Championship cricket back at the County Ground as we welcome Middlesex. They seem to have been shorn of some talent and Chris Rogers seems to have decided that the pitch chosen for this game is 'too worn' and has moved the game to a green top. No toss is the decided option and Middlesex put us in first. Interesting
We start the second half of the CC1 season on one of the greenest wickets I have personally seen at Taunton for a while. It might be an underestimation of the wear on the central wicket or it might be the lack of seam options after England call ups and other things. No Roland Jones, No Finn, No Stirling No Murtagh. Have they set up a pitch looking for a home win? Well it might be...it might also backfire as we bat first. As a piece of trivia.... this is Pete Trego's 200th first class match.
No Tom Abell yet so the back injury must still be an issue. This offers an opportunity to Johann Myburgh to extend his first team work and consolidate some good form. No Ryan Davies who was ill for the Pakistan match but then played in the short form games. Both Overtons are in which might not be the case later in the season now that Jamie has been called up for the Lions. Jack Leach is also back reminding people of his value hopefully as the 50 over tournament gets underway.
We start on time in breezy but sunny conditions. Banger opens with Johann against the hopefully less formidable opening bowling attack of Harris and Fuller. Harris' first ball from the River is slapped for 4 by MT but JMb does not fare as well against Fuller's first over and does not survive it. Caught behind without scoring at a total of 6. Maybe tje green pitch is NOT going to work for us. Rogers is in early after a long rest from cricket and an even longer rest from playing at home. By the 5th over the two Somerset men have accumulated 18 and there is some life in this pitch for the men from the 'Sex.
Fuller has Rogers in a lot of trouble early, very nervous, but they do keep giving loose stuff to Marcus and he is in form to put it away. Much mote authoratative than last year. No scratching about, he is killing anything loose presently. 45 after 10 with Rogers only on 2. However after that Chris starts to look a little better and with the 50 going up from a Marcus boundary in the 12th, early jitters seem to have been dealt with. At 77 with Rogers almost up to Banger's score the 'boss' gets an inside edge and plays on to a ball from Harris from the New Pavilion for 35. 77 for 2 at the end of the 16th and James Hildreth is in
The 100 arrives from a faultles Hildreth square four and it is 103 half way through the 22nd and Rogers goes to a well crafted and patient 50 off 68 balls with 10 fours. Unfortunately James immediately misses a straight one and goes LBW to Fuller for 19 at 115. In comes Jim Allenby with an awful lot to prove.
After a wander around the pitch at lunchtime saying hello to "Grizzzly" (who bore no resemblence to what I thought he would look like - and that Somerset accent sir!!) and taking part in a discussion with "Tractor", "Shepton" and "Bagpuss" about the nature of Somerset cricket while trying to ignore the pretty regular clatter of SCCC wickets. Middlesex bowlers seem to have got the length of the pitch and therefore started to ask our batsmen a few more questions without giving them the same amount of loose stuff.
After lunch with the score in the 125 we lost Rogers at 133, Trego at 153, Craig at 154 and Barrow at 172. 4 wickets for 48 runs in 11 overs and 5 balls. Then the rain arrived in force with 184 on the board and we took an early Tea. Play is expected to start again at 4:25 with 7 overs lost and 41 left to play in the day. It could be an interesting third session. We don't want to see over 10 wickets down today looking at the twitter traffice presently holding forth anout the Someret decision to move the pitch.
Jamie finally brings up the 200 in the 53rd over after both Fuller and Podmore have had the ball moving about, he was dropped in the 51st when he slashed wldly at a ball from Podmore and managed to flick it wide of Ollie Rayner who got fingers to it but could only tip it over the bar.
It's all pretty much a case of survival at the moment. However Jamie doesn't survive long enough and is caught behind off Podmore (on Championship debut)trying a full blooded drive at 211 four balls into the 57th for 14. Immediately the rain tips down and the players go off.
Back on just after 5 and Jack Leach jumps Tim and comes in at number 8. Podmore then gets one to move away from Allenby and he goes for a fighting 44 at 213 for 9. 115 balls and 6 fours. TGis the last man in and 250 looks a distance away.
After 23 runs of spirited defence, Jack is caught at second slip by an outstanding diving one handed catch from Ollie Rayner off Fuller. We walk off with 236 to our name and with 17 overs to deliver to Micdlesex before the end of Day 1. Presently Graham Cowdrey and the umpires seem to have no issue with the pitch "...given the present state of play..." . Angus Fraser is not presently particularly happy but there's some cricekt to come in this game yet.
Craig Overton starts against Robson and has him LBW second ball. o for 1. He seems to have the length zeroed in if the first over is something to go by. Wicket maiden and three unplayable balls in it. Tim opens from the River to Gubbins with Eskinazi at the other end. Half way through the over Middlesex get runs off the bat. The last ball spits up but they've got 6 off the over. No idea what Jamie is going to do with this.....
29 for 1 after 6.5 overs when the rain starts again and the umpires send the players dressing room bound but as the groundstaff bring the covers on the officials then call the players back and the game continues after the covers are rolled off again. It's dark on the pitch, there is dark stuff heading in from the Taunton town centre but the clouds over the Quantocks are high and bright. All a bit of a conundrum for the match controllers with drizzle but 9 overs to complete the day. Meanwhile Tim continuues from the River....it's been too loose from that end I am afraid up until now.
Once again umpires call the players off as rain sweeps across the ground and then stand around as the sun comes out, the groundstaff get the covers on and then off as the game continues into the 9th over. Craig bowls a maiden and then the 10th is delivered in driving rain and intermittent sunshine. Also a maiden as Gubbins (31 from 33) and Eskinazi (1) are happy to defend the evening away. To spice it up a bit, Rogers introduces Jamie at the New Pavilion for the 11th. Eskknazi can't be impressed, especially as the wild wide third ball beats everyone crashing into the boundary. Just keep it tight Jove. The first and the last were the balls...the rest? Needs work. Allenby takes over at the River. Johann Myburgh has had two opportunities to run one of these batsmen out with accurate throws but both times the stumps have remained standing "We never hit the stumos" is the frustrated call from the box. At the end of the 15th the 50 is up for the visitors. Jamiehasn't got this right, too much down the legside, not enough in the right spot...the odd ball isn't good enough snd it has to be better in the morning. Jim finishes the day's play and Middlesex finish with 51 for 1 Gubbins has 31 and Eskinazi has 7. 185 runs behind.
A lovely morning for the second day with warm sunshine even though there is grey cloud about the place. Cove takes the ball. runs in. bowls full and Eskinazi drives the ball straight to James Hildreth at midwicket and we have first blood. 51 for 2. Chris Rogers has obviously had a word but I'm not sure Tim Groenewald was listening because there is little difference between the morning andthe late afternoon sessions. All the early chances are to Craig as Gubbins gets a leading edge to one which. had he not been busy appealing for leg before, Overton really should have caught. He dives but jjst too late amd his manner afterwards suggests he really should have got it.
The Somerset skipper is keen to keep the pressure on and we see a surprise replacement at the River end as Pete Trego, who has been undersused as a bowler this season to be hinest, comes on for the 22nd. With his 5th ball he gets Malan playing on and it is 74 for 3 which introduces George Bailey to the middle and the real contest of the day is on with Gubbins and Bailey the two main obstacles to a Somerset advantage.
Gubbins goes to 50 at the end of the 24th off 72 balls with 6 fours and a six. Tim Groenewald changes ends at 87 for 3 for the 29th snd seems to have Bailey dropped (very difficult chance) in the slips at 95. Then Chris introduces the player he hopes will be the main difference today as Jamie comes on at the River for the 32nd . Unfortunately he bowls 3 balls and then picks up his jumper and walks slowly off the pitch while Pete finishes the over and sees Middlesex reach 100 off the last ball of it. I have no idea what has happened but it does look ominous for today and for his Lions work later in the month.
Gubbins is dropped by Marcus diving in front of Allenby at first slip on 110 off TG and alongside that comes the news that Jamie is in shorts in the Caddychack and not expected back on the pitch any time soon. Someone else needs to step up and be counted at 114 for 4. Jim Allenby takes over at the River on cue and has Gubbins caught by MT in the same position at the other end at 115 for 4. Excellent. Simpson comes in snd is Jim's second victim as he is caught behind in the 38that 117 for 3. Jim has 2 for 3 and we have 5 down with Franklin and Bailey at the crease. Job not over yet, James Franklin has made runs here before.
Cove returns at the New Pavilion but Allenby isn't finished yet as Franklin leaves a straight one and he has 3 for 10 and Middlesex are 133 for 6 just before lunch... we probably would have taken this at the start of the day. The session ends at 146 for 6 with Bailey holding the innings together on 43 and Rayner on 1
After lunch Ollie Rayner and George Bailey prosper on the fact that our bowlingplan has been scuppered by the absence of Jamie Overton. Just as you want that extra pace you have to turn to the slower pace of Tim and Craig without overworking them of the medium pace of Jim and Pete. It takes 12 overs and some runs before Craig finally gets Rayner for 12 at 177. By this time Bailey is well set and just needs someone to hold up their end while he chips away at the Somerset total. Harris provides that and more enabeling Middlesex to pass 200 and they have added 12 more before the roar goes up as that man Allenby gets the Aussie caught Craig Overton for 71. The introduction of Jack for a couple of overs before the interval suggests that it hasn't come too soon as Harris by this time has made 24 and seems set to move the visitors past SCCC's first innings total with Fuller (22) as they reach Tea with 242 on the board. It has been a long afternoon session.
After Tea Somerset take the new ball immediately and Tim and Craig look to end some solid Middlesex defence before any addition creates a lead we have to worry about. Harris and Fuller are playing well however and with the sun out and the pitch graxuslly turning from green to brown teh second half of this game looks like it might be interesting as well. It is important that Rogers works his men to ensure that the visitors do not get away. 250 is up in the 83rd over.
By the 96th the men are still there with Fuller off 72 balls with 5 fours and a six and the tail has wagged for Middlesex. Without the pace variation of Jamie to at least turn to we are forced to put Jack on as a container and hope for something to break this 9th wicket partnership before the game becomes a usual procession to a draw. The sun is out the pitch has dried, there's nothing in the air and despote a couple of fairly decent LBW shouts (the Jack Leach one parti ularly unlucky) it seems that the Alex Barrow drop of Bailey at 146 for 6 in the middle session may have been the crucial point. You have to take your catches as the old adage says.
Here we are... 300 up with just under 15 overs to go tonight and the draw is now starting to wave from the sideline unless something silly from Somerset in the second innings tomorrow morning. With 101 overs gone and Harris moving to 50 (143 balls 5 foursthere is a drinks break and a ponder on the hour that went between Bailey being dropped and finally being out, and hour when this pitch last all its life opening up a 100 partnership possibility from the number 8 and number 9. This is a new record for Kent beating the previous stand which has stood since 1895 of 93. This subsequently arrives and the job of getting these two out becomes a necessafy chore to the Somerset side who seem jaded by this time in the day. It went with them for the first half but certainly hasn't gone with them since about 2:30 this afternoon. The win in this game may have gone and with it any possible interest in the end of the season Championship run in (possibly a folorn hope anyway).
Johann Myburgh nearly gives us hope with a superb effort to take a diving catch...to no avail as the ball heads for the boundary. It would have been a stunner and it was close. But the onslaught goes on as the Middlesex lead nears 100 and the two batsmen seem in no trouble at all. Fuller makes his best score of this season at least and Chris Rogers turns to Johann Muburgh..... it's all gone very pear shaped this late evening I am afraid and I have no suggestions as to how it could be changed as Craig Overton returns with 5 overs to go.
The day comes to its inevitable end at 361 for 8. Congratulations to both Fuller (best ever first class score) and Harris and 361 for 8 puts us against kthe wall for at least tomorrow . A gamble that didn't come off. But to me no less important because of that. Our captain took a chance to make our CC1 season more than another 'hang on by the fingernails' campaign. He then put his faith in his side and to a great extent they gave him what he wanted. The bowlers this morning gave him the bowling he wanted. At lunchtime we were well into them and there was something there. An injury we didn't need happens, a catch is dropped and we find ourself here. Can't blame the captain..... who do you put the blame on? Would Bates have caught the chance? Think so.......
Excellent. Back on. Middlesex are without Finn, Roland Jones, Murtagh and Sterling. We are as on team sheet except Alex plays instead of Ryan behind the stumps.
The game is being played on a recently mown strip - very green. Not sure of the facts yet. Uncontested toss so Middlesex will bowl and Tom is not in the side so Banger and Rogers will open with Johann at 3
Can't produce a story presently because the admin is still down. Hopefully it will return. On time start and first ball goes for four off Banger. Somerset made the decision to change the pitch. Might be because of the team Middlesex have put out. But we are batting first. Saw the other as a draw pitch........ More to come if there is any.
I have always believed, Grockle, that if a team has a big edge on an opponent in batting then that team maximises its advantage by playing on a track that is difficult to bat on. And if a team has a big edge in bowling (which we are hoping we'll have in this one) then you maximise that advantage by playing on a track that favours the bat...after all the vast majority of professional bowlers can pose a threat IF the track does plenty..
