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Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Wickham 13 May, 2018 06:01
I’m just catching up with the events of yesterday. A couple of quick thoughts: this season, one or more players always seem to step up to the plate when this is most needed; there seems to be an excellent team spirit (and I can’t help thinking that Somerset’s policy of focussing on local recruitment and on the retention of players who have been with the County over many years, together with excellent leadership, are major contributory factors).

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
wsm fan 13 May, 2018 06:09
A very sensible post Wickham.
I very much agree.
Unlike our current opponents just think of the homegrown talent we can put out.
Craig Jamie Lewis Dom Jack Tom Marcus Trego all born & raised in the South West.
George Eddie James all Somerset educated and trained so they count too!
Add the welcome top quality signings of Timmy G & Davies it has the recipe for a great team spirit and bond with supporters.
Last Monday at 5 down after lunch we could have crumbled. At 86/4 yesterday & when SD retired hurt, we could have crumbled.
We have won 2 out of 3. Are firmly in the box seat to make it 3 out of 4 and with the best batter in the country at number 4, the best 2 spinners in the country in our ranks, and the fastest bowler in England raring to go for a 1st team return this week.
It could be worse.....

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 13/05/2018 06:12 by wsm fan.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 06:31
Mixed feelings viz today.

Hildreth says we need plenty more.

But I can't shake the feeling that we need to get most of our bowling done today - to get most of the Hants team out today, lest we be left with a dead pitch on the final day on which to bowl (better to bat on it)

So I'd be more than happy if we could add quick runs in the first hour, then for the innings to abruptly end.

I definitely don't want our innings to go beyond lunch.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
wsm fan 13 May, 2018 07:16
We have plenty now!
Sun is out and 104 overs due.
Start 323/7.
All out 380 giving a 150 lead.
Hamps lunch on 45/1.
Tea 170/4.
Close 50/2 chasing 120.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 07:35
Well, it's a balancing act, WSM.

I'm sure Jack and Dom would like some men around the bat. And the bigger the lead...

I'm not convinced there's going to be all that much turn though. There was very little on day one. Hildreth said there was a little bit for whoever their spinner was yesterday (not a front line bowler, I know).

Obviously, on a conventional track the ball is liable to turn more the longer the game goes. But that's not generally been the recent history of our track. If our track were one that would reliably deteriorate, then I'd be happy to grind Hants into the dust - keep them out there until tea with a maiden ton for the GREAT Jack Leach. But it's the absence of reliable deterioration that makes me think we need plenty of time to bowl at them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 13/05/2018 07:42 by AGod.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
geordie moonraker 13 May, 2018 08:13
I bow to those who are watching the game but yesterday -as in this season so far- it seems from scorecards and a little watch of live feeds that we are playing with a determination from all. This is the 4th match and our 7th innings. A decent first innings lead which I hope will be well extended, scored at a very decent rate. In those 7 innings 4 different batsmen have scored 100s-2 of them twice and one has a 99 and an 82.The wicketkeeper has a 50 and 2 30s and one bowler has scored 80 and another 66.Every innings has seen someone come to the party and make the difference. Craig yesterday was priceless-but so was his 5 against Lancs and James seems to be riding 4 seasons worth of luck at the moment. It makes for interesting following and while there is bound to be a slip up somewhere, this is a good beginning.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Mike TA1 13 May, 2018 08:25
Andy Hurry said the reason we fielded after winning the toss and didn't go for the option of bowling last in the match, (that still might happen if we only bat once) was because of the overhead conditions and the pitch was green in the middle.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 09:02
And the overhead conditions for the rest of the match are expected to be very favourable, with tomorrow looking gorgeous.

I very rarely have a problem with bowling first at Taunton, as bowling last is usually tough *if* the match goes to day 4 (as vs Essex last year).

In various games last year, we batted first and won the match *but* the games were won without need of day four.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 09:05
If all goes to plan over the next two days, this would be our fifth successive home victory. When did that last happen in red ball cricket?

I recall one year where the opposition won the toss in each of the first four games at Taunton, put us into bat on green surfaces each time, and we scored 500+ on each occasion, winning all four games by an innings. But I don't think we won game 5.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 09:11
Some Somerset fans may enjoy this from Paul Edwards. It should certainly be required reading for one Graves, C:


Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Grizzers 13 May, 2018 09:22
Yes, that sums things up nicely.

