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Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Tom Seymour 15 April, 2017 19:34
To start at the beginning, our bowlers stuck to the task well and Tom Abell's bowling changes and field placings were fine. There was still something in the pitch to assist the bowlers. A first innings lead of 80 and all to play for.

But dear, oh dear. Our second innings batting was pathetic, no other word for it. I had to leave at the fall of our 9th wicket, so unfortunately missed the excitement of our invaluable last wicket stand.

Wagner, as in our first innings, was bowling leg side theory. Batsman after batsman fell into the trap set and were regularly dispatched to the Pavilion as a consequence of incompetent shots. Nobody seemed to have the nous of how to play this kind of attack.

Poor Tom Abell had a brief stay at the wicket, never looking comfortable, and his dismissal was no surprise to many people watching.

Scoring runs on this pitch is not impossible with patience and application. Apart from our last pair at the wicket, we on the whole showed neither.

The game is in the balance at the end of the second day, and tomorrow could be interesting for those who are fortunate to attend.

To my mind our batting is weak and inconsistent and today exemplified why. On my way out of the ground I passed Chris Rogers. Had he not been talking to someone else I would have enquired of him if he knew any good batting coaches. Surely this lot cannot be allowed to bat again as poorly as they have done in this match.

We have a chance tomorrow of course, and I would not rule out a Somerset victory but the fact cannot be ignored as to how badly we threw our wickets away today.

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

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
AG on apple 15 April, 2017 19:39
Application with the bat seldom a SCCC strong-point down the years, I feel. Free-wheeling stroke making? Yes. Much evidence of grit with the bat? Too seldom in evidence. Of course Cook tends to be Mr Application so we must hope for something very good to rip him out early.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
mortalunlucky 15 April, 2017 19:43
Well, my blood pressure was well up - but that might have been the cold wind and shivering through most of the last session.

An absorbing day's play. I disagree with the post about practice against the short ball - very few of them needed to be played - just eyes lighting up at juicy long hops - not concentrating on building an unassailable lead. Leach and Overton made it look easy until Overton's eyes lit up with another long hop and unfortunately for him Zaidi actually caught him after a very similar and not expensive drop off Hildreth.

A few posters are concerned about pressure on Abell - I think he has picked up bad habits during the winter that the opposition have already spotted. Watch his bat lift - practice is perfect and initial lift is fine and then the toe rotates at the time the bowler delivers the ball around to backward point so he is playing across the line all the time.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Mike TA1 15 April, 2017 19:56
Day two photos.

It was still bl**dy cold today, as luck would have it I took most of my photos earlier in the day.

Alastair Cook was missed when in his forties, I think off Jack Leach.
An edge pass the wicketkeeper towards the slip.

It could be Lewis Gregory (I am not 100% sure) that didn't take the opportunity to take the catch. Luckily it wasn't an expensive miss.

Another catch that didn't go to hand from Ravi Bopara, I didn't think there was much chance of catching this ball.

Although Jack Leach bowled Ravi Bopara soon afterwards.

just after Alastair Cook reach his fifty Lewis Gregory bowled him.

Adam Wheater was bowled by Roelof van der Merwe when he clipped the bails off.

Roelof van der Merwe looked pleased when he had Simon Harmer caught behind by Steve Davies.

Ashar Zaidi about to be caught by Steve Davies off the bowling of Jack Leach

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Bobstan 15 April, 2017 20:02
Thanks as ever, Michael. I always say that your photos are the next best thing to being at the match. And I always mean it!

Hope you've thawed out.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Mike TA1 15 April, 2017 20:26
Thanks Bobstan - (Sm24)

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
AG on apple 15 April, 2017 20:41
Chris Rogers very pleased with the bowling, but not remotely impressed with the batting, last pair apart.

However he also claims that the track is a 'two-paced lottery.'

If that's right then we could yet get into trouble...nothing wrong with a spinning track but nobody wants uneven surfaces.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Loyal of Lhasa 15 April, 2017 20:59
Mike: Thanks as ever for your splendid photographs. Following recent reports on the state of your hands, are we soon to expect blue movies?


Seventy-one Seasons a Somerset Supporter

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
RadstockRob 15 April, 2017 21:04
Having missed all of last season I can safely say I really enjoyed today.
Some awful shots taken but in the end we've pulled through setting up an exciting day tomorrow I'm sure.

Best part of the day was busing it down from Radstock using my bus pass. As the last bus to wells leave at 1738 I only missed the last few overs.

There's no need to rush home to get the score on teletes either.

A top day. Sorry I didn't ger round to chatting to those I haven't seen for a e

I sat and stood next to a rather timid and quiet chap under the old scoreboard.Never a dull moment.
Can't make it tomorrow as there are no trains running from Bath, no buses from Wells to Taunton and no buses from Radstock to Temple Meads on a Sundays.
Mad isn't when we are told to use public transport.

Let's hope tomorrow bodes well.


Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Wickham 15 April, 2017 21:32
Two eventful days - and excellent company on the Hill. It was especially good to see you (albeit, very briefly), Rob.