Let's hope, given the assistance that is there when ball is pitched up, that Jamie O maintains his recent efforts to pitch the ball up rather than getting carried away with short stuff on what the commentators seem to think is quite a quick pitch.
Didn't say anything while Marcus was in but he does look like the Trescothick of a few years ago. Much more authority, disdain for the loose stuff and more solid. Unfortunate wicket...against the run of his play.
If it's damp then indentations may form which could then lead to uneven bounce later on. Uneven bounce would put us in pole position in the match but would also, surely, leave us under greater threat of official sanction.
AGod- I reckon that's a smokescreen. They have to come up with some explanation as to a change of pitch with an hour to go. Middlesex missing their entire first choice seam attack shouldn't be an acceptable reason for changing pitches. Just think what Murtagh and TRJ would have done on this.
To the best of my knowledge we've never had a dangerous track at Taunton. The problem with trying to (maybe) use that as a smokescreen is that the pitch inspector can very easily inspect the original track too and (potentially) conclude that there was nothing wrong with It.
For all I know Somerset may have asked Middlesex if they objected before making the pitch change- otherwise it might be considered a bit underhand. Otherwise you would often get the home team looking at who the oppo have brought with them and making a last minute change.
Actually, in terms of The main seamers, I do Not know If we do have The more experienced attack, Chunky?
Okay, TG will be The most experienced on either side but Harris (definitely) And Fuller (maybe) more experienced than Overtons?
I think it's more that, by dint of Overtons, there is more height and more pace in our attack.
The key question, for me, is whether The track will develop indentations? If It does, we Can expect increasing uneveness. If Not, then I see no reason why batting last should be a disadvantage as no reason to expect batting to become more difficult. 95 times out of 100, Taunton eases as a match progresses.
Where on earth can AG have any evidence at all that we are "taking the Middx attack for granted"? That is total and utter guesswork, I believe, with no foundation at all.
I don't even think you're at the ground, AG - and by the way, neither am I despite Grockle feeling he spoke to me...I believe I flew over at around 9.30am on my way from Toronto to Gatwick, but I couldn't persuade the captain to drop me off.
Sorry Shepton.... I was taking Tractor's recollection and as we don't ever use names anymore I took his word for it. I'll now have to go and find out who he actually meant.... thanks for letting me know it wasn't you. Mr Driver brought his own Thatchers today...it wasn't the sparkly one so........
But that is no proof at all of the leadership's thought process - there are many reasons more likely than taking their attack for granted. Yes, they're missing a lot of their top bowlers, but MM, Trs and co will still know Fuller, Harris etc are good players, while I'm sure Rigers will never take any FC attack for granted.
It's a gamble to get a win, irrespective of the attack, theirs or ours you sometimes have to this to get things moving. If it works then it's inspired. If it doesn't then it's idiotic but whatever it is it is something. Got to be in it to win it as they say and you sometimes have to put things on the line......
I would be a little happier if the pitch did not LOOK under prepared because we may have gambled all and could lode it to the regulations......
Graham Cowdrey has said tha t"... at this stage the umpires have no problem whatsoever with the pitch and it is up to Somerset which pitch they want to play on..." Gus isn't happy, it seems, but has said nothing officially
The ball flew in the first and it was looking that way in the second until Gubbins deposited Craig for six off the last ball. The wicket maiden had balls ripping batsmen in half. If Jamie can get his radar in order on this he is going to be a real handful
Off the top of my head, within the time I have available, reasons might be:
Another would suit us better
Another would suit them less well
Badly marked out
Umpires unhappy with it
Opposing team unhappy with it
...and so on.
I suspect our team management felt the other one would suit us better, taking teams, conditions, etc into account - and that there would be minimal/no risk of penalty. Underestimating or 'taking for granted' an opposition FC attack are extraordinarily unlikely, in my opinion. Maybe that might happen if we were playing Bucks or Berks, but not the top FC team in the table - it's conceivable you just wanted to think the worst of our management and offer another stick to beat them with.
Opposing team unhappy with it? Really? You think we'd pick a different pitch because Gus Fraser didn't like The original one?
No possible reason to think The other one was under-prepared. I cannot see why It should have been too wet.
Uneven? How often does that happen At Taunton?
Badly marked out? It's Not a village green!
No indication umpires were unhappy with original pitch.
They surely picked this pitch At The last minute because they thought we could get away with having to bat first vs a depleted attack And that, that being The case we could try to prepare a result track without worrying unduly about having to bat first.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:10:18:25:20 by AGod.
AGod- I think you're right, but it could backfire on Somerset.
I was having nightmare images of Harry Podmore having figures of 35-0-150-0 on a typically unhelpful track as, quite frankly, he is in the side because there was no one else available. However, this let him in to the game with 4-54, so, arguably you have done Middlesex a favour.
Well, I'd say the only part of the day during which it seemed like the gamble would pay off was the first 90 mins or so, during which Middx bowled pies.
If, as is usually the case, this track gets easier to bat on as the match progresses then we are in trouble unless there is a drastic improvement with the ball tomorrow. If the track gets flatter as the game goes on then we need a good lead of 50-75 on first innings, IMO.
On Allenby he said 'He cops a lot of criticism from people who don't know any better'
Just who could Buck have in mind?
One thing really does surprise me- and that is that Somerset ccc were unaware Tim Murtagh was away with Ireland. As early as Thursday on MTWD we were all pointing out that TRJ and Finn with England meant our seam attack would have to be Harris, Fuller and Podmore, as Ireland required Murtagh- so how come Maynard & co hadn't worked out there was no Murtagh until 10 O'clock this morning?
No one said the pitch was wet/damp/whatever, just that it had been tested with what seemed to be a moisture meter to check the level.
As that result would have been with the officials and they are happy one should assume the pitch is NOT damp so don't worry about indentations and stuff like that AG.
Really Botham. You thought today was 'poor'. It was an excellent day's cricket for the crowd and far more interesting than 300 for 6 declared by one side. Lots there for the bowlers and lots of credit for batsmen who played well.
Not sure what 'the management' are to blame for or that they have made an 'error' at the moment. We won't know that until tomorrow and will you be on to say you were mistaken should this gamble get us a result in this game?
It's a gamble but at least it's a gamble to get a positive result.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:10:20:55:56 by Grockle.
If the management read this site and have posters on here in mind when Chris Rogers said about Allenby, "He cops a lot of criticism from people who don't know any better", then surely he would also have read Chunky's script that Murtagh would be on Ireland duty during this game.
Ronnie is right that plans are made up as we go along.
Nobody has ever got to the ongoing problem with the Taunton wickets and that is why we have had this scenario today. It is not the groundsmens fault because they work damn hard. Shame that Andy Nash & Co did not have any resolve to improve the wickets, but instead went on an ego boosting trip to provide facilities for a very occasional ODI or T 20 game.
The board has to take a lot of responsibility for the present state of our playing resources, but I have no confidence that they will. They have their Category B ground status, and they make a profit each year so what do members and their views matter.
A glass half - empty or a glass half - full?
Regardless, both glasses need filling up.
Well they are entitled to an opinion like your good self Tom.
Maybe more info to supporters would decrease criticism and increase your awareness of the plans being made as you and Ron seem to believe there are none. You are certainly not incorrect that it seems that in the T20 at least plans are not clear or solid enough.
I think you may find that there is info about that suggests the club does have the 'resolve' to do something about the wickets and a lot of the hard work by the groundstaff is to put that 'resolve' into action. I think it has been that way for a few years now but don't want to go back through the 'killing cricket' thread again to help with this particular possible urban myth.
I'm also not sure that you can lay blame on the whole management for Andy Nash's occasional inappropriate tweet about his own excitement concerning the international status. Not sure who you include in his 'and co'.
Most of the improvements around the ground seem to have been thought out in advance and communicated to the membership very clearly. I know some don't like the new stand but it was required and seem to be a place people want to sit. We aren't hugely in debt I don't think but we have a better classification for our ground - not a bad thing in the present climate regarding the status of grounds and the conversations about the 'elite'
I personally have seen no gloating info about the place about the internationals - even Andy's tweets have calmed down a little. They certainly haven't gone on about that news the way they went on about Mr Gayle for the T20.. of course that's what I've seen. You may know lots more about it than I do..
Yep Ron that has to be the plan. I would expect Chris to be having a talk to Tim and Jamie this evening about the need for the ball to NOT be fired down the leg side and to be of a decent length - too much width tonight from both of them.
We were talking most of the day about 250 being a minimum on this and we came in a little under that. We can't afford to let them get away tomorrow.
Now to me that always had to be the plan - get our bowling resources to work better than theirs and outbat them. Rogers and Trescothick looked good, James did not look in any trouble until he missed one and as AG says we have to give Allenby credit for not panicking and keeping the innings moving at the back end.
Don't think there will be much for Jack to do with the ball in this game - maybe while changing the pitch they might have considered changing him for Lewis?
It's all in the mix for the morning.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:10:21:38:40 by Grockle.
I am curious to know what can be done to dramatically improve the pitches in order to make games a fairer contest between bat and ball.
I am no groundsman, and I take off my hat to Simon Lee and his hard - working team, but we are stuck with the soil that we have and which has been compressed by being rolled and rolled over many decades. There was mention earlier in the season that it was now lawful to drill some holes in the pitch near to the batting crease and fill them with sand in order to assist slow / spin bowlers during the latter stages of a 4 day game. I hope that I did not imagine reading that, but I am always willing to assist by bringing down a few buckets full from Weston beach.
Perhaps digging some pitches up and re - laying them would provide better results.
And finally, No I do not want to open up the "Taunton is killing cricket" debate again. May that RIP.
Well I suppose the people to ask about this are the experts who know what to do in these situations? I would expect that to be happening.
We've thought of it and I'm sure even people obsessed, it seems, with one match against South Africa a year from now might have considered the same option however incapable they are of putting a plan together.
I think there is a plan for the winter... I'm sure if people are as obsessed with the pitch they can email the club and ask or maybe others here have some info about the winter plans.
Isn't there some digging planned?
I don't think the 'I don't know what is happening therefore nothing is happening' kind of logic works but I could of course be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time this season.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:10:21:45:40 by Grockle.
The Hildreth dismissal is on the official site - and it looks like it was comfortably missing leg-stump to me... So between that and the leg-side strangle of Rogers there may have been an element of mis-fortune with the bat today.
Chris Rogers was clearly less than gruntled with the bowling today. Hopefully we'll settle down in the same way that their guys did.
We simply HAVE to figure out a way to deal with Gubbins though. Until recently (he's done well in the last few games) we were virtually the only side that NG had done really well against...but he seemed to always make loads against us. He is a very, very strong back-foot player so the plan must surely be to be relentlessly full to him - not a plan that we managed to execute tonight. Dawid Malan is the other useful thorn in our side (although failed at Lord's last time out). If we bowl anything like then I do not expect George Bailey to get many on this sort of track. One overlooked factor about Middx being shorn of 3 of 4 senior seamers is that two of them (not Finn) made lots of runs last week - and TRJ has had a generally strong season with the bat. It may be that Fuller and Podmore prove weaker with the bat than TRJ/TM would havd done.
Interesting day today. Good to meet & chat with Grockle as well.
A few firsts for me today:
1) Never seen a pitch so green at HQ before. It was virtually indistinguisable from the outfield, albeit did not seem unsafe.
2) Have also never seen a groundsman (or anyone else) literally drilling holes & hammering nails into the wicket at lunchtime, overseen by Graham Cowdrey & the indubitably lugubrious Angus Fraser, (who looks & frowns like his namesake from from Dad's Army these days).
3) First time I can recall seeing an all run four at Taunton, when James drove towards the long off boundary at the CA Pavillion.
Felt we batted patchily. Some good, some bad, but more the latter to be honest. A little more application would have been welcome. I do wonder whether CR is a little over anxious to win (e.g. re the pitch switch), as whilst he batted well, he was perhaps a little fortunate to get away with a couple of injudicous swishes.
Allenby batted about as well as anyone, although James looked sublime in his brief innings.
I agree with the above comment re Jack Leach. I love to see him bowl, but it's presently difficult to see much of a role for him on this greentop.
We will certainly have to bowl & field very well tomorrow.
The official reason seems very strange for moving the pitch.
I have not read any post on here before posting my photos, my info come from cricinfo site.
A few extracts from the ECB rule on pitch preparation.
Counties are strongly advised to prepare an alternative pitch for the
Championship match in case the original pitch is damaged.
Was there an alternative pitch prepared? It doesn't look like it.
If flatsheet covers are to be used on Championship
pitches from 48 hours before the start through to the
end of matches, a dry coir mat or equivalent must be
placed under the sheet.
That looks like it wouldn't have been done because the groundsmen wouldn't have known we would be using today's pitch.
Another point, usually the rest of the square is normally watered the day before the flat sheets are put on the square the day before a match. If that was done today's pitch would be quite wet/damp when the sheets were removed today.
James came up to the press box in the afternoon. He just thought it was his fault he'd missed a straight one.
No one looking at the replay at the time thought there was any problem with the dismissal and of course the usual point is made that the umpire gets one chance to make a decision without technology to help him.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:10:22:59:58 by Grockle.
I was told after our superb day 1 on a Sunday at Hampshire that the lack of posts were due to Sundays always being slow!
Oddly 5 pages seem to have built up from today!
