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Current Page: 12 of 12
Re: Surrey Week Part 2
AGod 10 August, 2017 17:24
Must be an excellent chance of a rain-ruined draw at OT which would stop Warks gaining more momentum before we travel to Edgbaston to play them.

Oval and Chelmsford obviously likely to have very similar weather so Warks may be hoping for the relatively unusual weather pattern of a dry NW and pouring SE.

Of those three fixtures, one would think that our game at Chelmsford would be the most likely one to give a winner, given boring pitch at Oval (and sheer percentage of Surrey home games that end in draws) and habitually poor weather at OT.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Mike TA1 10 August, 2017 17:57
That was the best we could have hope for.

Tom Abell once again did everything correctly, field placing and bowling changes.

I did see Marcus talk to Tom and then Tom talked to Craig O just they took the new ball.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Grockle 10 August, 2017 19:20
If it wasn't tough to stay up it wouldn't be worth the effort. We have to do what we have to do. If we can't then we aren't good enough and will have to come back another way when we are.


Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Farmer White 11 August, 2017 00:49
Yesterday was a glorious day at the cricket. The sun shone all day and it was warm if you put yourself in its way. Cooler at the top of the Somerset Pavilion but still comfortable enough. I could see that the Quantocks, the Blackdowns and The Brendons had all reported for duty. Rain but an irritating memory. And there was the joy of watching a day of Championship cricket this season in a match which you knew Somerset could not lose. It was almost soporific but not quite for this was Somerset we were watching. The pitch was steadfastly unhelpful to the ball all day except possibly once or twice in the morning.

As I came past the end of Gimblett’s Hill on my way to the Somerset Pavilion, going in the other direction were three men pushing a huge pallet of cider. A harbinger of the T20 weekend to come even as the last day of this Championship match still held sway.

The ball was busy as we started, flying off the middle of the bat, Stoneman. driving and cutting as if he had something to celebrate. If being Alistair Cook’s twelfth disciple in the England opening partnership is something to celebrate. It has not much profited any of the other eleven. And the prelates’ convention of the second day was not in attendance to bless him either.

It was just beginning to look as if Somerset might need divine intervention to take a wicket when the Captain produced a divine intervention of his own. He put himself at short cover and Dom Bess on at the Somerset Pavilion End to bowl in the off spinning allrounder footsteps of Vic Marks. Although from recollection Marks preferred the River End. Borthwick promptly checked a shot, hit Bess straight towards Abell, the carry of the ball started to die, Abell dived full length and Borthwick looked to the heavens.

Jason Roy marched to the wicket. Abell put Jack Leach on at the River End. The man next to me said, “Roy won’t be able to hold back for long.” He didn’t for soon he had driven Bess into the Somerset Pavilion and followed up with one into the Ondatjee Stand. “He won’t last long,” said the man next to me, “One-day players never do in the Championship.” That man must have the ear of the gods for one from Leach seemed to hold up just slightly off the pitch and Roy popped it straight to Abell perfectly positioned for it at short cover. Next ball Leach would have removed Finch’s fourth stump if he had had one.

No need to bother with divine intervention if you have Tom Abell as captain for before we knew it Stoneman ended his celebration by popping Bess to him at short cover. That one looked like it might possibly have held up as well. 138-4 and an unlikely holy trinity of short cover catches. It was the last help Somerset got from the pitch. Soon Surrey were making headway towards the 287 they needed to avoid the follow on and remove any chimera of the prospect of a Somerset victory by an innings. No-one seriously expected such a miracle but in cricket it is impossible to completely silence that spirit deep within that dreams. It is one of the things that keeps us at the ground on days such as this.

The man next to me said, “He’ll put Overton on.” Abell promptly did just that and from nowhere Overton produced a ball to Foakes that took the edge and Steven Davies, rock still, took the catch. I was beginning to wonder just who the man next to me was. Surrey lunched at 183-5. A wicket short I thought for even that spirit deep within to believe. Abell’s bowling changes and field placements though had seemed inspired, almost Brearleyesque. Where was he getting his inspiration from I wondered? I looked at the man next to me again but no it wasn’t.

At lunch Dean Elgar had a net in front of the Somerset Stand ahead of the T20 weekend. A force from the first half of the season who had stood firm when all about were falling short. At least he was seeing a vision of what Somerset can do when they get their act together and it had been together in this match.