We've done superbly so far, and hopefully will continue to do so.

Can't help thinking this match may yet throw some challenges at us. The likes of Amla & Rossouw being likely candidates to provide these.

But, we have the ammunition & certainly the team spirit, to drive home our advantage, so here's hoping we do so.

Does anyone know if anything interesting came out of the members Q & A session last night ?


Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Grockle 13 May, 2018 09:36
The difference this year does seem to be the team 'feel'. Reports suggest more team spirit, more support as a player within the squad and a little more belief in the long term prospects of the sides.

Add to that better cocktail the fact that luck has been going with us and we have second chances we haven't had in past seasons, balls have caught the edge, catches have been held by us and dropped by others and the weather has been kinder. All this moves us forward and increases confidence where it dented it in the recent past.

If we then add to that the general performances, the order hasn't clicked fully but we have centurions all over the place and so many have hit some form. The great thing is that James has been dropped many many times and has made the sides pay on every occasion.

Oh and the tail is very strong in terms of form.

All working at the moment it seems....long may it continue.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 13/05/2018 09:50 by Grockle.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Shepton Paul 2 13 May, 2018 09:36
Love Paul Edwards' report, thanks AG - almost makes up for Farmer's absence 😉

By the way, I think I read that Vince said this was already a fifth or sixth day pitch, presumably one used for a previous game?

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Clarence Parker 13 May, 2018 09:42
wsm fan
Mike, if Clarence gets to meet "particular father" it could make for a good photo opportunity!
If i guess correctly as to whom you are both referring i imagine Tom would be most welcome for a little chat too. Its easy to write opinions on here anonymously whether genuine or just for a reaction, less easy to the faces of a players parent i suggest!

And those words of wisdom provocation coming from you wsm is another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Jog on my friend.

P.S. Said "particular father" and I have already met. (Sm137)

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 10:40
I think it's probably some way past time to put the whole "lunch invite," episode to bed, so far as this board is concerned.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 10:53
I didn't know, SP, that we were already on to a used pitch.

It had good bounce and carry on the first day for such a used pitch.

The 64 million dollar question will be "How much will it turn over the final two days?"

The forecast is very promising from a spectator point of view, but potentially ominous from a swing bowler's point of view, so I think we shall need it to turn.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 10:55
Everything looks absolutely pristine this morning - the ground and weather competing with each other for a beauty award.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 11:02
76.5 - Edwards to Leach - very, very nearly a carbon copy of the ball that got Eddie Byrom, but came back a fraction less and just missed the off-pole.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 11:07
Fidel getting decent shape, even with the cherry being 78 overs old.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Farmer White 13 May, 2018 11:09
With apologies for being late on parade:

What a difference a season makes. In the second half of last season, with Somerset 30 points adrift in the relegation zone, it was a succession of performances like those of Hildreth and Overton on the second day here that led Somerset in the end to safety. That and the team spirit that underpins such performances. Now such performances are driving Somerset towards the top of the table. The team spirit that saw Somerset through at the end of last season is there this in abundance for all to see.

There is every possibility that a win here will leave Somerset at the top of the table. If Somerset do win this match, and there is much work to be done to achieve that as the pitch, as is its wont, appeared to be flattening as the afternoon wore on, then the pressure will be of a different kind. The pressure will then come from the need to sustain a position at the top of the table. The pressure which will come from the weight of anticipation and hope that Somerset could, finally, end a century and a quarter in quest if that first Championship.

In microcosm that is now the position in this match. From a position of some jeopardy at Lunch Somerset moved to a position which threatened dominance by the close. They are on top of this game at the moment. Crucial now to sustain the pressure that the later batsmen applied to Hampshire when Somerset were at risk and continued to apply as they tilted the game Somerset’s way.

It didn’t feel quite like that at Lunch on the second day. Hampshire were in the ascendancy in spite of Abbott being in the Pavilion and unable to bowl. Their remaining three seamers had been carefully husbanded by Vince. Berg, Wheal and Edwards maintained a disciplined tight line and length. They tested the Somerset batsmen ball after ball. Edwards added the spice of pace to the mixture. The ball continued to move and passed the bat with some regularity.