I don't get the negativity, I honestly don't.
We have moaned and moaned for years on here about dull lifeless pitches and draw after draw.
Our captain has made a brave decision to back our seamers to win a game on a green seamer over their 2nd string seamer's.
It may fail it may work but I for sure am happy with his thinking.
Chris says he's very happy with 236 on that pitch, he knows more than us all put together (unless some have test caps i'm unaware of!)
I completely agree with him if we put the ball in the right place tomorrow we can roll them over. He says he's had a word tonight and fully expects better tomorrow as do I.
In low scorers batting last is not easy, so for me anything under 260 I make us big favourites.
Tres, Chris and Jim all looked good today and made contributions. Hildy looked good too before getting a real stinker.
If by the close tomorrow they are 400/5 then i'll happily criticise us, but I still won't say our logic was wrong.
We have had 3 draws and 1 win so far at home, if we win 2 and lose 2 of remaining 4 home games that's absolutely fine by me.
As always maybe lets wait for both teams to bat before we commit ourselves yet again to certain relegation.
On a Somerset "supporters" forum it really is ok to be positive and "support" the players and our management. I'm fairly confident they don't make decisions and perform below our expectations with the intention of disappointing us all!!!
Now most of that seems moderately sensible to me WSM but what do we know?
We like the side we're watching so how can we be objective?
It seems everyone on here wants Somerset success.
At least that's I keep being told by those who come on in the late afternoon from their internet searches to tell me we're clueless and poor and there's no way to use the ground to win us games.
That's not what I saw today boys and girls...I saw two sides very keen to make a game of this with a final meaningful result for one of them, within the rules of the game and with the tested approval of the match officials.
Middlesex may win, we may fail but we are one day into this home match and Tom hasn't been on yet to tell us we've lost so things must be looking up. Day 2 in about 10 and a half hours. Rogers' gamble will stand or fall probably on tomorrow's events.
WSM - not only did we hand a reserve pace attack a juicy pitch but our gamble also ensured that, unless we made a big score batting first snd then made them follow-on (never probable), then Middx would have the advantage of batting last.
And, let's face it, it is akmost always an advantage on this ground as the tracks tend to flatten out. I also note that, should this game reach Wednesday, there is a forecast of a pristine sunny day which may also help the batting side.
We've have been far better off putting a relative novice like Podmore, an out of form James Harris and a guy, in James Fuller, who was used to bowling on CC2 greentops in Bristol under pressure on a good batting track. We'd have had a good chance of all 5 batting bonus points. A loss would have been unlikely if we played anything like. So we'd probably have taken at least 10-13 points from the fixture.
Our gamble has us, instead, facing a potential defeat from which we will take all of four points. If we do not manage to take a lead of 50-75 on first innings then I believe that said four point defeat will accrue. And if we don't bowl accurately tomorrow and take all of our catches, we won't get that sort of first-innings lead.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:11:06:34:42 by AGod.
What is nice though is waking up knowing there will almost certainly be a result. Even last week in Scarbados most Middlesex fans expected a draw before start of play on day four.
If Somerset had this pitch in mind all along it would be fair enough, but changing pitches an hour before the start just because of who the opposition have brought with them must be unprecidented. Still baffled Somerset weren't awake enough to not know Tim Murtagh was unavailable. That really is being asleep on the job.
It is given that the info was apparently deemed so significant that it should prompt a change of pitch!
Rogers looked distinctly sheepish when admitting that we hadn't bothered to check in his interview.
Had we known re: TM when Middx knew then we'd have had more time to prepare and plan - mentally - for a game on this sort of track. Middx would not have known - 2 or 3 days in advance - what track they'd be playing on. We'd have maybe also had more time to think about:
a) Whether this was really a gamble we wished to take
b) About our team selection. If Jack Leach barely bowls in this match then we will have effectively wasted a place. I know Middx have Rayner but at least he will provide slip catching even if he barely gets a bowl. Also Middx may have stuck with OP because they did not think that they had any other seamers remotely worth picking.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:11:07:27:37 by AGod.
AGod- The only other seamer on the Middlesex staff is Martin Andersson (2 s's is correct!) but he is a university student on a summer contract who hasn't even played that much in the 2's, so Rayner was always going to play.
I remember when Rogers was appointed saying he was someone who was prepared to lose in order to win.
I think it's important people say now whether they agree with the decision to change pitches ( no deciding after the result is known!) because anyone can be right after the event.
I'm just glad we aren't looking at yet another 96 overs, 300 runs, and only 3 or 4 wickets day, because I reckon both sides have had more than enough of those days this year.
Seems to me that wsm is putting a lot of faith in people who didn't even know that murtagh wouldn't be playing. To me that hey didn't know this is laziness to the extreme. Are we really saying here that this wicket wouldn't have been moved had he been playing? Is he that good ? He must be really chuffed this morning that he's held in such high esteem in Somerset !! Maybe we should sign him then !!
A few thoughts on yesterday's play: first, I'm really surprised that a) it's even permissible for the home club to decide unilaterally to change the pitch at the last minute and b) that they'd acknowledge so nakedly that it as done to disadvantage the opposition. However, as CR is quoted to that effect I guess it must have happened (contrary to the reports I heard via the grapevine, which suggested it was the umpires who'd rejected the originally chosen pitch. Grapevines, tchah).
236 to my mind was not at all a bad score overall given the conditions, though one or two dismissals were of course disappointing. The middle session especially was a testing time after the first shower. Credit to CR and JA for gritting it out whereas some who got more fluent starts weren't able to go on. (Personally I wouldn't have picked JA for this one, a view I suspect a lot here would have agreed with, so just as well it wasn't up to us).
It's cloudy in Taunton at the moment and the forecast suggests it'll stay that way for much of the day, with only occasional showers so we should get most of a day's play. I didn't see the Middx innings last night but I understand our early bowling was substandard. Hopeful of an improvement today and another good if chilly day's cricket. (Edited for typo).
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:11:09:12:14 by mikeindex.
Ronnie - Yep, that's what Rogers said and I think, logically, that must indeed be why the switch was made - after all, even Mr Maynard (or whomever he delegates responsibility for scouting the opposition to) would have noticed that Finn and TRJ were in the England squad and, apparently, we were still intending to play on the other pitch in spite of that knowledge.
On a hugely verdant pitch your "highly accurate English seamer," is a very good bet to go very well and so TM would have been a very good bet to go well on this, I would have thought..
.. And there is another point about the wisdom (or lack thereof) of our gamble - We do not really have anyone who is an absolute banker in those sort of conditions. Yes, TG has had a good season but, prior to this season, he had seldom - IMO - demonstrated the requisite accuracy and I would not describe as a banker on that type of pitch. Craig Overton has been having a generally underwhelming time of it this season. Jamie is hardly noted for nagging accuracy (recent improvements notwithstanding).
Frankly, the Overtons would be a better bet to outbowl these Middx guys on an altogether better batting pitch - one where extra pace and bounce would be at a premium. Messrs Fuller and Podmore do not possess extra pace/bounce. But they are not necessarily much (any?) worse than the Overtons when it comes to nagging away on a spot. Extra pace/bounce are not pre-requisites for success on this type of surface...... indeed, we might find that Jim Allenby may have more success than the Overtons on it - if he can simply land it on a spot.
Could, potentially, be the defining day of our CC season - take a big lead and could put a second-string attack under real pressure. Take only a small lead or fall behind on first innings, and it will be our batsmen under the gun (assuming that the pitch retains its juice).
Ditto (defining) with this match. Win and think seriously about the potential for a challenge at the top end of the table. Suffer a four point loss? Give succour to Notts and Surrey and absolutely need to look over our shoulders.
I'm in wsm's camp. Here's to a great day's cricket today, esp for SCCC.
PS didn't I post on here a couple months ago about us having to seriously consider whether we'd be happier to have more interesting wickets to play on where every game wasn't 450 v 450 IF that meant we lost more games?
Full ball first up and Eskinazi falls straight into the trap and drives it to a grateful James Hildreth 51 for 2 at 10:58am
Not sure how the decision could have been made any earlier than yesterday morning Bothsm as the absences were only confirmed at 9:45 (Rogers must have had them earlier - except for Murtagh of course). Earlier and you let Middlesex know as well.
Why are late decisions ALWAYS wrong where does that bit of Tweet speak come from originally?
I did try and tell people this but 'NO' it seems - EVERYONE wants Somerset success and you must not say otherwise!! As can be seen by the massively positive posts from last night applauding the attempt to get a result at our home ground by our well loved Aussie captain appointed it seems by our extremely well supported county management
Pitch less green today, apparently.......... so it's possible that it's already on the way to the usual Taunton pattern of becoming progressively less difficult to bat on as the match wears on.... If that is the case, then it will take a heck of a good second innings batting performance from us..............
I certainly take the point about Murtagh but I think they wanted more than that and although I'm sure they know you secretly want us to succeed Chunky, I'm not sure they were going to be interested in a prediction from a Middlesex supporter.
I'm sure they had looked at the possibility before yesterday but I still don't see how it made any sense telling anyone before yesterday morning. Officially the info about Finn, Roland-Jones and Stirling and their replacements was handed out to us just before 10.
I'd hope we should be able to roll Bailey out reasonably quickly. Most Aussies of recent vintage cannot cope with a seaming ball and his crooked bat technique of playing round his pad would seem to be particularly ill-suited if it's still seaming around.
The wicket isn't all that 'less green' and it was very green to start with before you start create hypothetical fictitious wickets in that fertile mind of yours where Leach bowls them out for 10 on a Bunsen at the end of Day 3. It would be worrying if we turn to Jack on the present wicket because the only reason for that would be to try and hold them. There is nothing significant presently in this pitch for a spinner. There have been debates this morning already about why Somerset did not leave Jack out when they made the decision and did not play either Lewis or Davey instead.
Took advantage of what may have been an earlier bowl than expected because of the absence of Jove. If conditions stay like this, then having Allenby bowling instead of Jove may be a blessing.. if it flattens out, though, then the extra pace/bounce likely to be missed.
There is an issue now if Jim keeps on like this as the media will be looking to interview the player if the day who has managed to pee off the local press AND the local BBC - he was unfriendly to local press members after a T20 match when they questioned Max being left out and has been blanking these local journalists since then it seems despite an apology from the club for his actions.
There was that incident with some student reporter, who was still learning his craft. It was the same thing- a Somerset supporter giving an honest (but not malicious) assessment of Allenby's performances.
Obviously, if we'd known in advance that TRJ would be called up by England and if we had sussed the Murtagh situation we might have tried to prepare something heavily grassed and gambled on the fact that we'd have to bat first on it.
Admittedly our advance notice was only 1-1.5 hrs but still the suggested gamble was taken Bit now seems not so welcome.
The zip has gone Nailsea. We needed Jamie this afternoon. NO criticism of effort but it has been hard work. We sort of expected him on for a couple before the Tea interval...that's what we got. It certainly wasn't any change in the pitch condition that screamed 'spinner'. However, it is starting to change colour as the afternoon is going on..so......
Yep. Its that thing that happens - we've been happy recipients of it this season. Tail enders ain't what they used to be and we are a strike bowler down. The pitch has lost its zing. It would be a good time to bat IF we could get past Fuller.
But all that means is that we are probably where we probably would have been on the draw pitch but maybe half a day early. It has certainly been a better July home fixture than some I've watched and there are 2 days to go with all 3 results still perfectly possible at this moment in time.
Still not sure how this was a bad decision. The execution may not have gone to plan but I'm not sure how you could factor in Jamie's injury and there was always the fact Middlesex might bat well. You takes yer chance... or you die safe sometimes...
On the original pitch, Grockle, Middx may have opted for a toss in a bid to bat first - especially because they had a weakened seam attack.
This would have given us the chance to bat second - either if we won the toss or if they did and opted to bat. There was never the slightest chance of them asking for a toss with the track we did opt for.
Jamie's injury may be a factor now. However, there is also every chance that it helped us a bit this morning as got Allenby on earlier (and probably more bowling) than would otherwise have been the case and he proved effective on this surface.
Jack back on 10 overs after the new ball to look to bore them out now. Fuller veryclose to a 50 Harris not far behind him and I can't tell you where the breakthrough will come from. Peoplr here are identifying a Barrow drop at the vital moment but I missed that
All that talk from the pro-gamble people about how there would 'definitely be a result,' in this match might also prove to have been premature.
IF Somerset bat properly in their second innings on an increasingly benign surface then, provided Rogers is not stupid enough to leave a target for Middx, then it is conceivable that both sides will run out of time to win this game.
Obviously, if we make 20 for 4 by the time we finally get in tonight, then forget the above. But that *should* not happen.
We would have still lost Jamie AG so our upper end variation would have gone. The pitch would have done the same by this time. Had Alex taken George at 146 for 6 then we would have been into these two much earlier and probably batting in these benign conditions this evening.
There was nothing wrong with the decision our execution could have been better in the first and a tail end stand always @#$%& up the best plans.
Rogers took action to look for a result. It doesn't seem to have come off but that can't identify the decision as bad just the application and the luck involved.
What might have happened is pointless. All kinds of things might have happened. They didn't and this one isn't over yet.