The half an hour after lunch started to put things into perspective. Finch seemed comfortable enough. Sam Curran didn’t but neither did he look like getting out. The score passed 200 and Surrey were in bonus points land. That was the tussle now. Bonus points. It always had been in reality but it does no harm to dream provided you don’t get too carried away.

It was Finch that got carried away. He tried to scoop Bess. He succeeded but only to the extent of popping it straight above Trescothick’s head at short leg. “See.” said the man next to me. “One-day players can’t play this.” The gods were certainly with Bess today. He didn’t need them though to remove Sam Curran. He just held on to a ferocious return drive as it whizzed past his ear.

243-7. On this pitch this was a tremendous effort from Somerset but too much time had been lost for dreams to be realised. Surrey edged towards the follow-on figure with a growing inevitability. The edge though had not gone out of the game as it usually would on such an afternoon for bonus points were still to be had. It may have gone for the man in front of me though for he pointed out a goods train grudgingly pulling out of Taunton Station. Pulled by a Class 70 locomotive apparently, or so he said.

Clarke and Tom Curran eventually pulled Surrey past the follow-on figure 7 down. Groenewald, persevering as ever whatever the state of the game, promptly had Clarke caught behind. 291-8. One more wicket and Somerset would have maximum bonus points for the first time this season. In football parlance that would be a ‘result’ in this match.

Achilles needed the assistance of the gods who handed him a spear to defeat Hector. Abell landed the final Somerset bonus point through his own powers. A phenomenally powerful spear-like throw to break the stumps with Tom Curran hurtling towards the crease but short. Tom Abell had had quite a match. 96 under extreme personal pressure and with the Somerset batting starting to look frail. Three catches in the key fielding position at the start of the Surrey innings and a run out of perfection. One swallow does not a summer make but he could barely have had a better return.

And yet this draw was not dead. Surrey nine down started to revive and still had a bonus point to get. Batty and Meaker started to go at the four an over needed for Surrey’s fourth batting point. They nearly made it to the growing cheers of a small group of Surrey supporters in the Somerset Stand. That they didn’t was down to perhaps the perfect combination to finish off this innings: Stumped Davies bowled Bess. And what a lightning stumping it was. The bails were off before Meaker could react. The gods in all their powers could not have done it better. And for Bess: 55 runs and 5 wickets in the two innings of the match. Vic Marks might not have done it better. A star may be rising in the west for this was not one of those spin friendly pitches on which he has taken his previous five wicket hauls.

In comparison with what had gone before this season, Lords and Scarborough apart, this match has been heavenly. Abell back to form and right on top of the captaincy as far as can be seen from beyond the boundary. Stephen Davies with an innings of true class. Dom Bess belying his years with an innings and bowling of real maturity. And Surrey outplayed in all departments. To stay in the First Division Somerset will have to play as well again and again for the rest of the season and hope the weather does not intervene as it has in this match but the route to salvation is no longer restricted to a prayer.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2017 05:52 by Farmer White.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Rod1883 11 August, 2017 07:48
Wonderful again FW. Helps all of us that can't be/aren't there and rely on BBC/Cricinfo on match days.

When I said "It's going to be tough to stay up" Grockle - I meant from the situation we are in here/now. I appreciate staying in the top flight of any sport needs to be tough, but I meant in the context of where we are and the fixtures we and others in the mix have to come.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Mike TA1 11 August, 2017 08:55
Yes a very enjoyable day.

Sometimes something happens when watching cricket that make you smile, sat on my usual perch on the Gimblett's Hill there was a Surrey supporter in a green top continually talking on the front row. We all talk while watching cricket but he was talking loud all the time, although he was about ten people away from me I could hear him easily talking about bad service and closing at 4 o/clock.

Almost everybody at the ground was watching Surrey approaching the follow-on score and when they did past 287 almost everybody at the ground including Somerset supporters applauded their effort.

All accept this Surrey supporter in the green top, he couldn't understand why people were clapping, he kept looking at the scoreboard over and over again trying to workout why people were clapping, I guess the chap next to him may have told him in the end.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
AGod 11 August, 2017 10:06
For once a few possibly nice words for "G-String," Batty as he is, ludicrously, known to his team-mates.