Most of what I would have said has already been said by others. In brief:
- the bowling was accurate and penetrative (we got their batsmen out, rather than them getting themselves out)
- we fielded well and Davies kept wicket beautifully
- disappointingly, in both innings, most of our batsmen got themselves out. The way our batsmen played Wagner was especially frustrating - he had turned to leg theory in the first innings, so our batsmen should have known what to expect, but too many played low percentage shots (not, I think, because their eyes lit up at the prospect of easy runs, but because they didn't have - or couldn't execute - an alternative plan) and were caught on the leg-side. Other counties will have taken note, so we need to get much better at playing that type of bowling in advance of future matches. Cove and Jack Leach played very sensibly in their last-wicket stand.

I didn't see evidence of the pitch mis-behaving to any significant degree. My worry is that the pitch might die - in which case the Essex target may prove relatively straightforward.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15/04/2017 21:38 by Wickham.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Farmer White 16 April, 2017 00:12
And so Essex were indeed rocked back on their heels in the morning and early afternoon as our bowlers kept their batsmen under tight pressure and then we rocked ourselves back on our own heels in our second innings by constant attack against the short pitched bowling of Wagner. Four batsmen in succession caught hooking and pulling to a field especially set for it. It was excruciating to watch by the time the third and fourth fell. Jamie Overton, the last of the quartet, and to be fair a bowler, seemed to swipe at every ball as it flew by his ears with the same success as the rest of us might have trying to swat a fly in mid air with a bare hand.

Everyone I spoke to around the boundary were somewhere between critical of the batting to being exasperated by it or in despair especially after a similar if slightly less frenetic performance in the first innings. Chris Rogers was of a similar opinion saying a lot of runs had been left in the pitch. I had wondered though if there was a different slant on it. Everyone though to whom I mentioned it looked askance that I could have even thought it.

In their first innings Essex scored 129 at 2.35 (2.03 today) an over. In their first innings Somerset scored 209 at 2.88 and in their second 174 at 3.45. At the two extremes Essex batted 54.5 overs for 129 in their first innings. Somerset batted 50.2 overs for 174 in their second.

My musings this afternoon were around whether it was better to try to prod carefully about or attack aggressively on a testing pitch like this. To date Somerset's method has produced more runs per wicket spent. If the pitch was such that a batsman could expect only a limited time on it then perhaps Somerset thought it better to get as many as they could whilst they were there. Their often frenetic approach through most of the order suggested it might even be their policy for the match.

Chris Rogers'statement suggests otherwise. However if the pitch has uneven bounce as he suggests then perhaps batsmen do have a limited time in the middle and had Somerset simply not played most of Wagner's short stuff and awaited the more normal length that had preceded and followed it and played like Craig Overton and Jack Leach (who themselves batted at the same pace as the innings as a whole, so pretty aggressively in comparison with the Essex crawl) then the three and a half an over charge might have netted a 300+ lead. Essex would then have had to bat between 85 and 130 overs on this pitch depending on the approach they adopted. As it is they will have to bat somewhere between 70 and 110 overs at the scoring rates to date. To date the longest innings is Somerset's first at 72.2 overs and that netted only 209.

Provided the pitch does not revert to type and flatten (and the Overton-Leach partnership might be a harbinger of this), OR the Overton-Leach partnership has not shown Essex how to bat on this pitch as it is, AND we bowl as well as we did on the second morning, then the target might be taxing for all except perhaps Cook. And even he looked uncomfortable and did not last long this morning when Gregory and Craig Overton got their length and line right. IF the pitch does not flatten, Somerset's approach, persisting with the failed attack on Wagner apart, might after all, albeit it seems unplanned, turn out to have been the better one.

And if I am wrong and everyone else is right then we will have started to build our traditional hill to climb at the start of the season. Whatever the outcome no doubt the shares of the companies which make tranquilizers will have risen overnight as is their wont whenever Somerset play.

I shall not be there but will suffer the anguish of not knowing interspersed with periodic daggers of information.

Good luck with the watching and listening tomorrow.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 16/04/2017 00:20 by Farmer White.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Scrumper 16 April, 2017 00:18
I've got the Diazepam tablets lined up.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
geordie moonraker 16 April, 2017 06:24
I think that when I get back in at about 12.30 I shall be able to see the way it is going. This is far better and exciting cricket than a big bash approach.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Mike TA1 16 April, 2017 08:28
This says it all, far better than I could and I agree with every word. []

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Grockle 16 April, 2017 08:51
From the commentary I heard I have to agree with a lot above. Only bit I thought we really missed out on was that conversation between Tom and Chris about our batting. What a shame you couldn't wait for Chris to finish with the man he was talking to Tom.... I'm sure his response would have been something to report on.

He was live straight after the game - haven't heard it yet but I'm sure he used the same assessments of the batting as you did. Can't have been pleased at least.