If anyone has one of those coupon thingamejigs, I might make a rare appearance tomorrow, as the Brexit seems to have sent us into recession and I am fairly redundant tomorrow. I don't think I can gamble full entry prices, based on the wet weather forecast.
Alternatively I could deliver sales literature (in the rain).
I dont understand - we cant even read our own pitch now. Start green we were always going in first and have the difficulties that this brings. I fail to see how "preparing" this green top actually gave us the advantage at all regardless of Middx absences.
Sadly for me today has epitomised everything that is sub standard with our club. Grockle the eternal optimist will attempt to shoot me down but here we are at home at the end of day two and barring a miracle we have absolutely no chance of winning this match. Poor decisions, poor selections, poor appointments at the top level and a very pretty ground which is not killing cricket but is generally killing any chance of the team batting first winning.
Something ( not everything ) needs to change and it is pointless pretending otherwise - we are currently in free fall in all competitions and yet we are one of the best supported in terms of bums on seats and money in the bank in the country.
We ( the supporters otherwise known as the PBI ) deserve better.
Sadly ( same word again ) we will not get it with the present hierarchy / players / DOC et al.
Give up the whitewash excuses each time we lose and wake up to reality !!
Not sure why I would shoot some of what you say down Rodders. Not feeling particularly optimistic about this game at the end of the day. I was at about 2pm when we looked in a good position.
This is a game where a captain chose to take a game on and put his faith in his side. If he hadn't then the previous results suggested a draw so he looked to force a win. Not sure what that has to do with all this other gubbins you seem to want to relate to it. I'm looking at this game alone and my comments have been about that...not surprising on a thread about the match.
As it happens a decent position was lost probably because of a mistake and that's taken the game...possibly. I'll be optimistic about that until the result goes against us if it does.
The rest of your post is a bigger issue than this game. Maybe you want to start a thread about those? I like the fact Chris Rogers was willing to go for it here. That has nothing to do with 'managment' over a season or many of the other things you want to tie to it. You aren't happy with that....Q and A at the ground tomorrow after play..enjoy.
U r correct Chunky but at least someone in a Somerset shirt took a gamble to try for a positive outcome.....that hasn't happened for a while. Had George Bailey gone at 146 for 6....how many of your batting points would you have been crowing over then I wonder? Great game this... swings and roundabouts.....
What exactly did Rogers go for? Putting us in on a green top totally underestimating their bowling . Gave us more chance iof a defeat than a win . Taunton wickets always flatten out but then he has only been here a while he wouldn't have known that. I'm all for a gamble but not when the odds are stacked against. just as well we won those two last wicket games this year .
I know a lot of you don't like Allenby, and reading David Hopps report I reckon Allenby could be in deep doo doo.
Earlier today he blocked Anthony Gibson on twitter for no good reason, and Gibson said on commentary he would request that Allenby be the end of day interview. I imagine Gibson was probably hoping to smooth things out with Allenby, pointing out that he has to call it as he sees it. Allenby refuses to do interview (which I think is a punishable offence) Maynard then called in for an interview.
Doesn't it make a mockery of changing pitches at the last minute?
The visiting captain was always going to bowl first on a pitch that looked like a green snooker table, and then the pitch starts to dry out on the second day and like all pitches in Taunton it get easier to bat on as that happens. Where as yesterday it was hard to see the difference between the pitch and the next one, today you could see the difference easily.
Now to today's photos.
Smiles all around when Stevie Eskinazi was caught by James Hildreth bowled by Craig Overton.
Dawid Malan was bowled by Peter Trego.
Marcus Trescothick dropped Nick Gubbins when he was on 63 off the bowling of Tim Groenewald.
But it proved not an expensive drop when Marcus caught the same man on 67 bowled by Jim Allenby.
Marcus was upset when he dropped that catch and apologised to the bowler, you could almost feel the relief from him when he took the catch soon afterwards. That is a touching photo.
There was still some bounce in the pitch earlier in the day before the pitch began to dry out, George bailey found that out facing Tim Groenewald.
Alex Barrow has had a good match behind the stumps but this four leg byes was out of his reach bowled down the leg side by Peter Trego.
A well directed bouncer to James Fuller by Tim Groenewald.
There seemed to be quite a few shouts for lbw's none of them given, James Harris should thank the umpire for not given him out when Peter Trego hit him on the pads.
James Fuller trying to find the ball, I think he found two of them.
Exactly, Mike. Our so-called gamble gave a depleted Middx attack conditions that were loaded in their favour. And It was always probable that The track would flatten out - The only real question being one of how quickly that would happen.
On an increasingly benign surface And vs a depleted attack there can be no excuse tomorrow for anything other than a strong batting performance. But we shall probably have to bat for four sessions to get out of jail with a draw - possibly even 4.5 depending On How big of a lead Middx end up with.
Immensely frustrating day for players and spectators alike.
We did pretty well before and just after lunch, and had a chance of a small lead on first innings. After that, it all fell apart, as did our focus.
I don't share the low opinion of JIm Allenby that many seem to. His performances haven't generally been outstanding, but neither have many of the rest of our team. He provides some batting support and as today showed, can be more than useful with the ball.
I agree entirely that his one day role hasn't worked out, but I don't see anyone knocking on the door to take his Championship place. Whether he wants to stay or not however must be open to question given the contents of the Cricinfo report above and his obvious ham fisted approach to Twitter. (Why does anyone feel the need to use that damned communication orifice anyway ? Can you imagine what Brian Close would say about it ?!).
As an aside re JA, I happened to be standing in front of the Caddyshack when the players came off very briefly for rain yesterday. He was first to reach the pavillion, but before he could get there, he was accosted by two youngsters who asked him for an autograph. He obliged good naturedly. One of the boys then pushed his luck by asking Jim for a selfie photograph with him on his mobile phone. Again JA obliged, even though the umpires by this time were returning to the field as the short shower had ended.
So, he ain't a hero, but I really don't think he is that much of a villain either, at least in the four day stuff.
As for our later day tactics today, I don't profess to be anything other than a simple soul, but I did shake my head when Cove was trying to bounce out Batsmen 9 & 10 on an increasingly bland pitch. Did we really need to have five boundary fielders to a number 10 bat ?
Not the best of days, and we will have to go some to save this from here. Hopefully we can bat sensibly, and with purpose.
I couldn't care less about Allenby and Twitter, tho it is odd that some think his days are numbered now after his best CC game for us so far (I'm guessing). His days may be numbered regardless of Twitter, in any case, but I do think Hobbs has rather unfairly gone for him in this piece.
Also, one of our 'supporters' on the Facebook page deduced that Ryan Davies is due to leave because he isn't playing for 1s or 2s this week. We now know, from Hopps, that he is absent for personal reasons - uneducated or blind guesses are not clever or useful.
Disappointing score line at 6pm, given how even things were a couple hours earlier. We shouldn't forget that there's another team out there trying to win, in this case one that's top of the league - no-ones going to roll over just because their tailenders.
I think we tried pitches that started green a few times in 2014 or 2015 - everyone was horrified on day one, but they then settled back to the norm on days three and four - this appears as tho it may be similar. Personally, I think it was worth a go and wasn't far from success. Of course, we may bat well and save it, or possibly win - as is my hope. As I said before, we may have to get used to some low-scoring games, possible losses and the skipper risking defeats if it's the alternative to boring high-scoring draws.
Can I make a big plea for as many that are able and have all these issues with our players and management go along and express their views.
I make no apologies for being a somerset supporter who supports our club.
I always try to be positive and back our players and clubs decisions.
We all know we aren't the best team in the country.
I have no doubt that all are trying their best to do the best for our club.
At Hampshire we had a great match, very little praise for it, and but for rain we'd have had a guaranteed 24 points.]
This match for various reasons we are very much on the back foot.
If as at Ageas bowl it rained from 3pm on the 3rd day we'd get a draw from this game.
Sadly that wont happen so to get a draw here we are going to have to bat out of our skins, maybe a draw isn't likely but bot quite out of the question yet.
I hear lots of groans in stands and around the ground but the best way is to speak to hose in charge not each other. I find all the players and management very approachable, if you ask sensible relevant questions they are very happy to answer.
It doesn't help criticising things and speculating without any knowledge.
The club are openly hosting an occasion where they are inviting members to question them, take the chance, even if it's just to listen.
Facts from the people in charge are far better than endless unfounded speculation on here!
Here's to a very good batting day tomorrow and a lot of fight shown from especially our top 4 or 5.
We should stick with trying to prepare pitches for Jack, using techniques such as the now permissible one of drilling holes in the surface and, I believe, filling them with sand.
Jack is, after all, arguably our best bowler and if not our best bowler almost certainly our most consistent one.
It seems perverse to spike him by producing something that is heavily grassed.
It may only work a couple of times per season BUT that's a higher number (by a total of two) than the number of wins we'll ever get by producing green tops in the sure knowledge that we will be sent in first on them.
In the past, when we started wickets green there was a toss- BIG difference.
Quite frankly, WSM, Somerset OUGHT to be able to save this game. After all, the pitch is likely to be flatter still tomorrow than it was in the final session today and it is likely to carry on getting more benign as tomorrow wears on.
If the Middx pace attack is even half as weak as our decision re: the pitch implied we thought it was, then we ought to be able to bat big and long. On such a well-grassed pitch there should, hopefully, be little there for Rayner.
Ought to be able to save the game and will save it are, of course, two different things. We may be demoralised after today and that may show up in some of our batting, particularly if Harris and Fuller keep us out there for another hour + tomorrow.
On the other hand, given that the track is likely to get flatter by the hour then, If I was Dawid Malan, I would consider declaring overnight rather than trying to pile on runs in the morning.
Who says we will save the game with our eyes closed? Only AG has said anything near to that, if they get tons they will get applause. If they make mistakes people will criticise. Happens in my job mate don't know about yours. Make it up for your own benefit why not.
I am not only very disappointed, but frankly appalled that a player wearing a Somerset shirt should behave in this way on social media.
Would I like to see him leave the club? Frankly, Yes, for playing and for non - playing reasons.
Somerset cricket is like the proverbial curate's egg - good in parts. For every 10 days that they play, there is probably 1 very good day; 1 good day; 4 fair to middling days and 4 poor/ abysmal days.
We have been like this for years under different captains (although the current one is leaps and bounds above his predecessor) and D o C's. What is in the Somerset psyche that leads to this inconsistency? This year we have shown some grit and fight on a couple of occasions to claw back from a seemingly hopeless position into a winning one. But all too little I fear.
I haven't seen any of this game, but realise that we will have to play exceptionally well to earn even a draw.
Apart from that, I don't think that I have anything else to say - at present.
Either Middlesex have a weak depleted attack or a useful one which is it?
Either usual Taunton pitches are NOT results pitches or they are which is it?
Prepare a "results" pitch for Jack and he wins the game in his own? With Johann in support? That should have been the plan?
Have these spin friendly pitches at Taunton won us many matches then in the past?
If as I feel I have been constantly told for years Taunton pitches are benign almost immediately then..... what was plan B?
Chris's seemed to be take a side with what you think is a depleted seam attack and put them on an unusual Taunton pitch and then pit your seam attack and batting against theirs.
Now hindsight being a wonderful ally for the critic you can then say it was never going to work because it hasn't
Make sure you leave out of course that our fastest bowler managed to bowl very little on it today when the opposition were 70 odd for 2 at the start of Day 2.
You can also leave out that our keeper dropped a vital catch when the opposition were 146 for 6 (90 runs behind) and forced us to work with depleted resources on their last recognised batsman for an extra hour in which the pitch flattened into the benign surface that you all seem to think we could turn into a raging spinner's heaven for the one spinner we picked (has anyone mentioned that we could have filled our ranks with Max, Dom and anyone else who could produce a slow ball - now that would have been something that I would have liked to read the responses to had that been announced as the side on Sunday morning).
So at 146 for 6 just after lunch on day 2 we were 90 runs ahead and 4 wickets from going into the second half of the match in front as hoped. It turned into something else but THAT Ron was what Chris gambled on - and lost admittedly.
Now please come on here and discuss the Overton injury rate and the lack of that left hand seamer we all wanted in the ranks from before Day 1 of this season to back up the young guys. No real argument against that today
Please come on here and talk about the reliance on an inexperienced keeper and a man semi forced into the job a season and a half ago. Talk about whether Mike Bates would have dropped that catch by all means. I as a person who was willing to see how Ryan Davies went at the start of the season while not understanding why we sent Bates on his way believe that decision has come back to haunt us today and may define our season in one moment.
Somebody commented that Marcus dropping Gubbins had done for our Championship season - that was wrong because he got him an over later in almost the same position. Barrow dropping Bailey has probably done for our Championship season.
We may not win this one now but Rogers looked to give us a chance and the fates were against us today.
You want a captain that takes the reins and looks for ways to get over the line and then you criticise him after the fact for doing what he is employed to do.
You talk with hindsight expertise about underestimating Middlesex's line-up. Had the gamble come off the same people would be saying they always knew they were weak and we shouldn't get overconfident about an easy win.
No one seems to be congratulating Middlesex for fighting hard under pressure to do THEIR jobs it all seems to be about us not doing ours and seemingly giving them the game on a plate. Shoulda been here people.
So a plan did not come off and we find ourselves on the benign pitch many seem to have wanted us to play on from the start working for a draw... a normal Taunton second half CC1 game.