As per Matthew he spent an hour talking to Dom about spin bowling.

Assuming that he confined himself to talking only about bowling (as opposed to, say trying to verbally and physically intimidate opposing players) then this is to be welcomed and well done to Mr Batty for being generous with his time.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Shepton Paul 2 11 August, 2017 10:13
I think it's a widely-held belief that Batty is actually a pretty good guy and popular on the circuit. It seems that (much like me on the golf course or others behind the wheel), he has a character change on the field of play and his will to win can override all else. I believe he/Surrey were wrong in the Barrow/Kartik incident, but I have character flaws too, and am not going to deride him too much.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
chunkyinargyll 11 August, 2017 10:24
Sky always seem to go out of their way to say how nice Batty is.

I prefer to judge based on evidence I've seen.

Surrey as a whole do seem to have reduced their ridiculous over the top celebrations in televised matches recently- maybe as a result of the comparatively mild mannered Rabada getting a one match test ban for not very much at all.

Maybe it made them think.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Mike TA1 11 August, 2017 11:11
Actually Chunky you made me think, in this match Surrey were quite good with their appealing, I don't think it was more than once I thought 'shut-up' with their appealing.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Grockle 11 August, 2017 11:57
Dom also spent quite a lot of time on the pitch chatting to Nick Cook at square leg as well. Sounds like spinners saw something to talk about with this young man.


Re: Surrey Week Part 2
AGod 11 August, 2017 13:48
Mike - WSM did mention a tantrum from Batty in the T20 match which immediately preceded the CC game, so perhaps he/they got it all out of his/their system (s) then.

Chunky - Indeed, there's no evidence - from having seen him operate on the pitch - that he is a "nice guy," but perhaps it is true that he's a decent bloke off the pitch which is, of course, something that we would never see.

Anyway, if he is prepared to give his time to young players that do not play for his side, then that is to his credit.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Somerset LaLaLa 11 August, 2017 16:35
Batty is clearly passionate and opinionated, ask Peter Trego. I liked the way Batty spoke out in favour of Jack earlier in the season on the way he had been treated by England. Batty has plenty of views on the quality of English spin bowling and it's great to hear he spent some time with Dom. A bit of a marmite character but I love the stuff.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2017 16:40 by Somerset LaLaLa.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Rod1883 11 August, 2017 16:49
I know who's reports I would rather read!
The BBC site report makes what was an intriguing day sound incredibly dull - and he can't get our next fixture right either!

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Loyal of Lhasa 11 August, 2017 23:00
I've probably made my final (and second) visit to Taunton for the summer and my hopes of watching a four-day match were somewhat dashed, firstly by the elements and then by a family illness (nothing too serious) that meant that I missed the fourth day. No complaints from me, for I thoroughly enjoyed my two days (four sessions really) on Gimblett's Hill in the company of the usual good and cheerful friends. And the cricket wasn't at all bad either.

We started with a lovely (and not atypical) cameo from Trescothick and an increasingly attractive innings by Byrom, my first sight of him, perhaps destined to be the true heir of the Marquis of Keynsham. Then the afternoon session on Monday was probably as good as any I've seen for a long time, reminding one just how beautiful our beloved game can be when two of the country's finest stylists are batting together. One wonders if there are two more elegant batsmen in the county game than Abell and Davies, who chose this session to remind us of the old adage about temporary form and permanent class. Then on Tuesday came the precociously gifted Bess demonstrating what an extraordinarily talented young man he is. And how many people remembered that it was Groenewald and Leach, the architects of that brilliant last wicket stand, who, batting together, achieved that remarkable victory against the same opponents last year. (I bet the Surrey players did).

Tuesday's enjoyment was enhanced by the presence of that college of clergy, a most witty and amiable bunch, though I would question their capacity to pray effectively for a dry Wednesday. Despite all that I enjoyed, Tuesday was a day of three major disappointments. The obvious one was Abell's dismissal on 96. I saw his debut innings against Warwickshire, described by one of the umpires as the best debut innings he had ever seen. On that occasion he made 95; on Tuesday he made one more and I am hoping his scores in my presence will not rise by just a single each time, for he is capable of much higher things. One of our contributors remarked that Abell has "turned the corner" as far as his form is concerned. That is not in dispute, though one corner he perhaps should no longer turn is the one behind him on the leg side. His departure was the first of the disappointments; the second was the lack of the usually superb ice cream from the kiosk under the Somerset Stand - I had travelled all the way from London for my annual cornet. Some may find reason to blame people within the club for both those disappointments, but SCCC cannot be responsible for the extremely poor quality of the post-match pint in the Plough, normally an outlet for the finest ales. It was by far the worst pint I have drunk this year, not of course that I have had ... "stop kidding yourself" (Ed).

