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Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Mike TA1 08 August, 2017 09:34
Often statements leave more question than are answered.

At the Q&A it was said Adam Hose and Darren Veness decided to leave the club, that remark doesn't tell us much.

Was Adam Hose contract handled correctly, should Somerset have got in there sooner than they did, the contract timetable detailed last night surely is not ridged, I have heard of players being given extensions to their contracts mid-season.

Talk at the ground yesterday why Darren Veness is leaving (I will not go into detail on what was being said) the gist of it was alleged he wanted to do something and the club wouldn't let him.

And of the younger players surely they need to know as soon as possible if they are going to be offered contracts for next season, I couldn't blame them if they moved to another club if a contract was offered sooner rather than later.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Farmer White 08 August, 2017 09:42
Perhaps the most important thing I saw yesterday were four primary school age children playing cricket in the car park and another still carrying a pair of inflatable batons from yesterday’s T20 so he at least had been brought to both games. I saw five others, or perhaps the same five waiting for autographs by the Caddyshack only to all set off like a flock of County ground seagulls, in hot pursuit of Steven Davies’ six presumably for the honour of throwing it back. They were foiled because it fell at the foot of the out of bounds, for this match, temporary stand. There were four or five children of a similar age in the top deck of the Somerset Pavilion from where I viewed today. Hopefully from small beginnings children at Championship matches in numbers will return perhaps gradually drawn in by T20 where they proliferate.

I think that is the first time I have seen an out of bounds stand at Taunton. Understandable given the seats were not needed and the steep steps for access but it does perhaps help explain’ Andy Nash’s opposition to a permanent huge stand there if the Championship atmosphere at the ground is to be preserved and which I remember him saying the team value.

Somerset needed to continue the return to form they had shown at Scarborough. Trescothick’s swish at a wide one in the first over sent a shiver. Then almost immediately he seemed to find his touch. Boundaries from perfectly struck drives and steers wide of gully unveiled the Trescothick of old. Heavily overcast skies perhaps the reason why Gareth Batty inserted Somerset were brightened by Trescothick’s stroke play and Batty might just have felt the slightest of shivers himself. Byrom too having been left standing by Trescothick at the outset started to show that perhaps Somerset have another left-handed opener of class in the making.

As the Trescothick Byrom partnership was developing I found myself discussing the future of domestic cricket in general and of Somerset in particular with someone I have watched Somerset with for years. We covered the decline in Test Cricket attendances and the long-term threat that might pose to the Championship. Whether Somerset can both prioritise the Championship and retain its best T20 players when the City based T20 starts. Whether international matches and the potential profits are important to the Club. Whether Somerset can retain its first division place this season. And, as they say, much more. After half an hour or so we had come to no serious conclusion about anything nor did we look likely to.

It didn’t take our eye off the cricket though. We still applauded Trescothick’s fours and commented on Byrom’s potential. Discussed the wisdom of playing on a used pitch; not that either of us knows the first thing about pitch preparation. That is the thing about the Championship. You can sit and discuss unlimited aspects of cricket endlessly, whether you know anything about them or not, and not miss a bit of cricket. You can’t do that with T20. You can’t do anything with T20 except watch it. If you don’t watch it incessantly you can’t keep up. Ever tried keeping a scorecard at a T20 match? Don’t.

Watching a T20 match is like riding a highspeed roller coaster. Watching a Championship match is heaven. At least it is when Somerset are 43-0 having been inserted. At 46-3 it feels rather different. Trescothick, after dominating, edged Meaker’s second ball to slip. Rouse joined Byrom and almost as quickly departed for a duck having flashed a cut at a ball from Clarke which took the edge. Hildreth came in on the back of his hundred at Scarborough and played down the line of Clarke’s next ball only for it to straighten and take the pad or at least that is what it looked like from the top of the Somerset Pavilion. Déjà vu.