They bowled with considerable attacking skill too. The ball that bowled Byrom was as good as any you will see. I was sitting at the top of the Somerset Pavilion directly behind the keeper so it was impossible to pick the later trajectory of the ball but my instinctive reaction was that it was unplayable. A view of the highlights confirmed that. Bowled at pace it seemed to move in late and then more off the pitch. The balls that removed Bartlett and Renshaw too spoke more of bowler skill and intent than batsman error. Only Abell contributed to his own demise with an ill-judged hook on his arrival at the wicket. Renshaw, at least had used his time at the wicket to good effect scoring 36. There were a couple of scintillating drives and a chip shot for six over third man that took the breath away.

86 for 4 at Lunch, with Hildreth and Davies at the wicket, was a tremendous return for the Hampshire attack shorn of Abbott. It would have been better still had Hildreth not been dropped by Edwards. Not a difficult chance. Perhaps the exertions and intensity of his bowling played a part for it had looked as if he was giving his all whilst the ball was hard, perhaps knowing that three bowlers could not keep up that intensity indefinitely. Someone said to me, “Hampshire have bowled better than we did yesterday morning. They have kept a better line.” And so they had, Gregory in particular coming in for criticism. Just a note about Gregory’s bowling on the first day. His first three overs: 3-0-21-0. The remainder: 11-3-20-2. It cannot have been all bad and it wasn’t. His final spell was as good as anything Hampshire bowled at least as I saw it from the top of the Somerset Pavilion.

My lunchtime circumnavigation of the ground had left me with insufficient time to return to the top of the Somerset Pavilion before the first ball. I decided to watch a few overs whilst standing in the sun next to the covers store. As I stood there the Hildreth Davies partnership started to develop. For the first time in the match two batsmen began to put the first building blocks into developing an air of permanence.

Superstition is of course an irrational nonsense. It doesn’t stop it taking hold though. I was becoming uneasy about the prospect of returning to my seat at the top of the Somerset Pavilion in case it broke the partnership. Do not mock. I had already taken Abell’s wicket by not returning in time from an untimely between overs visit to the kiosk behind the stand.

Hildreth and Davies played steadily and the runs began to accumulate. Somerset were still behind in the match and so the tension in the air hung heavy. Then it began to be punctured with some stunning cover and square drives from Hildreth. From the angle I was watching from his bat seemed a long way in front of his body as he played them but the ball never left the ground once it had made contact with it. It is difficult to think of a better batsman when he plays like he did yesterday afternoon.

They had just about taken Somerset to a position from which prospects of a lead were not an unreasonable hope when I noticed Davies laying on the ground. He was holding his head in his hands. No-one around me had seen anything untoward happen and he did not appear to have been struck by a ball nor had he shown any sign of injury. Whatever the cause it was sufficient for him to walk off the field. Those prospects of a lead did not now look quite so good.

I decided there was no further purpose to be served by watching from the covers for the partnership had effectively been broken. I returned to my seat and got Lewis Gregory out instead. Or rather Wheal got him out by getting enough lift to take the inside edge of the bat as Gregory tried to withdraw it. When form deserts a batsman luck goes with it and the ball found its way onto the stumps. 134 for 5, Davies hors de combat and still nearly 100 runs adrift. How quickly cricket can change.

Now Somerset’s spirit showed itself with a vengeance. One of the leading lights, perhaps at the moment the leading light, of Somerset’s new generation joined one of the diminishing list of seasoned campaigners. They transformed the game and they transformed it in the true Somerset style and with true Somerset spirit. It was a heavenly hour and a half of supreme batting. Even the return of Abbott to take some of the pressure off the other bowlers made no impact although he looked out of sorts, perhaps nursing the injury which forced him from the field earlier in the day.

Hildreth was by now displaying a sense of permanence and Overton batted with the authority and security he had shown whilst defending for an hour at Old Trafford where he had played a key role in saving the game for Somerset. Here he attacked at pace as the scoreboard closed the gap on Hampshire. He angled the bat to play through and around the slips, he drove with power, he pulled where the ball demanded the shot, he leaned perfectly into one glance to the Colin Atkinson, he pulled, or more accurately ‘swatted’ one short ball through mid off, again to the Colin Atkinson. He looked perfectly secure in spite of the scorching rate of scoring.