Ahh well it's like the end of 'A Bridge too Far' everyone becomes a strategist who knows what we should have done. Sack Rogers with the rest of them then. I personally think it's the first positive and brave thing a Somerset captain has done for a considerable amount of time and he has gone up in my estimation because he tried it. On such decisions are campaigns won and lost. You don't get if you don't try. You just get criticism if it doesn't work.
Well done to all those who, given what they know now, are braying 'I told you so'. What a wonderful achievement...give yourselves a pat on the back and go and have a celebratory drink.
For those who think it was worth the try well there's another two days and the season isn't over quite yet and who knows....maybe our captain hasn't given up the whole season as many on here did on day 1.... maybe he has more surprises up his sleeves and more faith in a side that needs some fortune.
I'm still up for it boys. Shame about this one, Don't lose it but please.... start looking for the one major thing missing in your structure.... a wicket keeper. Anyone know where Batesy is? Get him on the phone. Or go after Steve Davis with a crusading passion. It is now a significant hole in our side too often.
Some valid arguments from the past which I certainly for one haven't supported have been given evidence to back them up in the last week or so but you still do post an awful lot of Tom's "tripe" along with it people.
Get to the Q and A tomorrow and don't sit there like flipping sheep. It's no good putting it here as if you mean it. Go and say it to some faces and put them on the spot. I doubt it will be anything but a damp squib because when the going gets tough our most vocal critics are nowhere to be seen. Give us a finals day though or some free vouchers and they all want a share.
Many apologies for posting late at night and not reading before hitting the send button.
I was referring to the term 'tripe' in the section identified and altered in 'bold' and NOT that TOM SEYMOUR posted only 'tripe' it was a reference to the fact hat he used the term and so it was his.
Many apologies Tom and I accept that your comments are a strongly held view (which many times I do not personally agree with admittedly) and not always of the nature of the term.
Flaming hell it was almost meant as a term of endearment but not in any way as any kind of insult so once more sorry if it read like that - not intended in any way.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:10:19:40 by Grockle.
Oh the last episode so far of the Tweet etc saga goes as follows.
The press asked to speak to Fuller and Jim Allenby at the end of today's play as the two significant members of the sides. They were told that Jim would be going straight for treatment at the end of play and would be a while (this did not come from Jim himself as he was at that time still on the pitch and in fact bowling the last over of the game - so I am afraid I can't say who decided this).
Members of the press were a little unconvinced by this explanation and said so but said that if they couldn't talk to Jim and congratulate him on a pretty good day/match up to now could they talk to Matthew Maynard instead.
At the end of play they went over to the press room to be told that Mr Maynard had a Committee meeting and that Craig Overton was available for them to interview along with a very happy with his lot Mr Fuller.
They did the interviews but returned to the press box pretty dissatisfied with the proceedings and confused as to why the opportunity to talk to Jim about a significant positive contribution to the game was not taken up when there are bridges to build and he would have been in a position of some strength to justify his inclusion in the side and discuss his subsequent good performance without much disagreement from the press as a whole.
That is as far as my information goes but it is really very strange at the moment with a number of disgruntled people about the place for a number of reasons.
I've never experienced this kind of seeming breakdown in relations between some players and the press before and it doesn't help things in general. I think this one still has some distance to run if my assessment of feelings at the end of today are correct.
More as I have it and can tell you about it.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:00:16:29 by Grockle.
I hear what people are saying about the pitch flattening out, but scoreboard pressure can be a wonderful thing. Middlesex already 125 ahead, with the chance to get it up to around 150.
I'm not sure where Harry Podmore will get his wickets from if there is no assistance from the pitch, as he is not express pace. Harris' experience may mean he can conjure up a couple of wickets some how or other- and ditto Rayner. But if Middlesex do have a good day I reckon Fuller will be the main wicket taker as he has been clocked at 90 mph on the speed gun. Prediction- 6 wickets for Fuller, and two each for Harris and Rayner. Question is- how long will it take Middlesex to take those ten wickets?
Sorry, Grokle - NOT hindsight. Seemed a daft idea from the off and I said so at the time. The gamble was predicated on us making a really good score in spite of the conditions vs a depleted attack. As I stated before the match - our batting vs a moving ball is not good enough to make that a good bet even vs a depleted attack and we should instead have been seeking to pur said depleted attack to the sword on a good track. As I said at the time, the vast majority of professional bowlers can and will take wickets if handed dream bowling conditions on a plate.
Poor, poor illogical thinking from Rogers.
In answer to your question? We basically never win batting first at Taunton unless it's a turning track (as vs Warks last season).
And, given that the away side has the option of inserting us, the ONLY way to avoid being inserted is to prepare a dry pitch anyway.
This isn't rocket science.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:07:39:43 by AGod.
And, yes, Grockle, Michael Bates takes almost all of his catches. I'll happily criticise that decision and, again, that's not with hindsight. Looked a bad decision at the time.
BUT - and here's the kicker... Let's say the catch is taken - 146 for 7.
So, let's say we end up with a lead of 60 runs. Then what? Okay the pitch is flat by then so we should be able to make a good second innings score.. But how do we WIN the match from there? If the track isn't turning then we would be hugely unlikely to bowl Middx out on a very flat final day track (because we never bowl sides out on final day at HQ unless track turning)... So the gamble, supposedly taken to have given us a chance to win STILL would not have done so.
Now - you are going to tell me that, had we played on a good pitch, even if it had turned for Jack, the match would probably stillbe a draw?
Fine, but would we not have expected to have scored more than one batting bonus point in our first innings on such a surface?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:08:00:53 by AGod.
Chunky - you are, of course, correct that scoreboard pressure might play a role.
If it's going to be as flat or flatter than it seemed when Harris/Fuller were batting (career best score for JF) then it really ought to be very hard work for your boys, if we bat anything like.
Rayner has caused problems for Tresco before and has a strong record vs Somerset. It's hard to see him getting lots of turn but if he can extract bounce (surely possible from his height) then he might be your best bet vs the pitch. The other imponderable is swing. If overhead conditions support swing then James Harris should be happy. Of course, Fuller will have his tail up after batting. However a career red-ball CC2 bowling average of 36 does not inspire great confidence, IMO
Let's aay Middx have a lead of 175.
If Somerset can get through the first 25 overs with a new ball with only one down, whilst clearing, say, 80 of the deficit then I'd be content with that. There would then be 55 overs before you got another new cherry. Assuming attacking fields, maybe we could score 180 for 3 from those 55 overs. That would lesve Somerset effectively 85 for 4 at the point where the second new ball was taken - either near the end of today or early tomorrow. By that point the track may well be in full 'graveyard,' mode. The final five wickets would then have to last another couple of sessions assuming a reasonable run rate to just about see us safe. That might seem far-fetched but we have no rabbits. If Jamie's scan is okay then it might be that we have 6 wickets left, not five.
That's the theory, anyway. It might be that our spirits will be low and we'll fold or that your depleted attack will bowl very well even on something benign. But something like the above ought to be possible, IMO, if we bat sensibly.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:07:58:19 by AGod.
The key, of course, is how many wickets Somerset are down by the time they clear the deficit. 2, or less, and a draw the favourite. 5, or more, Middlesex will expect to win.
Always more fun trying to call it before a days play, as anyone can be wise after the event. If Fuller takes 6 wickets you can be sure I will quote my post of an hour ago. If Somerset rack up 500-7 then hopefully my prediction will be buried about 3 pages away, as we will probably be on page 14 of this thread by then.
Ther seems to be a lot of going off at the deep end here.
We had a pretty finely balanced game, at least until mid afternoon yesterday. We then had one and a half bad sessions which has messed things up, releasing an awful lot of pent up frustration. I guess a symptom of people fearing another season is at risk of slipping by without meaningful achievement.
I'm not as pessimistic as some. CR is a better captain than Marcus, whose release back to the sole role of scoring runs has clearly been a success. We have bowlers who can win matches Jack, Jove (at Hants, only defeated by the weather) and James is the best number four bat in the country.
There are issues that need addressing. We clearly have a problem finding a keeper who can bat, our T20 strategy (or lack of) is a mess, and the seemingly deteorating relationships with the media are a concern.
As for the late change of pitch in this game, I'm still struggling to get my head around it. When CR was appointed he said that in order to win games you sometimes have to take risks, which makes complete sense to me. What I don't get though, is why we didn't have a second pitch prepared alongside the 'plan A' choice, nor why we then picked Jack Leach when surely another seamer would have been the better option.
Realistically, that mini-session on day 1 REALLY cost us. On a ground where It gets steadily flatter then It logically follows that there is a premium on bowling well on day one - And It sounded like we bowled like drains (with the exception of Cove's first over). Had we bowled properly whilst The pitch was still Juicy maybe Middx would have been 51 for 4 instead of 51 for 1 And then they may have been all out shortly after lunch.
Actually, SP, had Middx bowled better we '*might* be in a better position.... Had our innings ended earlier The entire Middx innings may have taken place on The Juicy track on day one too so they might Not have a lead At all.
AG a couple of things and then I'm personally done with the present argument.
This obsession with the pitch being 'damp' despite being told that a meter was being used to check IF it was and not BECAUSE it was seems to have closed down things for you. The Liaison officer and the umpires have had no problem with the level of moisture in the pitch or the 'preparedness' of the strip so the constant reference to this is probably a bit too much.
Secondly, just because I use the word 'hindsight' in a general post on the nature of comments over 9 pages does not mean that I am referring specifically to you or every post you have made since April 1 2016 so try not to be so precious.
Your argument about Bates at the start of the year had many relevant points. I was for giving Ryan a look as the info we had was that he was worth a punt. I did not see why that meant Batesy could not stay but there you go. Ryan has been given a punt and he has pretty much NOT shown himself to be the solution. Alex was semi engineered into the position a couple of seasons back partly by the club and partly for the same reasons Jos looked at the option - a way into a higher level of cricket.
I think we all pretty much accept that there are better glovemen and he has not established the batting credentials that might keep him there because of the second string to his bow. We need a more credible keeper and we need them quite soon because a number of errors over a period of time have shown us - I hope - the real reason why you need a keeper of some quality AND how under appreciated CK's keeping was by some in county and in country. Jos is finding out the same. Matt Prior worked his socks off because of it. To coin your phrase 'it isn't rocket science'.
It is a fact that goalkeepers and wicketkeepers have in common that people don't always remember the number of saves made but they all remember the one's that aren't. Peter Bonetti must be able to tell everyone about that.
Alex made a bad error yesterday. You ask whether IF he had caught it we would have been any further along? Maybe not but the counter argument is that if we had followed your plan and Middlesex had played above expectations as they probably have (their fans are pretty happy with the performance I think) then would we have been any worse off?
Swings and roundabouts sir. Swings and roundabouts.
Today it's all about where we go from where we are.
I'm not there this morning. I'll try and get in later and let you know how things are going. I'm sure there are many who can also do that. The MTWD boys are there and I'll link their story in to our front page later so it is all in one place.
I'll also try and get you more on 'Mediagate' if I'm allowed to post it.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:11:26:57 by Grockle.
No commentary so I am assuming a rain delay. It looks like it might be an on/off day if the weather in the Quantocks is anything to go by. We've already had drizzle, brilliant sunshine and torrential downpour so 'intermittent showers, sometimes heavy' will probably be a decent definition.
I've seen Davies four times this season and I thought for a young man still learning his trade his keeping was pretty good. I asked Clarence Parker a couple of weeks ago why he thought that recruiting Davies would turn out to be a mistake and got no response. Now Grockle, who usually takes a balanced view of these things, seems to be writing The young man off. What is it that I am missing?
AF - we were told we needed Bates to go And Davies to come because Bates cannot bat. Not much evidence that Davies Can - there is The key flaw in this decision. Equally, as Grockle suggests, If we really had to sign Davies we could still have retained Bates.
I am saying he is probably more of a 'work in progress' than we would have hoped. He looks a little more niaive as a batsman and not complete enough as a keeper to have first team confidence in him presently.
I'm more likely saying that Alex is not the cover for our first team keeper whoever he may be that we would like. We therefore need a second keeper, preferably to take the first team position presently.
Game is on by the way commentary has now started. Jamie has gone for a lower back scan this morning. Precautionary it seems but their injury record possibly needs close scrutiny in the long term.
Jamie's record of actual injuries is not that bad, IMO, for a fast bowler.
What does seem to happen to him a lot is that he gets lots of little niggles during a game and he spends a lot of time 'holding,' various parts of his anatomy and going on and off the pitch. I suspect that, usually, the physio gives him a quick once over and sends him back out. But, with this niggle being in the back, I suspect the physio decided to err very much on the side of caution - hence the scan. I doubt the scan will show a serious problem, personally, but we will see.
Middlesex are batting on, which I consider to be a mistake, as the longer they bat for, the flatter the pitch may be by the time they start bowling.
The commentators are saying that we *mowed* the pitch this morning. They are saying that we took some grass off the top.
Is that really allowed? Presumably, it must be as they said "the umpires were supervising it closely." Perhaps we are allowed to "cut off the top," whatever miniscule amount of grass might have grown overnight and the umpires were there to make sure we didn't instead shave half of the grass off.
