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FAKE 2020 CC1 Opener v Kent at Taunton

By Grockle
April 5 2020

Yes I know.... It isn't happening and this is just daft - but it is what it is and if you aren't into it then don't bother to go any further than this.  However, I came home for cricket and this presently is the nearest I get to it and it has its interest.  So I'll set the scene and take you through Day 1 of a parallel universe Somerset 2020 CC1 season or not.... your choice entirely

FAKE 2020

v KENT CC1 at TAUNTON 5th April 2020

(Courtesy of Cricket Captain 2019 and suggestions from Grocklees)

Clear, crisp and cold day at Taunton with the new 2020 Somerset squad without some of their icons facing a slightly '2019' Kent squad including some of our 'totems' from seasons past.  No Marcus Trescothick. No Peter Trego.  No Tim Groenewald. No Paul van Meerkenen.  BUT a debut for Mike Carberry against his old side and Alexei Kervezee waiting in the wings for the one day stuff - if we get there.  Azhar Ali is the only absentee from the side.  he is injured and out for 5 days.  So the side is;

Abell (Captain), Carberry, Banton, Hildreth, Bartlett, Davies (Wk),Gregory, Bess, Overton C, Overton J, Leach

On the advice of 'the selectors' Somerset have gone with a twin spin attack and a left hand/right hand opening combination.  We shall have to see how that comes off and whether the one year contract to a 40 year old was a good move!! They face a Kent side with Matt Renshaw up front and Callum Haggett in the bowling unit;

Renshaw, Dickson, Kuhn, Bell Drummond, Crawley, Robinson, Stevens, Blake, Haggett, Podmore, Riley

Kent decided to take a toss.  Somerset won it and Tom Abell elected to bat first.


Stevens took the first over from the Pavilion End to Tom Abell with Haggett starting the attack from the River End.  Not real fireworks at all in the first half hour as Carberry  gets used to the new place of work and the Somerset skipper settles down into a position he wasn't expecting to find himself in at the start of April. 

Podmore replaces Haggett after 30 minutes and we see Riley for the first time as Stevens looks to vary his attack.  After a tentative first hour Somerset are 31 without loss with Abell  on 13 and Carberry  keeping pace on 14.  The first real appeal of the day comes on the stroke of 12 noon as Riley has an LBW appeal against the new man turned down by an unimpressed umpire (going down the leg side).  No one is taking any chances.

Crawley is used for one over to allow Stevens to change ends replacing Hagett and the 50 comes up off Riley with the Somerset men staying in synch Abell  on 25 and Carberry on 22.  Riley has another appeal against the debutant but the umpire decides it pitched outside and Carberry gets another life.  However, the skipper is not as lucky at 66 and is caught behind off the same bowler for 27.  66 for 1 just before the lunch interval.

Out comes Tom Banton - we need to remember that although he is coming back to his home after a tumultous winter all over the place, he is unknown to the 2019 version of this game and needs to be careful until the database has something to assess him by.  No sooner is that said than he is also caught behind off Stevens in his first over for 1 and the home side are 67 for 2 which James Hildreth helps move to 89 for 2 at lunch.  Carberry  has moved on to 42 and there will be a need for some kind of rebuilding effort in the first hour after the break.

So at lunch Riley has 1 for 21 (8/2/21/1) and Stevens has 1 for 35 11/2/35/1 with Hagget going for 14 off his 8 overs and Zal Crawley being used for one maiden over to change Steven's end.  7 extras from the Kent attack 4 no ball, I wide 2 leg byes.

After lunch James Hildreth welcomes Podmore to the game by taking 17 off his first over including 3 boundaries to take Somerset past the 100 mark and set the stage for a more aggressive stance from the home side.  Haggett nearly takes advantage and has an LBW appeal turned down against the batsman in his first over. 

Meanwhile Mike Carberry puts some of those selection concerns to bed by reaching a home debut 50 from 100 balls with 8 fours.  He then immediately emphasises why he was even considered at the age of 40 by moving to 68 off 105 balls taking 17 from Callum including 2 massive straight sixes into the crowd.  Somerset are moving on into the afternoon and so Kent turn to their 'old perennial' Darren Stevens who replaces Podmore as their opponents go past 150 with Carberry on 73 and Hildreth opening his 2020 account with 43.  Riley also replaces Haggett as the visitors try to get on top of this game again.

An hour into the afternoon and the batsmen have added 90 to the lunchtime score.  Hildreth reaches 50 from 79 balls with 8 fours at 183 for 2 as his partner eyes a debut century.  But it is not to be.  At 98 Mike Carberry becomes Kent's first breakthrough of the second session, LBW to Podmore at 196 with the excellent innings coming off 153 balls with 12 fours and 2 sixes.  A great start to his Somerset career.  Not bad for an old 'un.