I had been chatting on Gimblett’s Hill at Tea and stayed there when the batsmen came back out. I stayed there for the rest of the day. The sun was now shining, in the sky as well as at the wicket, and the faces were smiling. The cricket was glorious and Somerset were totally dominant. Hampshire’s score was surpassed and only one wicket had fallen since Lunch. Overton’s wicket had not seemed threatened at any time during his innings and it came as a reminder of the great uncertainties of cricket when he chopped on for 80. But what an 80. He was applauded all the way back to the Pavilion, with the sort of reception usually reserved for a century.

Relief for Somerset supporters as Davies returned to the wicket although he did not add much to his score, departing for 33. But that brought Jack Leach to the wicket on the back of his match saving innings at Old Trafford. He carried on where he had left off. He did not look like a number nine. He batted with total assurance, one cover drive would have challenged any batsman for style and effect and had people gasping.

And Hildreth, what of Hildreth? He scored his 41st century for Somerset and Somerset’s sixth century of season. There were but nine in the whole of last season and only three batsmen have ever scored more centuries for Somerset than Hildreth. And with this one, alongside Overton, he had moved Somerset from the risk of defeat to the possibility of victory. After he was dropped in the 20s he had never really looked like getting out.

And so Somerset ended the day 93 runs ahead, with power to add and the fitness of Abbott to bowl in question. If the pitch is flattening to the degree Hildreth, Overton and Leach made it appear to be, and it may not be quite as flat as they made it look, then Somerset’s task will not be an easy one if Hampshire’s batsmen show the resolve their three bowlers did at the top of the Somerset innings. It will require focus, patience and unremitting resolve. Somerset have shown just that in winning two games, saving a third against the odds and in overcoming the crisis of this game to reach the position they now hold. They have too shown in those matches the sort of team spirit that I saw Essex show at Chelmsford last season. It is perhaps that that provides the greatest hope for this season.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 11:11
78.4 Fidel to Leachy.. this time it IS a repeat of the Byrom ball, and with the same result.

Great bowling again from Fidel.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 11:30
Notts have already lost another one this morning, as Bunny Onions continues to scythe through them.

They look utterly doomed.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 11:35
I think Fidel may have just been officially warned for running into the 'danger area.'

I really think the batting side should have the power of veto over such warnings... if we are happy for him to run down the track, then he should be allowed to do so.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 11:40
I'm not sure how Dom survived that lbw shout from Berg?

But not getting that given is the sort of thing that can break a side that is already short on confidence...

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 12:48
Well, WSM, we certainly have a big lead now!!

When will today's main event commence, one wonders?

(To me the main event will be a probable battle royale between our spin twins and Hashim Amla...)

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Grizzers 13 May, 2018 12:53
Am sitting in the sun, watching some glorious batting, with the scoreboard showing us at 453-8

Bess has outscored Hildreth to reach 75 n.o., James has moved serenely on to 175 n.o. and the two of them have an unbroken partnership of 126. We have a lead of over 200, with maximum bonus points in the bag.

The pitch may be dying, but the scoreboard pressure on Hants. is increasingly.

Doesn’t get much better than this !


Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 13:03
Hildreth dropped yet again - this time off Fidel, rather than by him.

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
AGod 13 May, 2018 13:08
Finally they take a chance off James.

Will Dom now be stranded short of his ton?

Or will the world's best number 11 make an appearance?

Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
Grockle 13 May, 2018 13:14
So do we declare and take 5 sessions at them or come out after Tea and look to get Dom to a hundred? Give em 45 minutes but no more and then?

Get 'em in and let's see what they are made of.


Re: Somerset Day. Ireland Day.........
mikeindex 13 May, 2018 13:16
Well, Dom certainly did me proud on my return from his home county.
What a splendid morning's batting apart from Jack's aberration (after playing a little gem last night).
Lunchtime declaration or give Dom a shot at his ton? I'd like to see the former.

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