I know you can roll the pitch between innings (it was re-instated, I believe, after a spell a few years ago where the pitch could only be rolled before the match). I did not know that you can actually cut the grass off the top of the pitch during the match.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:11:40:26 by AGod.
I think you are right AG. I thought they might come out to bowl.
Unless Middlesex want to give them an hour of trundling to rough up the Somerset confidence and then get into us at a low ebb..... it's become one of those Taunton games now and unless we get a bit of brilliance from a SCCC batting line-up that is the way it's gong to stay I think.
I did not realise that Middx are not only without Finn, TRJ and Tim Murtagh, but apparently their young guy, Tom Helm, would also be ahead of Podmore in the pecking order, but Mr Helm is injured. So they were actually down four guys coming into this one.
Apparently, James Fuller concurred with Craig Overton, last night, that the track seemed to go very flat after lunch yesterday. So with both the guy batting on it and bowling on it saying the same thing, we can surely take it as read that it became really flat.
On the other hand, Middx apparently reckon that both sides have failed to get their lengths right on this pitch (too short or too full) and Angus Fraser has apparently said that the run-ups have been soft/slippery and this has been to the detriment of both sets of bowlers.
One point, Grockle, re: your earlier comments re: wicket-keepers..
Steven Davies, whom you mentioned, is no longer a wicket-keeper. He gave it up through his own personal choice. Surrey play Ben Foakes (whom they got from Essex) as wicket-keeper. So Davies would not be any answer to our 'keeper problems (although he might be an answer to some of our white ball batting problems.)
Sounds like Middx are extracting some bounce from the surface that our lot did not manage to obtain with the second new ball yesterday. Perhaps we were guilty of relaxing when 9 and 10 came in and not bending our backs as we should?
Still, one imagines that the bounce will not persist beyond the new ball.
Rogers sounds like he's just given it away with an execrable shot to complete a miserable match from him. Very poor.
I don't know, Chunky, it doesn't not sound like it's doing that much - but it does sound as though Harry P is bowling an extremely good line and length and there is some extra bounce with the new ball. Commentators firmly of the view that Podmore has been Middx's best bowler in this match thus far.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:12:55:46 by AGod.
Oh dear, Mr Gibson has just said that "The Somerset middle-order is distinctly brittle, with all due respect to Jim Allenby."
He will be staying blocked on Twitter..
I see Mr Gibson has posted all of his previous tweets re: Allenby this season.
Edited to say actually it seems to be a collection of tweets all of which said good things about Allenby ........... I presume the intent is to show that he hasn't been "anti-Allenby." It's been tweeted at Maynard too, perhaps in an attempt to show to MM that his player has really over-reacted.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:13:35:34 by AGod.
Story of the session - Rogers threw his wicket away. Myburgh a serious mis-judgement (leaving ball on length, not line and bowled). Podmore bowled well. Harris did not. At least that was what the Beeb seemed to think.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:13:50:50 by AGod.
Angell Face I agree, Grockle that Davies' batting has been naive at times but he's only 19 years old and in his last 1st class innings he scored 52 not out off 39 balls so he knows which end of the bat to hold.
I'm not the one needing convincing Angel. He isn't playing and doesn't seem to be injured and we need a solid, consistent and effective keeper.
Grockle - apparently he has missed the game for personal reasons?
Not that that changes the fact that a batting average of 13 does not exactly suggest that we are better off with him than Bates viz batting prowess which, we have been led to believe, is really important for the 'keeper.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:13:51:41 by AGod.
We need a man with a safe pair of hands and keeping ability. If he can bat as well I'm sure he'll be more desirable but the first is paramount.
The one thing that was very obvious about Bates last season was how at home and confident he was behind the sticks. You saw the difference almost immediately. It seems his batting was not adequate or instilled the same confidence - though it seems no worse or better than what we presently have.
Ahh well maybe when Ryan gets back it will be the start of a new keeping era..... I haven't seen it myself but I've not seen a lot of him live yet.
NOW! Jim Allenby needs to capitalise on the dropped C&B.. Gotta get three figures and turn this back into a game. 2 centuries today could make this an interesting fourth day. None and it could be over today.
Needs a LONG partnership between Tresco and Trego now.
As in batting out the rest of the day, pretty much.
Otherwise, we shall probably be toast - which would represent both a poor performance and a poor result from this match. And with only three bonus points, teams behind us will have the chance to close in significantly.
ok thanks. very strange .I've navigated to it through various routes and end up on the live coverage tab but no Somerset game even though the summary page has it splashed but with no apparent link. Peculiar .
Yep. It does look like a very possible disappointment although can't fault Pete and Marcus for putting us in the right place. It would be nice to see a hundred odd from our last four but we've already had something along those lines a couple of times this year.
Still think it was worth the effort and but for an injury and one identifiable error it may have been very different.
However more than one person during these pages has identified this game as one that will stand out in the 2016 campaign for both counties irrespective of what the end result is.
But as Chunky quite rightly points out..... it's not a done deal yet.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:12:18:34:33 by Grockle.
It's not but it's hard to see us going past lunch tomorrow and even if we add 100 more from where we are, I'd think Middx would knock them off, Given 60 overs or so.
We've scored a fair number of runs for our 6 wickets but we needed to bat more time for The first six wickets, IMO. The Jamie injury might yet prove significant with the bat as a quick 30/40 from him could make The difference between a chase of, say 290 in 60 overs vs 330 in 55.
Seems like a good effort on the whole today - a couple hundreds from senior players but maybe not quite enough support from the others. A real opportunity for Alex and the others in the morning - I really hope they make very good fist of it. At least they should collectively feel a bit better than 24 hours ago.
Good to see Trego again make the point that he no longer has any interest in playing cameos and is actively trying to focus on batting for long periods. He seems to have looked at the rest of our batting resources and worked out that the team is short of players that can do that...and tried to adjust his game to fill a gap.
It's not easy to change one's nature as a player and he deserves real credit for trying hard to change his approach. And the best thing is that it's been working for him meaning that it's unlikely that he'll be tempted to lapse back into cameo playing mode.
Not much to complain about today hey!
Just shows the swings that come in a 4 day game.
Fairly even after day 1, very even at 212-8 on day 2, Midx won day 2 evening session, and day 3 morning, then we win day 3 sessions 2+3 hands sown.
Result being we go into day 3 with all 3 results possible on a pitch that is a flat dead Taunton road.
If they bowl us out by 12 then they are favourites,
If its between 12.30-1pm it's pretty much 50-50.
If we can bat past 2pm then they are basically out the game and even we have a slin chance to put them in for 45-50 overs and give it a go.
Tremendous fight by Jim Tres and Tregs today.
If Alex can get just a 30-40 that would be huge for him and the team given the situation.
Yes Jamie will definitely bat, again even a quick 20-30 will be gold dust.
The lead is already over 200, once it gets over 250/270 it really is game on. It is very rare in cricket people chase 270+ on a 4th day wicket with ease. Of course they may do it but it's unlikely to be easy.
How great to have a fascinating day 4 in prospect not a drab draw.
Well done Chris for having the bottle on day 1 and t may yet just pay off.....
It's as if being optimistic is a bad trait on here!
Why do we have to assume the worst all the time?
I'm not stupide, I recognise when we haven't played well, as do the players.
But the fact we haven't lost a game yet this season shows they often learn and put things right, no?
A 4 day game is a very time, that's the beauty, games swing, especially lowish scoring ones.
The players aren't robots, criticism and abuse on social media does get through to them, some bite, most just ignore it but none of it helps.
We have a great captain in Chris, trust me, nobody wants the team to do better than he does, an absolute winner and with no Somerset background is putting his absolute heart and soul into the job.
Lets back or skipper and who knows where we may end up this season.
It really doesn't hurt to be positive and look for the plus points not jump on every poor shot or bad spell.
Fingers crossed we're still batting at lunch and we can all post superlatives all afternoon!!!
A real privelege to see Marcus & Pete at/near their very best, under very difficult circumstances.
Marcus batted superbly, albeit did get stuck in the late 40's for quite some time. He was also repeatedly having to remove his hat, and wipe his glasses clean of sweat, so even better that he managed to retain his concentration for so long.
PT batted sublimely. Really hope that he can stick around in the morning, as if we can get the lead to 250-275, it could make for a very interesting finish, on what will be my last day's cricket viewing for this season.
Won't miss the English 'summer' though. Another day of grey skies, at least until two minutes after close of play, when the sun finally emerged !
Sorry, WSM, but that view is outdated by several years.
In modern cricket teams can and do chase down 270+ without much trouble. The notion that batting last is a disadvantage is not only definitely untrue at Taunton (and has been for years) but has become increasingly less so around the country.
To be safe we will need to get, IMO, to about 320 ahead with fewer than 50 overs to go. Apart from anything else they have a number of aggressive players - such as Gubbins, string one-day player, such as Malan and players that are better in short-form probably than first-class - Bailey and Franklin.
The track will probably be at its best for batting on today. And how many wickets have fallen, after tea, on days 2 and 3. Isn't the answer 3 wickets over two post-tea sessions? Or did Middx not lose any in which case the answer would be 2 wkts in the two most recent post-tea sessions?
We only lost one wicket in the lunch-tea session yesterday. I think Middx lost maybe 3 the day before?
So that gives us: 4 wkts in lunch-tea sessions in 2 days
2 or 3 wkts in tea sessions in 2 days.
ergo...wicket taking liable to be rather tough after lunch.
Hopefully it will be tough for them before lunch, too, so we may manage to secure the draw but not if we leave them only 250-270.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:13:07:58:56 by AGod.
just a brief post from London to say how much I enjoy reading the contributions of everyone here. It does sometimes confuse me with our site, with Chunky's and others' posts, but that livens things up! The amount of knowledge and insight you have about your squad and the game is wonderful.
I will be watching today with great interest.
What was it about taking a look at the scoreboard, and imagine how it would look with another two wickets on it? !- Same for both sides now
Another fantastic game at HQ, hoping against hope we pull it off... if we don't it's not the end of the world, at least it's against a team above us not below us. But a day to get behind the team and see the good not the bad. Aren't we called supporters for a reason?
I tend to want to go with WSM -I'd much rather be optimistic-but we do need to bat until lunchtime / score another 95. That in the modern disgusting vernacular is a big ask. However if that comes to pass then 300 in 60 overs for MSex should be an even bigger ask. If we score 65 in 20 overs then it becomes 270 in 70 overs which is much more gettable. When I next get a chance to check the score it will be 12.30 and options should be seen by then.
Before the innings started, I thought we ought to be able to save the match.
And before today's play starts, I think we certainly ought to be able to bat at least until lunch, especially if we have four wickets left (i.e Jamie is going to bat which, it seems, he is) rather than three. And I would hope that, actually, on what will probably be a dead surface, we may be able to bat to 3PM or so.
I think Middx hammered out 450 in something like 95 overs to win last year's game, if I recall correctly? And they had to start that innings on day three, I think, when the track is not usually as flat as on day four. And we had not lost a bowler to injury on that occasion (although they had).
Should we get bowled out leaving anything more favourable to Middx than the best part of 300 in 55 overs or so, then we shall have to fervently hope that there is enough there - rough wise - for Jack to pose plenty of problems. After all, in the final session on Monday, we could to little with seam vs Harris and Fuller..
This significantly increases the chances of it rapidly becoming clear as to whether we will either draw or lose this match - because either wickets are liable to fall and/or runs are likely to come far more quickly.
Barrow tried to do the right thing - bat time.
We've now got Jack, who is the only remaining player in the line-up whose natural disposition is to bat time.
Lots of credit to Pete for the effort. Disappointing way to go.
We are now likely to lose this match.
IN terms of this second innings, we failed at the top of the order (Tres apart) and that has prevented us - it would now appear - from saving a match that we ought to have been able to save vs depleted attack on flat track. Only 3 players have scored more than 21 - so a poor overall *team* effort in the sense that most of the *team* have not contributed with the bat, either in terms of runs or batting time.
Top order second innings batting and lamentable bowling in the mini-session on Sunday night the biggest culprits for what now looks like being a very disappointing result.
That's unless Jack can come up with a miracle with the ball (or possibly even the bat?)
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:13:12:38:04 by AGod.
As the commentators say, daft of Middx not be more on the attack here as they save themselves those 2 overs if they get the breakthrough as the 10 minute innings break would be part of the lunch interval, not additional to it.
Yeah, but it just looks like the sort of run chase we saw in the "Sunday," League when it was a 50 over competition. And I don't think the track will be remotely as receptive to Jim Allenby's style of bowling as it was early on day 2. And, effectively, Jim is arguably our first change bowler with Jamie hors de combat. Or you could say it's Trego. Either way, unlikely to be much of a wicket-taking threat on a final day Taunton track. I cannot see us saving the match mainly by keeping the runs down - we shall have to take regular wickets, surely?
A big afternoon of bowling for Mr Leach, potentially...
So, if another couple of overs are survived, then there will be 53 to come after lunch (once we've knocked off two for a change of innings).
If these two could then hold out for another 7 or 8 overs after lunch then that may very well get the job done, after all. If it was, say, 290 from 45 overs that should be defendable unless they bat extremely well or we bowl badly.
That is now lunch and the current required run rate (assuming the two over deduction) is 5.28.