Then something wonderful happened. Tom Abell joined Byrom. He defended hard at the start and how hard he tried. Every ball that could not be left was met by the full face of the bat. We waited with trepidation for the ball that would breach his defence as déjà vu demanded. But it never came. Just a straight bat as wide as Roman legionnaire’s shield or so it must have seemed to Surrey. ‘They shall not pass’ sprang to mind. He had walked to the wicket on a wave of hope and warm applause, from the crowd that he might at last come good.

At first he and Byrom defended for all they were worth. In T20 Somerset would have attacked, attacked and attacked again to break free. But this was the Championship and they just faced Surrey down. Then Byrom broke the stalemate with a beautiful clip through mid-wicket to cries of ‘shot!’ from round about me. Abell responded with an equally impressive push of Clarke, wicket taker in chief, to the Ondtajee boundary. There are not many who can make a push look as sumptuous as a cover drive but this one was.

It prompted a buzz around the ground. No music of course but I could not get that ear worm ‘Sweet Caroline’ out of my head from yesterday. Perhaps, just perhaps this might be the turning point. I watched an over from the terrace above the umpire’s head. Clarke was moving the ball through the air. Marginally but away from the batsman. The anticipation and hope were blunted by a blanket of cloud and rain that hung above the point of the Quantocks all morning. Threatening but from a distance.

Surrey kept at their task and Byrom and Abell theirs. At 56-3 the ball was changed. Abell despatched it for three and four with square drives from the top drawer. Cries of ‘shot!’ again. Next Byrom awoke the ghosts in the old stragglers bar with a backward cut that streaked lighting fast into their midst. Two of the four slips that had stalked Somerset all morning had now retreated as lunch approached. Then as if by way of a statement of intent Abell pulled the penultimate ball before lunch to the temporary stand boundary. Shot! 92-3.

Batty opened after lunch from the River End and Byrom promptly swept him behind square for four. Next ball he advanced far down the pitch to him and was bowled. 96-4. In such moments are dreams shattered. Enter Stephen Davies with an awful season with the bat behind him. Surrey prowled. Batty and Clarke bowled with the persistent accuracy which suggested hunters closing in on their prey. In the half an hour after Byrom departed seven runs were scored. Not a hint of T20 technique here.

Then the miracle began to take shape. First Davies broke free with the most delicate of late cuts wide of the fielder to Gimblett’s Hill. Then Abell clipped Clarke to the Caddyshack boundary where the skimming ball was parried by the fielder diving full length only to run twenty yards along the boundary rope. ‘Shot!’ and ‘Shot!’ again. Sometimes such fine margins mark a turning point. The Quantocks certainly thought so for they drove away the ugly cloud and the rain for a better view and the day lightened.

So did the cricket. Abell and Davies unleashed an array of sweeps, cuts, late cuts, pulls and drives of all types: straight, on, cover , off, back foot, especially from Abell the back foot drive. What a stroke that is when played with such precision and power. And the pulls apart hardly a ball lifted off the ground.

I timed the boundaries as they flowed. 14.32 14.32 14.35 14.37 14.39 (6) 14.42 14.44 14.47 14.55 15.01 15.08 15.24 15.31 15.35 15.36 15.38 15.46 15.48. It was as good a display of controlled precision attacking batting to wrest the initiative from a circling opposition as you could hope to see. The applause, the ever more intense buzz that enveloped the ground the cries of ‘Shot’ that ever increasingly punctuated it was a sound for sore ears this season. This was the partnership of the season at least at home.

It had been such a display that brightened Somerset hearts to the extent that I had not noticed how bright the figures on the scoreboard had become. The Quantocks had given up the unequal struggle and the cloud had enveloped the ground as much as the applause. But what memories remain of that golden miraculous afternoon. Somerset 234-4 Abell 88* Davies 68* and that was it for the day.

Who would have thought it but then as someone said to me after the players had come off, “Form is temporary. Class is permanent.” I hope those Primary school children took some of it in.