There was obviously much to be pleased about as far as Day Four was concerned and I feel that the determination of our much maligned side is not to be questioned.

And I am very grateful to Farnmer White and others for reporting so colourfully on the cricket that I did and did not see.


Seventy-two Seasons a Somerset Supporter

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
AGod 11 August, 2017 23:43
Although I've disputed in the past, I think I'm coming round to the notion that Mr Abell seems to be disproportionately susceptible to being strangled down the leg-side.

What I don't know, however, is how many runs he makes through the leg-glance? One needs to know that in order to have a sensible opinion viz risk vs reward ratio..

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Wickham 12 August, 2017 07:43
Not many runs, AG - certainly, nothing like 30 runs per leg-side strangle. (I think you can take it that those of us who have commented previously that it an unproductive shot would have taken account of reward versus risk.)

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Nailsea_Fizz 12 August, 2017 08:31
I assume, Wickham, you have completed a full and comprehensive statistical analysis and will be publishing it in due course.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Wickham 12 August, 2017 08:50
You know me too well, NF - except that while, naturally, I have carried out a full statistical analysis, regretfully I can't publish the results (because of client confidentiality).

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
AGod 12 August, 2017 09:00
It's such an instinctive shot for most batsmen though, Wickham. Many aren't good enough to get anything on those balls down the leg-side though I have never understood why - for my rubbish batting that was the easy bit, hitting anything down leg through the onside!

I would think it harder to cut out that shot than to cut out loose wafts outside of off-stick.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Bobstan 12 August, 2017 09:07
I went six days without reading this august (and currently August) site, and remarkably I seem to have survived this deprivation.

Important matters need to be dealt with: the Pope is definitely English, so now there have been two English Popes, the first being Adrian IV. I think we should perhaps have tried to rehash our cup final chant - let's say 'I'd rather watch Steve Davies than the Pope ' ad inf.

This was surely one of the most interesting rain-ruined matches any of us can recall. So many tactical conundra, so many fine individual performances in the service of the team.

I even enjoyed Wet Wednesday, using my ancient person's bus pass to go to Wells, a place I have not visited in many years. For exiles such as myself coming south-west for a match is so much more than just the cricket; it's a return to roots.

The company wasn't too bad either!

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Clarence Parker 12 August, 2017 10:10
That is an interesting point that you made, AGod, but as has already been suggested the number of dismissals of Tom Abell as a result of that shot, outweigh the benefits from the number of runs that he has scored from it.

Compare with the late Peter Denning, the butcher's son from the Mendips, who scored a large percentage of his runs square of the wicket on the off side. He played what was referred to as the 'Chewton Mendip Chop' but it led to his dismissal many times.

In his case I think that it would be fair to say that one of his great strengths when batting, was also a weakness.

Of Tom Abell, I do not think that could be said.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
AGod 12 August, 2017 10:19
Hildreth the same, really - square of the wicket on the off-side both a strength and weakness.

In general, onside play is a key strength of Tom A, IMO, but maybe not that shot.

I suspect that the angle may be important.. that when the bowler goes slightly wide and angles the ball in, TA might be more likely to get it wrong.

Certainly, I don't think we can expect him to refrain from the leg glance vs balls that would otherwise hit his pad (regardless of pitching outside leg and/or missing the stumps) but perhaps he needs to think twice about playing 'away from his body,' on the onside ?

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Shepton Paul 2 12 August, 2017 10:59
Hey, he got 96! Let's be happy about that, and let the experts worry about the batting technique.

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
AGod 12 August, 2017 11:23
But preferably not ones based Down Under that are outside of the aegis of the club....

Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Grockle 12 August, 2017 13:30
Well he said he'd gone back to a more basic technique which is always a good move if you ask me. His on side plsy was delightful on Day 1 so there was a lot of good stuff to watch.


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