George Bartlett replaces him, with a little more information on the database about his activity in 2019 but still a raw.  He probably feels more at home at number 5 but we shall have to see.  Probably next innings, because he is well caught by Dickson off only his 4th ball from Riley and with only one run added to the score. 

It doesn't get any better either because Dickson then pulls off another even more miraculous catch to dismiss Steve Davies first ball to put Riley on a hatrick against Lewis GregoryGregory survives and takes the score past 200 steadying the ship with 2 boundaries at the end of the bowler's excellent over.  Hildreth is into the 60's as Haggett returns and Kent revert back to the partnership with Podmore as the Tea interval approaches.

By Tea the score has moved to 232 for 5 with Hildreth on 71 and Gregory quite quickly amassing 27.  Riley has 3 for 54 - courtesy of those 2 quick wickets just before the break and each side has a bonus point.  A partnership of 129 between Carberry and Hildreth has put Somerset in control at the moment slightly although Riley's  double wicket in the 57th brought the advantage back a liittle.  An interesting third phase to come on this first day.

Stevens and Haggett recommence hostilities after the interval and it is Haggett that gets Hildreth for 83 at 246.   His innings of 130 balls included 13 fours and seems to have excited Callum Haggett so much that he gives Somerset the 250 with an erratic delivery that goes for four leg byes directly after the wicket.  Meanwhile Podmore seems to be getting his act together as he gets one to move away from Gregory which nearly does for him as well but this first mistake is not fatal and the score moves on.

Kent take the new ball and Stevens steams in with Somerset on 283 for 6. Craig Overton is working well with Gregory who goes to a well deserved 50 from 84 balls with 6 fours.  Unfortunately he takes a wild 'hoick' at the 85th and Dickson takes him out at first slip at 291 for 7.  It's 298 for 8 when Overton goes for a spritely 17 caught behind and Dom Bess misreads one from Podmore before putting the next one straight back over his head for 6 to bring up the 300.  Jamie Overton shows his usual level of confident aggression as he smashes one straight down the ground and then cracks another boundary square.  However, Stevens bowls him at 321 and then Jack Leach  plays all around another 2 balls later and the innings is over with 39 minutes of play to go at 321.

Stevens finishes with 3 for 79 and Riley took 3 for 61.  Haggett and Podmore shared the other 4 wickets with Haggett going for 92 in his 24 overs and Podmore going for 83 in his 22.  Decent late partnerships from Hildreth and Gregory, amassing 49, Gregory and Cove resulting in 45 and a decent rapid 23 between Bess and Jove to round things off.

A fairly decent first innings first game score which could have been so much better and also could have been so much worse.  Now the plan is to make Kent work for it.  First up is about 8 overs in the evening with Renshaw and Dickson facing the Overton brothers at full pelt. Jamie nearly gets Matt Renshaw first ball while Craig has an LBW claim against Dickson turned down as being outside the line.  In the last over of the day Dickson is all ends up against a ball from the faster of the twins which the commentator described as "totally unplayable".  Unfortunately none of these results in a wicket and the two Kent men finish the day on 25 for no loss with Renshaw on 13 and Dickson on 12.

A fair opening day with honours pretty even though you would be moderately satisfied if a home supporter given the usual first day of a season situations that Somerset have found themselves in.   Some things to ponder for both sides before tomorrow morning.

Kent D1


A bright and sunny morning for the first phase of Day 2 and the Kent batsmen resume on 25 after quite a torrid time the night before in the 8 overs faced after bowling Somerset out.   Last night the Overton brothers opened the attack but this morning Renshaw and Dickson face Craig Overton and Lewis Gregory as the opening bowling pair.

For the 45 minutes there is little happening, despite great effort from the Somerset bowlers, Renshaw and especially Dickson seem pretty comfortable against the seam attack and move the score on at a faster pace than their opponents did on Day 1.  It is only at 68 that Overton gets the first breakthrough when he has Renshaw LBW for 40.  The Aussie looked very solid and it is a wicket the home side will be thankful for as they know what this man can do when he gets going.  However things then start to move.  Jamie Overton replaces his brother immediately and his pace confuses Kuhn who misreads a rising ball and is hit in the head by it only 3 balls into his innings.  He has to return to the pavilion for further treatment requiring Bell Drummond to come out and join Dickson.  

Abell replaces Gregory at the other end and he is hit for two very confident fours in his first over before that confidence is dented by a peach from Overton which sends Bell Drummond packing caught behind at 78 for 2.   1 run later and the pace beats Dickson who is bowled for 29. Overton is proving a real hhandful and Kent seem shell shocked by this change in fortunes.  However, the 'blitz; continues as Crawley follows his team mates back courtesy of 'Jove' at a score of 80 without bothering the scorers at all.