And for now that is it for I am off to the cricket. Not even time to proof read this so apologies for any howlers – or at least for more than normal.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
barndoorio 08 August, 2017 09:47
What a wonderful sport cricket is!

Such passion is imbued, that we have a fan threatening legal action following a disagreement about how many people clapped a player scoring 50.

At least it makes my readings on football equivalents not seem quite so hyperbolic now.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Rod1883 08 August, 2017 09:59
Lovely piece of writing again FW, thank you.

Here's hoping for some good progress today in between the showers to get us up toward 4 batting points minimum.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 10:13
Yes, Mike, of course you are entirely right that players are often awarded contract extensions during a season. A club can award an extension to a player whenever it chooses, without doubt.

As for Tom Abell and his technique - a good question that could have been asked of Maynard would have been this:

Will the club now re-consider sending young players abroad over the winter (?), given that, presumably, one of two things happened to Tom Down Under:


a) Playing on Australian pitches caused Tom to adjust his technique and then he failed to adjust it back (if Tom played on bouncy tracks then that could explain a technical flaw in which he was tending to not get his weight fully forward when playing forward).


b) Some Aussie coach took it upon himself to interfere with Tom's natural technique.

Of course, if the problem was b) then that is a learning experience for Tom - unless you're badly out of form, don't let the coach make changes to your technique, especially if he's not even your real boss!! But perhaps the problem here was that Tom already felt somewhat out of form and sought assistance because his record at home last year was dreadful once we started producing the dry tracks.

In general, it seems to me to make sense to send players off to experience different conditions, different types of bowling etc to aid their development as cricketers but here, perhaps, is a salutary lesson about the potential pitfalls of doing so...

.... perhaps any placements should be very short and players should be recalled to Taunton earlier, just in case they've developed the sort of nasty technical gremlin that Mr Maynard told us that Mr Abell had developed.

Or perhaps (and this would have an obvious cost implication) SCCC coaches need to be dispatched *with* our young players to ensure that they are not receiving unhelpful advice from coaches overseas?

The batting woes this season were certainly not all Tom's fault. But, had he not been in terrible form then not only would we have got more runs from his bat but it seems very likely that we would have got more runs from the bats of others ... for example Hildreth and Davies would, on average, have been facing an older ball, perhaps a far older ball. Even Trego had to face a newish ball too often in the first part of this season.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2017 10:18 by AGod.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 11:00
Come on boys, I want you two to add at least another ton together and I'm going to be greedy and request full batting bonus points. A 13 point haul from the match is not what we want but we'd not be out of it with that haul.................... and the key point might be that batting confidence might have been significantly restored if these two are feeling really good about themselves, so that we can go into the remaining games with more chance of getting reasonable hauls of batting bonus points.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Monkey Butler 08 August, 2017 11:27
Abell is gone one boundary away from his century. A shame, but I hope he takes confidence in the fact that this has been a pivotal knock for somerset.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 11:32
Yes. Chances of full batting bonus points probably greatly diminished now, however, unless the lower-order rallies to very good effect.

I can't say I'm expecting a significant score from Jim Allenby.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Somerset LaLaLa 08 August, 2017 11:37
Ground Control to Captain Tom
Ground Control to Captain Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Captain Tom (ten, nine, eight, seven, six)
Commencing countdown, engines on (five, four, three)
Check ignition and may God's love be with you (two, one, liftoff)

This is Ground Control to Captain Tom
You've really made the grade

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 11:40
Warks' lead at Lord's is stating to assume the sort of proportions that may make them feel that they are in with a real shout in that game.

And, if the North London weather is as bad as forecast tomorrow, then it may be a big enough lead that the match is ultimately drawn (assuming little or no play tomorrow) That would probably allow us to gain a small number of points relative to Middx, given the very low first-innings scores in that match.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Big Jim 08 August, 2017 11:42
Gutted for Tom, but what a knock, pure class. Time to put them to the sword.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 11:48
Allenby failed to justify his selection again, I'm afraid.