But, we still managed to produce a fighting total - albeit thanks to Jack and Overton 1. can't say I'm happy with the sort of 250....but much happier than the 186 that it looked like at one time.

We have been here before and we have won from here before but it needs application and some top notch bowling. I do hope the pitch does not flatten because that would be a real shame as these last two days deserves a contest to a result for those who have braved the brisk spring air for 3 days.


Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Bagpuss 16 April, 2017 08:52
Better than the BBC headline "Cook Unbeaten as Essex chase 255". He's 4* for goodness sake! Never mind the County Championship and 21 other players. Its All About Alastair.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
AG on apple 16 April, 2017 09:41
I don't really follow the 'track flattening out,' fears unless the Rogers comments vs unevenness are kidology. Uneven pitches do not suddenly become more even, quite the contrary.

In the past tracks at Taunton that have flattened out have begun moist and then dried, losing seam movement, pace and carry. And because dampness can cause turn then sometimes those same pitches have turned early, but not late.

Uneven pitches are normally either those that started dry and have cracked (prob this one?) or ones that have started damp and developed indentations on the surface.

So, I don't think the track is liable to flatten. However, there is a good chance that either we will bowl less well than we did in the first innings and/or that Essex will bat less fecklessly than we've done in this match.... In other words I suspect that the Somerset batsman have created a worse impression of this surface than is realistic (by throwing away countless wickets). I think Essex may bat more carefully, putting the onus on us to bowl well for a second time in the match, rather than just giving us their wickets.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
AG on apple 16 April, 2017 10:19
Not a good start, too much loose stuff, need the spinners on ASAP or potentially at risk of things running away from us.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
AG on apple 16 April, 2017 11:11
Looks like our gormless batting display is going to bite us in the backside, and deservedly so, unless the spinners can produce a pretty big collapse.

Chris Rogers said we may be under-prepared..where have we heard that before and when will we get this right?

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Grockle 16 April, 2017 11:47
How can you be underprepared when batsmen were scoring hundreds for fun in the friendlies?

Maybe they should have given some time in the middle to others perhaps. They certainly played a lot of games and lost very little to the weather so what would constitute 'over prepared'?


Re: And so it all starts with Essex
AG on apple 16 April, 2017 12:18
I would assume, Grockle, that he meant that we played vs poor opposition. I guess we were unlucky with the Lancs fiasco. But, apart from that, we scheduled games against Div Two and non first-class opposition.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Tom Seymour 16 April, 2017 12:41
For the past 3 years Matthew Maynard has taken the squad for a pre season "training camp" to somewhere in Spain.

For the past 3 years we have started badly in the Championship. Is there a connection? Yes IMO.

Instead of getting sun on their backs and improving their golf swings, wouldn't they be better prepared putting in the hard yards at home? In this game and particularly yesterday they have batted so poorly that they deserve the title "clowns of the First Division."

If people who weren't there think that that is an unjustified tag, then I suggest they try to watch a bit more live. Some I know can't because of distances involved, but some can if they have a mind to.

Being Easter Day I decided not to attend today. We are looking down the barrel at the moment but who knows?

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

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
AG on apple 16 April, 2017 12:51
We've started slowly for about the past 15 years, so it's a problem that spans an array of management figures and playing personnel.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Loyal of Lhasa 16 April, 2017 13:34
The commentators at the current match, including Gibson, who really should know better, have been talking irritatingly and unnecessarily about the "Top End". I have deduced gi from what else they have said that they are referring to the River End, which makes no kind of sense at all. "Top" would normally imply some kind of elevation, making their description manifestly illogical, unless the underground stream that runs under the eastern side of the ground is flowing uphill.

These things should not irritate one - but they tend to so when there is not much joy coming from the field of play!


Seventy-one Seasons a Somerset Supporter

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
AG on apple 16 April, 2017 14:14
Looking for all the world like a defeat of embarrassing proportions.

Perhaps Essex can say that Neil Wagner out-witted our batsmen but let's just say that it hardly required something fiendishly clever to do so.

Looks like the team will be getting a major wake-up call with this result.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Grizzers 16 April, 2017 14:35
I think I can put my fears of an ECB pitch point penalty to bed.

We really don't like April do we ?


Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Loyal of Lhasa 16 April, 2017 14:46
Oh not to support Somerset, now that April's here...


Seventy-one Seasons a Somerset Supporter

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Grockle 16 April, 2017 14:59
You know how that pitch couldn't possibly flatten out AG?

Seems you and Tom A were both wrong and it did. According to tweeters at the ground it has done absolutely nothing today.

Taunton pitches....we really have to start reading them because it seems we had inadequate preparation playing on them... though I thought we did quite a lot.

Is it the quality of the opposition? Spain? Both? and the solution is..... (fanfare?)


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 16/04/2017 15:11 by Grockle.

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
chunkyinargyll 16 April, 2017 15:02
Things are going from Ciderabad to Cideraworse....

Re: And so it all starts with Essex
Grockle 16 April, 2017 15:05
Careful you don't cut yourself on that sharp wit.


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