Every run after lunch and, of course, each over used up points further to a likely draw.
On a more optimistic note, should Middlesex be tempted to go for the chase, they may well lose a few quick wickets and that might just let Jack Leach get to work - it has already been noted there is little turn currently, but patches of rough.
Well he apparently has a pre-cursor to a stress fracture. So I would be surprised if we see him much more this season. It might be they feel they can manage it with six weeks off or something like that, in which case might be able to play the final couple of games.
Excellent declaration. I will continue to think so if Somerset lose because it still gave us the best available chance.
ZERO chance of winning, eh? The bookies were offering 500-1 against England winning at Headingley in 1981 - you're saying our chances in this game are worse than that?
If you really want find something to apply the word 'idiotic' to, how about someone who persists in demanding such certainty of a game where even the impossible, wonderfully, tends to happen from time to time?
I agree Mike. The policy was obviously seeing 300 as the target...and we set it at 7 an over.If Msex get there then well done to them. The only chance we had of winning is to set6 a gettable target. If we lose we lose. WE only need 9 balls to take wickets.
Don't often agree with AGod but have to in this instance - nothing to do with being an optimist or a pessimist - reality check says we had no chance of bowling them out under any circumstances so we were never going to win. So what does a declaration achieve other than give them a better chance of winning. Utter stupidity which in many sports would be put under the microscope for many reasons ( not saying that applies here I hasten to add ) but really come on gang - does not make any sense if we are honest !
Nothing to do with daring captaincy - just a no brainer !
Facebook posters are saying Rogers left it too late, should've declared earlier and risked the loss to go for the win! There are a heck of a lot of people around who clearly know more about the game than the likes of Rogers, Maynard, Tres, Trego, etc...why aren't Somerset hiring them?
We came within 2 wickets of winning an exciting match with lots of good cricket played by both teams. There are those who love cricket and those for whom the only thing that matters is winning and I'm afraid the two camps will never agree.
Sorry but that was rubbish - why give them a chance when really we had none. Utterley idiotic declaration and if we get relegated I hope all you people who praise it will be happy in div 2.
No logic at all in giving them a go when we were never going to get 10 wickets.
Sorry but that is the truth !!
Angell Face We came within 2 wickets of winning an exciting match with lots of good cricket played by both teams. There are those who love cricket and those for whom the only thing that matters is winning and I'm afraid the two camps will never agree.
After conceding a 145 run déficit on first innings, a draw would have been perfectly acceptable!
A disappointing end to the match but it was still worth watching.
Alex Barrow did a very good job of scoring runs and facing 87 balls for 21 runs before being caught John Simpson bld James Fuller.
Jamie Overton avoiding being hit by a bouncer.
Tim Groenewald help score a partnership of 42 before Somerset declared on 446 for 9, seen here hitting a six.
Nick Gubbins only just avoiding a bouncer.
Marcus Trescothick reaction wasn't quick enough to catch this one from Nick Gubbins.
This is about the only thing that went right for Craig Overton today when he took a brilliant catch running deep in the outfield and making the catch just off the ground.
Dawid Malan ct Craig Overton bld Tim Groenewald.
George Bailey bowled by Tim Groenewald.
Tim Groenewald had a good innings taking five wicket.
Not sure what else is on this page because I had a good time up to the last two balls today and I don't really want to spoil that this evening. If it has been said anywhere here apologies. Not gonna read it.
Well played Middlesex. An under strength side came out slightly ahead over four full days of cricket that went down to 2 thirds of the last over. A very good effort from a side under pressure.
If it hasn't been mentioned. Tim Groenewald bled for his side this afternoon. Time and time again he took another over and held the line. He took us from 143 needed off 20 overs to 105 needed off 10 with laudable support from Jim Allenby. He then took a rest and when Fuller and Simpson started to go wild did not hesitate in coming back and holding the line again with Jack Leach ( who possibly needed to come on an over earlier)
Yes I'm disappointed but because we lost a competitive game off the second to last ball. Given a few moves the other way we could have been on with winning side but they did not come and the visitors deserved their win.
This was no 'idiotic' decision if you want to watch people play cricket. If the result and safety is the ONLY objective then you've lost something along the way. I could have been at home with a drink and a draw at 5:30 but I would not have seen the passion of supporters willing their side on and I would not have had a very enjoyable if finally disappointing hour with Tractor, Grizzly, Mikeindex, Bagpuss and others in the sunshine of a final day. I would not have shred the enjoyment and final disappointent with Tim Groenewald who kept coming back to his fielding position believeing that he win was still on.
You get the result on a scorecard. You don't EXPERIENCE that result. You analyse it later but you don't FEEL it in the environment where it is happening.
There is nothing better than experiencing sport live and those who didn't this afternoon do not really appreciate how close this was and how much some of us thank Chris Rogers for giving us the chance to be part of a really exciting game of cricket.
Now off some of us go back to analysing the statistics and some of us will just let it soak in a little more because there are other reasons for having an interest in cricket.
Terrific game of cricket and you have to take your hat off to Middlesex, for superbly pacing their chase.
I don't agree with the criticism of Rogers re the declaration. His comments on the official site are fair enough. If we want to win, we have to take risks occasionally. Those who disagree may want to reflect on criticisms that many (including me) have made previously re Marcus being too cautious.
We played out of our skins to get back into this game, and came within a hairs breadth of winning it. I don't think anyone should feel bad about their efforts (let's face it Marcus, Trigger, TG & Jim A. were superb), albeit I'm sure Cove may well feel he let down the team this afternoon.
That's my lot until next April, so if you lot could arrange a few CC victories in my absence, it would be much appreciated !
Grockle I am with you entirely. I followed everyball on my laptop and was enthralled.Thank you for the picture painting. It was a shame we didn't get there but better to have died fighting than going through the motions.Hats off to Middlesex and to our lads as well.
Travel safe sir. You are entirely correct. If you want a captain to take you 'over the line' then you have to let him take a chance to win on the possibility that he might lose.
You make such a good point about the vocal critics of Marcus for him not being willing to take a risk who are now criticising Chris for taking the risk because it didn't come off. Would the points for the draw really make a difference? What did we lose? Put that against what we might have won with a couple of other way decisions or balls that stuck etc.
You wanna play safe now? - Somerset have already been there and you moaned about them for it you hypocrites.
Ahh well on to Nottingham next week - The T20 will be a night out but not a lot more.
What a fantastic 4 days of county cricket.
The game ebbed and flowed until the last over of the final day still with all 3 results possible.
Huge huge credit to Chris for making such a bold declaration.
Any less would have been too easy.
Any more they wouldn't have gone for it.
Yes we lost but this was our only chance to win and it so nearly worked.
Grockle puts it very well. Winning is important but a game like that for those lucky enough to be there and even those following is something else.
Dull draws are boring, we have a thread of 500 pages on "TAUNTON KILLING CRICKET"
Many moaned like mad that Tres was always super conservative.
If we go down playing another 7 matches like that i'll be amazed.
Hampshire and Surrey haven't gained much on us so for me it was 100% worth the gamble.
Looking forward to my 5th away trip of the season and 3 days at Trent Bridge already!
In home games, I never criticised MT for non declarations. I did criticise him, at times, for being too conservative, IMO, at times away from home.
Chunky warned us, when Rogers took the job, to expect the 'gamble for results,' thing and I said - there and then - that I sincerely hoped he wouldn't declare and hand sides last day chases at Taunton.
When was the last time that a team, batting last, lost a last day run chase at Taunton?
I know we beat Warks last year, but that turned square so prob did not make it to the last day.
Fact: Over the past 5/6 seasons, unless the track turns prodigiously, the team batting first does not win at Taunton.
Behaha!! Bravo AGod for actually getting a prediction right!!!
Clearly a match which went down to the last three balls, which could have been turned by either of two borderline umpiring decisions, and would almost certainly have been reversed by one sharp but eminently takable catch (in the wake of a Brearleyesque field change), could NEVER have had any possible result other than the one it did.
We know this because we were told there was ZERO possibility of a Somerset win.
I have only read the comments on this face. But I thought that Angell face put things rather well (as did a number of others who obviously had a great day at the cricket, in the company of like-minded people).
Botham How come there's little mention of Cove going fr nearly ten an over?
How come there has been little comment from you about Marcus and Pete scoring centuries, The tail wagging and Tim Groenewald's figures at the end?
How is the demand from you any different from the one we make to you and yours on a much more regular basis?
Hypocrisy once again. Put your positives where your keyboard is Mr B
You demand parity in the sense you want everyone to worship at your altar of poor effort.
Well get on your knees and accept that there are good aspects also in the daily operation of the club.
Demanding parity is a two way street you also have to walk on these pages if you want to be treated as an equal rather than what you presently represent.
How's that diatribe not personal? That's not about the game, but your perception of me. I congratulated both players on Twitter, but have no wish to be an equal, but get very frustrated with some things and I thought I was allowed to do so.
wsm fan What a fantastic 4 days of county cricket.
The game ebbed and flowed until the last over of the final day still with all 3 results possible.
Huge huge credit to Chris for making such a bold declaration.
Any less would have been too easy.
Any more they wouldn't have gone for it.
Yes we lost but this was our only chance to win and it so nearly worked.
Grockle puts it very well. Winning is important but a game like that for those lucky enough to be there and even those following is something else.
Dull draws are boring, we have a thread of 500 pages on "TAUNTON KILLING CRICKET"
Many moaned like mad that Tres was always super conservative.
If we go down playing another 7 matches like that i'll be amazed.
Hampshire and Surrey haven't gained much on us so for me it was 100% worth the gamble.
Looking forward to my 5th away trip of the season and 3 days at Trent Bridge already!
We've just lost, at home, to a team shorn of what has been its entire first-choice seam attack. Sure, we could probably have managed a draw against said team but but for a declaration but that would hardly represent a glorious result either, in the circumstances.
We've lost one quick bowler. His twin got carted everywhere. We were miles behind after one innings of the match. We've won only one match this season, and that by the skin of our teeth vs a low-quality opponent..
..Yet you'd somehow be surprised if we got relegated from here?
We also still have 3 games to come against the teams below us so even if they are not good enough to beat any other teams, Hants and Notts will have direct chances to get ahead of us by dint of beating us or, in the case of Notts, out-scoring us, bonus points wise, even in drawn games.
Well played to both teams on an enthralling game of cricket, which for various reasons I wasn't able to get to watch.
I have no idea why there was a last minute change of the pitch or what all the subsequent uproar was all about. Also, I would not criticise Chris Rogers' declaration but applaud the decision, which brought about a close and exciting conclusion. As has already been said, all three (or four if one includes a tied game) results were possible until the very last over. There were some good individual performances, but at the end of the day (Tim Groenewald apart) we did not have the fire - power in our attack to contain them, and do not have strength in reserve to be able to rectify this. I still feel this to be so even if Jamie Overton had been fit to bowl second time around.
Some of our much talked about young players should by now be pushing on and progressing further into being consistent and reliable players. Abell (although out injured at present), the Overtons, Gregory and perhaps Davies spring to mind. The odd flashy success here and there is not enough - we need consistent performances from these chaps.
From reading some of the posts above, I get the impression that Craig Overton (who IMO has regressed markedly this year) had a bit of a ‘wobbly’ again. To those who were there, did he show dissent to an opposition player or to an umpire? His bowling figures were atrocious, so given his track record I would not be altogether surprised if this were the case. Should he get another ban, then it will jolly well serve him and the club right. Maynard knows he has a problem in this respect, but can't seem to rectify it.
Both Overtons were seen as the bright new things in English cricket a couple of years ago, but frankly I am becoming disillusioned with both of them.
My own record on predictions is no better. Perhaps against my better judgement, I have predicted 4 wins for Somerset in various formats this year, and we have lost all 4. One thing is for sure, and that is if I predict many more victories we will surely finish bottom of everything.
We also were 'shorn' in terms of bowling resources and on a very benign pitch at the end they had nearly all their batting resources with them didn't they? We lost, as someone said by the breadth of a hair against the men at the top of the table in a very good game with some very pleasing and not so pleasing aspects for both sides.
And all you can do is repeat all the negative aspects of the situation without any mention of anything positive. I am not sure what the point of your last post was AG. It provides absolutely nothing you have not already posted numerous times over the last four days.
Rogers and the side today will have to take stock.
Jamie is out until at least September - a devastating position for the boy with the Lions opportunity gone. I do worry for his long term career in relation to injury as I do for his brother.
Craig is not having the best of seasons and seems frustrated by that. As pointed out he has to curb that frustration on the pitch and get his line and length back in order. It is also affecting his batting. He can't really be defined as an asset at the moment and his skipper and others have to change that.
Alex did not have a good game behind the stumps...adequate in tight situations is not enough and we possibly will come to look at his drop of George Bailey in the first innings and possibly the drop of Malan in the second as important parts of our 2016 season
Chris, identified as an idiot by some on here and as courageous by others made a decision that turned a supposedly "odds on" draw into a game of no little excitement.
Had he gone for the draw the pitch would have been criticised once more for not allowing an exciting game of cricket and 'we can't win games' kind of comments. He didn't and simply because we didn't win the criticism is turned on him for not allowing the 'bore draw'. The man is a county cricket captain, on a hiding to nothing with some whatever he does.
