The Somerset fightback was fast fizzling out as Craig Overton strode out to join Bartlett, Somerset’s seventh batsman.

Overton started by turning Claydon square for a single as the cloud, which had permitted an interlude of sun, began to close in again. Stevens swung a ball past Bartlett’s defensive push. It has been thus for the entire match but it emphasised Somerset’s precarious position. Overton put the other side of the equation when he drove Claydon powerfully to the Somerset Pavilion boundary for there has been much driving in this match as the bowlers search for movement as they strive to keep the wickets coming in a low-scoring game. Somerset led by 81 and the power and precision of Overton’s stroke seemed to inject a frisson of tension, revealing a slither of hope, into the air.

Overton continued by pulling Milnes for four in front of square to the Ondaatje boundary and Bartlett drove him straight to the Somerset Pavilion before being almost caught and bowled off the next ball. When he cut Milnes backward of square a brilliant diving stop saved four runs as the furious cut and thrust of this game continued unabated. Bartlett responded with a hook, top edged over the keeper’s head for six over the short boundary in front of the Sir Ian Botham Stand. He drove the next ball through the covers for four. Somerset were suddenly 140 for 7 and had Overton and Bartlett taken the lead just past 100.

Now Overton began to make real progress. Podmore was turned behind square for two and driven to the Trescothick Stand for three, the very slow outfield more than negating the effect of the short boundaries. In the next over he leaned into an on drive which went along the ground to the covers store against Milnes. It was as good a specimen of that stroke as you will see. When Milnes bounced Bartlett, trying perhaps to test Bartlett’s propensity to hook, he cleared Bartlett and tested the wicketkeeper’s ability to jump to the extent that four byes and two height no balls resulted.

Bartlett ended the day with a perfect cover drive to the Ondaatje Stand. He and Overton had added 60 to take Somerset to a lead of 133, Bartlett on 35 and Overton on 27. It had been a typical Bartlett innings of risk and progress whilst Overton had showed considerable skill in playing some of the more orthodox strokes in difficult conditions.

Estimates of how many Somerset would need to set as a target to have a realistic chance of pressuring Kent ranged from 150 upwards. They were still 27 short of setting the minimum target but they were an awful lot closer than they had looked when they lost their fourth wicket still six runs behind. If the final day brings the weather of the second and third mornings and Somerset’s bowlers bowl as they did on the second morning we may be into edge of seat territory. For Somerset supporters ’twas ever thus.

Close. Somerset 171 and 171 for 7. Kent 209 (S.R. Dickson 43, L. Gregory 3-26, C. Overton 3-46). Somerset lead by 133 runs with three second innings wickets standing.

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Somerset LaLaLa (IP Logged)
Date: 08 April, 2019 09:28

I wonder if Joe Clarke has improved his Test selection chances by moving to Trent Bridge.

Really interesting topic. Many players have had a few test caps before the selectors looked elsewhere, so also worth speculating is whether moving county helps relaunch your career? I recall Stuart Broad rising to test fame after joining Notts and then there's Graeme Swann. Would he have been on Strictly if he had not moved to Trent Bridge?

Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 08 April, 2019 11:34

Well done George Bartlett. A fighting 50 if I ever saw one.


Re: Somerset Rush Their Fences
Posted by: Somerset LaLaLa (IP Logged)
Date: 08 April, 2019 11:37

A great 50 for George Bartlett

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