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Re: Surrey Week Part 2
Posted by: Farmer White
Date: 09/08/2017 23:56

2008: Somerset set Hants 422 off 82 (not an agreed target I imagine) and Hants finished on 198-1.

2008: Somerset set Durham 282 off 52 (I doubt that was an agreed target either) and Durham finished on 113-4.

2009: Yorkshire set Somerset 475 off 90 (I doubt that was agreed but it might have been) Somerset won by 4 wickets with 4 overs to spare.

2010: Yorkshire set Somerset 362 off 71 by agreement. Somerset won by 6 wickets with 5 overs to spare.

2011: Not on a declaration but I couldn’t resist putting it in: Somerset needed 228 to beat Yorkshire. Won by 10 wickets.

2015: Sussex set Somerset 425 to win (I doubt by agreement). Somerset batted out to 208-6 in the 67th.

2016: Somerset set Middlesex 302 off 46 (who knows if by agreement but I doubt it as Somerset were 9 down when they declared. Middlesex won by 2 wickets.

In 2015 Somerset bowled Notts out for 190 in the third innings of the match and won with 402-8.

And that's about it and in recent times the Taunton pitch has almost always flattened on the fourth day.

There are a couple of instances of a side being bowled out after a declaration but they were against huge targets. Notts lost to Somerset in 2016 having been set 541. In 2014 Warwickshire set Somerset 404 and won but the 404 was the highest score of the match and nearly 150 more than Somerset scored in their first innings.

So in ten seasons only one certain agreed declaration target at Taunton, Yorkshire in 2010 and I can assure you the Yorkshire members present were apoplectic with rage at their captain.

There have been quite a number of sides bowled out in the fourth innings at Taunton but they have not been against declarations and have been in middling scoring games. Perhaps we should find out how those pitches were prepared.

We do have two good spinners but even so the evidence is weighted pretty heavily against them I think. A draw keeps us in with a chance. A defeat would take Surrey a long way above us. Let’s play this one long.

So I hope you see why I don’t want any deals. I certainly wouldn’t bet on a Somerset win if there was a deal. It would be safer to bet on Gareth Batty being voted player of the year in a Grockles poll. Now there’s a hostage to fortune. (Not the Batty bet. The other one.)


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