However, he must also look at his tactics in the game and ask himself where it might have been better. He backed his side to do the job for him. They didn't. That faith in some areas was returned with interest, in other areas it failed to deliver and was also subject to luck which wasn't always with the Aussie.
The batting did come from Marcus and Pete and James and Jim during the game. We lost it and then got it back - once again the critics put us out of the game at the start and on the third day and the men with the bat brought it back.
His own batting still leaves something to be desired and he needs to work on that - I saw him in full flow for a while on Day 1 after a difficult start and he has some quality. but he isn't contributing in the way I am sure he wants to.
He must have been very pleased with the 'tail' who keep coming to the batting party with something.
His field tactics wafted between brilliant and mysterious - maybe more of the first and little less of the second.
His bowling changes again need some work. He really didn't know what to do on the evening of the second day - I couldn't have given him an answer but the resource he needed to change the game wasn't there and MM identified that we maybe haven't given him that resource through signings....many have pointed it out here more than once.
His choice of Craig to bowl the 5th from last over showed faith in his young player but probably misplaced faith. Marcus did the same in a one day final with Mark Turner and got something of the same screaming cry!!
"If he's gone for a bucketload today why give them the opportunity to get another bucketload". Maybe sticking by your players on bad days isn't always the way to play it.
This was followed by an inspired piece of captaincy - bringing Jack back on - an over earlier and we may have got home.
Allowing Jim Allenby to answer his many and varied critics on the pitch was also good captaincy. It was a difficult match for Jim - some of which was entirely his own making. He hasn't given his side much to write home about and is not the most effective communicator but he did his job in this game and was quite rightly supported by his captain because of that. We need far more from him to balance the books but this was a fighting performance from someone we expect to fight.
Tim Groenewald was a revelation in the last part of this game and Rogers' reliance on him as the only seam option was repaid in full for over after over. Those who don't think there is a backbone to this team should have been there to see commitment of the highest order.
Obviously tired but the only thing standing between his side and defeat he bowled a hostile, tight and thrifty 10 over spell in tandem with Jim that tied the Middlesex batsmen down and nearly put them out. He started to flag and was taken off but that gave the initiative back so he returned and tied them up again when his own level of physical resources must have been all but spent. He ended up on his knees as the last six went into the car park having given everything.
So good and bad....when asked our collective resources could not get the job done. Individually there are those who have to sit down today and think hard. Players, tacticians, selectors and management. Things need to change - in the short run through necessity and through experience. In the long run for the progress of our side. If we have a captain that will take risks then we have to provide better for him to rely on. There are weaknesses in this squad but there are also great strengths we need to eradicate the first and build on the latter as individuals, as a team unit and as a county cricket side.
I was at the game. I saw a lot to be proud of but we tried and failed and if we are going to ask people to push for wins and get us 'over the line' we have to fail less often.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:14:09:47:43 by Grockle.
Cove got in a huff on a couple of occasions with the umpire, and was particularly unhappy to be called for wides in the single over entrusted to him as the game neared it's end.
Unfortunately, the over went for 14, plus a wide (or was it two ?), so getting stroppy with the umpire at a time when accuracy was the only need, was, at best, highly inappropriate.
I didn't see anything that I would think called for disciplinary action, but Craig certainly needs more self control, particularly when the pressure is on.
In contrast, I thought the young Middlesex bowlers were highly disciplined (aside from the no-balls from Harris).
In particular Harry Podmore, who turns 22 next week, looked threatening throughout, and his match figures of 7-143 at just over 2.5/over tell their own story. I'd be more than happy to see us go after him, if he ever becomes available.
Not sure why you've listed batting as having come from 'James,' Grockle unless you are crediting Allenby twice under different variants of The same name. Hildreth did little, after all.
I already said what I thought The good in The match was from our stand-point - MT, PT And JA And then TG on final day (but Not previously in The match).
But it's a team game And If you want to be any good you need more than 4/11 guys having a decent game, I'm afraid. Jove had little chance. Jack was more or less taken out of The game by our own 'pitch gamble,' but deserves batting credit, but that still leaves 5 other players that did not perform And that, unlike Jove And Jack, have nothing they could say to explain it.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:14:10:19:00 by AGod.
True when I'm in flow 'and James' has tended to be automatic but this wasn't a significant game for him
Interesting however that 4 out of 11 (and I did only credit Groenewald for the last part of the second innings) having significantly positive games is not enough but 1 or 2 negative performances for the same team are more than ample at other times.
Seems to be what fits your particular box at that moment AG
Marcus, Pete, Allenby both bat and ball, Rogers with bat 1st innings after jitters, Leach Barrow and Groenewald in second innings with bat, Craig with the ball first innings, Groenewald got a 5 fer and was our thriftiest bowler in the second.
There's a few more bits than just a specific 4..
Can't say there were huge differences in the Middlesex performances. Podmore and Fuller perhaps and a little more of that magic word 'consistency' at a decent level from the others.
Middlesex's second innings batting evaluation would be influenced by the nature of their task (run chase vs the clock). So whilst a score of 25 or 30 would Not usually be much good, in The context of what Middx needed to do to win, scores of that amount made At a High S/R would be evaluated as good contributions, I think, much as they would in a 40 over match.
With the bat both Gubbins And Fuller Can be said to have had exceptional matches, And Harris And Simpson very good ones. Podmore, by most accounts, bowled well for the majority of the match. So that's five that I think are unarguable. In The context of what they needed to do to win The match scores of 30 or so from each of Malan And Franklin At rapid rates played a part. I cannot say either had a good match prior to The final day, but then nor did Tim G.
It is amazing what our team does with its back against the wall. A remarkable second innings and no mistake. Personally, I would have liked a duller draw than an exciting finish and I hope we don't rue the loss of five points from the depths of the second division. A shame that the clinging-on by Barrow, Leach and Groenwald not to mention Trego' epic innings were, in the end, to no avail. They were brilliant. Shame about Barrow's 35 byes in their first innings though. Onwards and upwards.
Disappointed to lose but what a fantastic 4 days of cricket that ebbed and flowed from one team to the other on numerous occasions. Was it a stupid declaration absolutely not it was a positive move to try and get 16 points to move us up the table, to many times have we seen boring draws with the aim getting enough points just survive another season, it was nice to see a captain back his bowlers and make a positive decision. Also if you can't back your bowlers to defend 302 in 46 overs then its a poor job. And to be fair to the bowlers they did back him up with the exception of Craig Overton who's bowling, discipline and attitude was shocking. If he bowls as well as any of the other bowlers then we win the game & when you declare you certainly are not expecting your opening bowler to bowl 10 overs for 94.
Finally lets not forget we did bowl 10 wicket taking deliveries with Gubbins being dropped in the 30's and Simpson being dropped in single figures. Take those catches and we probably win the game and then Rogers is a genius. Also just a word for Tim Groenewald who was bowled brilliantly yesterday and did not deserve to be on the losing team.
Some very welcome balance here gentlemen. Have to agree with a lot of it.
Except AG 'IF' leaves were money we'd all be rich...
Ifs mean absolutely nothing in the end. IF we'd won we'd have had 15 points. So what. We didn't and we haven't. IF Simpson had missed the shot for 6 we would have had one ball to stop him getting six. He didn't and we didn't
The ONLY point was that we tried for more than the draw. If you try you sometimes fail. If you declare you have to have a plan to win of course it might not work. You don't control the other side so you have to make it tempting and that is a very fine balancing act as I am sure you have given us all a tutorial about before now.
Maybe we should have batted to 750 and let Jack get his double century? Then we would have got that probably vital, possibly inconsequential 5 points you seem to suddenly value so desperately.... whoopee do!!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:14:13:19:21 by Grockle.
We only had 1 wicket to fall, and the last wicket pair had already spent just under an hour at the crease, so why all the fuss about declaring when the innings could have run its natural course within another minute?
It probably was an indicator of the state of the pitch Clarence and a statement that we wanted to go for a win. I'm not sure Rogers thought Jack and Tim were in any real trouble and might have batted a long time. Time must have been a consideration. It was a strange score to declare on though.... was it a particular time? Maybe he gave em a period after lunch and that came up then. no idea really.
With Jove injured and Cove in poor form, I'd like to see us revert to a dry surface and possibly look At getting Roelof into The team as a second spinner for The remaining home games. VDM made a ton and took 3-5 or something vs Yorks IIs.
What a magnificent game of cricket. I stayed up until almost 3 AM listening to the denouement. A pity that we lost but some epic batting from Middlesex and I defy anyone who says they saw that result coming the way it did. They got home with 3 balls to spare and 2 wickets. That entertainment derived from an attacking declaration from CR. And that's what I want from my sport a competitive game between two good sides both trying to win. THAT is what sport should be all about.
If we get relegated don't fool yourself that it was because of this declaration.We lost 5 points only. And we showed intent which has been rare enough. There are loads of instances during this season where we have been completely outplayed and blatantly rescued by weather. We control our own destiny. If we have a bad run we will go down. If we play well we will be fine.
I think CO will come back and I hope so. He was exceptional last year when people were writing off JO's career. This year the reverse is true. Most young players have good and bad patches early career. He can take considerable solace from knowing that he has shown he can be a force at first class level. Now he has to focus on consistency and his mental approach. He reminds me of the England goalie Joe Hart at the Euros. He was so effusive at kickoff that he completely lost sight of his job as goalie and had a shocking tournament. I think he is over-psyched and needs to catch himself.I would rest CO now. I would also tell him to have a long chat with Andy Caddick. Get advice on insulating yourself from flashpoints. Personal motivation. Anything else he can learn.
The Allenby thing is troubling.Why oh why do sports stars have twitter accounts? Why does anyone for that matter? My wife tells me its good for networking but it looks more like an accident waiting to happen to me.
Anyway I hope we continue in this aggressive vein of captaincy. I would rather we were relegated than play insipid stale cricket.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:07:14:14:36:31 by bunger.
A few random thoughts on a wonderful if frustrating fourth day.
Craig O did not bowl well in the second innings, and completely lost it at the end (I suspect he was brought back less because of the skipper's faith in him than because Tim was knackered), but prior to that he wasn't quite as bad as his figures suggest. Encouraging Gubbins to hook with three men back wasn't a bad tactic as Gubbins was hooking in the air, but unfortunately all his shots either cleared the fielders with expensive results or fell short of them. CO also had what looked a desperately close LBW turned down when Gubbins was on about 15.
Likewise TG and and all our close fielders were totally convinced Fuller was caught behind on 3. There was definitely a noise, and for what it's worth Fuller's body language hinted at a certain apprehension.
I remarked after the Yorkshire game that Rogers' field placements were interesting and fruitful, two men being caught by fielders in slightly unorthodox positions. Yesterday when Simpson came on strike against Jim he moved Marcus out of slip, where he had been to Franklin, and positioned him to the inch at an unusual deepish squarish gully. (Rogers of course will know the Middlesex players' idiosyncrasies pretty well).
Simpson, as if following a script, chopped the very next ball almost straight at Marcus. Sadly Marcus was following a different script and dropped it.
Of course, if any one of those wickets had fallen at those times, Middx would in all probability have put up the shutters and played for a draw, and on a benign batting surface they would probably have succeeded.
Probably. Not certainly.
Not forgetting, re the declaration, that we were already nine wickets down and (assuming no change in tactics) Jack and Tim would have had to bat defensively for about another twenty minutes (to make up for the 13 they clubbed off the last over before the declaration) - otherwise the equation would have been much the same or slightly more in Middx's favour.
Anyway well done both teams on a magnificent game of cricket, and what a shame some people are incapable of appreciating that. I expect we'll hear(y) (pod)more of Harry Podmore, whose action is not the most fluent but who looks an excellent prospect, bowling with good accuracy at a brisk pace and moving it off the seam; Fuller I would expect to see batting at 7 for Middx in the near future, maybe at 3 in T20. (I might also suggest they play Harris as a specialist batsman, but that would be mean).
Of course I'd rather be 20 points clear of the relegation zone than 15. I'd rather still be 31 points clear, and CR's declaration gave us the only possible chance of that while retaining a fair chance of the draw. If either Fuller's caught behind or Marcus' catch had gone our way the draw would have become Middx's best option and we could have gone all out for the ZERO CHANCE win. Of such narrow margins …
Anyway we are still 15 points clear of said zone and still in 6th. If we'd drawn this one we'd still be 6th. If we'd won we'd be 3rd.
I ask you, what kind of fool would go for that?
Can't disagree with you Grizzz. Once saw them support Bowie. 3 bands on stage. Guitarist playing something, rhythm section playing something else and this fellow called Morris or something singing an entirely different song.
Grey over Bicknoller Towers on the day of our final 2016 T20 match.... too excited for words myself I have to admit....who is it against? Why the team of THIS week Middlesex.
I wasn't there to witness it with my own ears and eyes, but was very, very disappointed to hear a report today, from a normally very reliable source, concerning Craig Overton's language and behaviour on the boundary edge, after apparently one of the Umpires had turned down an appeal against his bowling.
I believe some mention of his actions have already been made on this thread. He is young, but already has a record which resulted in a 2 match ban. If he won't learn from that, what action does the club take, whether it was subsequently reported by the umpires or not?
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