A poor choice for this XI.

Since he's obviously leaving anyway and isn't up to CC1 standards with the bat anyway, I fail to see any sensible purpose in persisting with him, I'm afraid.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 11:49
I hope Cove is able to explode on Surrey, hit them all over the park.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Rod1883 08 August, 2017 11:51
Just what does Jim Allenby bring to the side?
Mybs should be playing in his place.
(JA will take 5 wickets now in the Surrey 1st innings)

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 11:51
But he couldn't.

Hope SD gets his ton and then, quite frankly, I wouldn't mind cracking on with trying to get all three bowling bonus points.

Won't be easy, probably, with reportedly naff all turn from the deck and only two frontline seamers in the team, but you never know .. if Cove bowls like he did at Scarborough (albeit on far, far slower track), Timmy G shows his experience and Surrey panic a bit..

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Rod1883 08 August, 2017 11:53
Bit of a collapse now then.
Come on - let's get at least the third batting point

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 11:53
Absolutely right, Rod.

I'd have picked Mybs at number three for this one.

Sadly, the chances of JA taking five wickets are , well....

The best we can hope for is that he *might* be able to tie down an end.

That's what he brings - some bowling that is usually economical, but it's not enough to merit a place given absence of batting performance and absence of bowling penetration.

Maynard will have to drop him all over again.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 11:55
Highest first innings total of the whole summer, now (at 274)

Which rather speaks volumes...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2017 12:00 by AGod.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 12:18
Love Dom Bess as a player.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 12:24
Good job, SD.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 12:25
IN case we hear to the contrary, I note the words of the commentators:

"The whole SCCC team is on the balcony applauding."

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Somerset LaLaLa 08 August, 2017 12:26
You are my Davies,
My Steven Davies,
You make me happy,
When skies are grey,
So keep your Clarke,
And Nora Batty,
But Please don't take my Davies away...

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
mikeindex 08 August, 2017 12:28
Bravo Steve Davies.
Pouring down in Wellington now and moving steadily East, I fear...

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 12:49
Forecasts seem to claim otherwise but, as ever, we shall see..

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Grockle 08 August, 2017 13:01
Well done Steve. Glorious weather in Bicknoller after I took the forecast at its word. I'll sort a lottle of the ego and pettiness of last night today if possible ( still have not received any kind of official complaint about any poster - maybe it is simply because I wasn't involved who knows).

I may split the thread for those using the mobile version as it has got a little long for phone memory.


Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 13:03
Grockle = you know how it goes, lots of smoke, fury and indignation, but almost never any willingness to actually take any official action (on the part of posters, I mean, not on your part).

Anyway, loving Dom's work here - superb.

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 13:07
The much bally-hooed Currans?

0-150 at about 4.7 runs per over...............

All in front of England selector, Mick Newell (or at least he was there yesterday)

But, as they play for Surrey...........

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Rod1883 08 August, 2017 13:13
357-7 off 94 at lunch.
Can we get max batting points?
Can Dom get his 50, SD his 150?

Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
Kingston Black 08 August, 2017 13:25
They really should turn the radio commentary microphone off or down during these intervals. I've just heard every word of an ostensibly private conversation between three gentlemen who I imagine would have much preferred it if their private thoughts and opinions had not been broadcast to all and sundry. Had to turn the volume up a bit, but every word...


Re: 'Surrey Week' T20 onto CC1
AGod 08 August, 2017 13:29
If these two stay together, then we surely will get maximum batting points.

If not, maybe Timmy G will come out to slap a quick 20 or so to help us up there?

It would be great to be able to declare at 400-7 or 400-8 and thus denying Surrey a bowling point.

Before anyone mentions it, yes, we can declare provided that the *only* reason isn't to deny them a bowling bonus point. It wouldn't be - the point would be to get on with trying to get our bowling bonus points won, in view of a poor forecast for tomorrow and, indeed, to progress a game that we really need to win.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2017 13:31 by AGod.

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