Somerset decide that is enough for the moment and change the nature of their attack by introducing Jack Leach with about 40 minutes to go before the lunch interval, he has Stevens playing and missing with only his second ball but it is the Somerset skipper who increases Kent's agony by having Robinson caught and bowled at 82.  Steven's, ever the fighter then straight sixes Jack just to show that this is NOT over yet.

Tom decides to go to the 2 spin attack and replaces himself with Dom Bess and he also has Stevens playing and missing halfway through his first over as the 100 arrives for the visitors.  Leach almost gets him next over but the ummpire decides, not for the first time, that it was outside the line.  However, 9 minutes before the break Stevens' dogged defence finally ends when Jack has him leg before for 18 at 117 for 6.  It has moved to 120 for 6 when the umpires call 'lunch' with the Somerset side certainly thinking they have had the best of that particular session.

Jamie Overton in that blistering spell took 3 for 34 and ripped the middle out of Kent's order.  What do they have left as the look at a first innings deficit of 201 with 3 wickets remaining if Kuhn cannot bat.

After lunch Jamie Overton and Lewis Gregory go about pushing Kent with a follow on target stil some 52 runs away.  Blake is looking to get the score moving but that is a bad move because after an appeal in his first over Overton gets him for 26 and it is 131 for 7.

Podmore also seems to have been given the order to get past 172 as soon as he can because he comes out blasting, taking the score past 150 with a glorious boundary square of the wicket.  Abell  looks to pull the scoring back by introducing Leach but it is Lewis who stops the forward momentum when Banton catches POdmore in the slips at 159. He then nearly has Riley the very next ball but it is Jack who finishes off Kent as Haggett is caught, once more by Banton without adding to the score for 13.  As expected Kuhn does not appear and Kent are left 13 short of the total they needed to not be asked to bat again.

With 6 points in the bag (against Kent's 3) and the possibility that Kuhn will not bat in the second innings either, a discussion takes place about the follow on.  Narrowly Abell invokes the requirement and invites Kent to try again 163 runs shy of the innings defeat.

So at 2:39 on Day 2 Renshaw and Dickson come out again to see if they can do better against the Overton Brothers (Lewis being rested after his efforts at the end of the first innings).  Dickson plays and misses at the third ball!

However, the Kent pair rally and Somerset are still wicketless 40 minutes from Tea when Dom Bess replaces Jamie.  In his first over he narrowly fails to get Renshaw LBW at 23 for 0.  Jack replaces Craig and with Dickson playing and missing to everyone the 50 comes up for Kent.  He may be playing and missing but he is also scoring at quite a rate.  The gamble to enforce is not looking all that sensible when despite two more appeals for Dickson's wicket, the Kent batsman records a 50 off 63 balls with 7 fours.  Kent look ominously strong at 78 without loss at the Tea interval.

Lewis is first up after the break but things don't seem to have changed all that much even though Renshaw plays and misses a delivery in his second over.  Dickson is still fishing outside his off stump but either missing or connecting for four.  The 100 comes up in the 26th and Jamie  is then taken for 18 in an over! This promotes a change and Bess has Dickson playing and missing immediately.

Renshaw reaches 50 off 84 balls with 7 fours and Somerset's lead is disappearing at speed and Dickson is heading for a very improbable ton.  At 98 he FINALLY hits one to Banton (who is having a very good day at slip) off Tom Abell (a last ditch effort by the skipper to get a breakthrough) 154 for 1.

Kuhn does not come out to bat so Bell Drummond strides to the middle and confidently hits his first ball for four.  But that is about it because with the scores tied he guides one to the safe hands of Tom Banton it gets no better for Kent or Crawley as his terrible start to 2020 continues caught behind off Craig Overton for a second duck in the game. 162 for 3.  Overton is on a roll and Robinson gets a peach which he snicks into the hands of Davies and the game changes again in the hands of an Overton.

Stevens comes out again, for the second time in a day, to fight a corner but swings and misses at his first. Dom returns for the last couple and with Renshaw in his pomp nearly gets the dangerman caught behind being a little too confident, then an LBW call is turned down (not the first) before Stevens finishes the day with a boundary and Kent finish Day 2 22 runs ahead with probably 5 wickets left.  However, Matt Renshaw is on 66 and looks in good nick.  Tomorrow will be an interseting day if he gets away from the bowlers.

Craig Overton's 10 over 4 maiden 3 for 21 spell has put his side back in this game and turned a decision into a successful one from a mistake. But the job is not yet finished and neither is this game at the halfway stage.

Kent D2

Lunch Day 2


And so this match moves into the second half.  Somerset hoping to take early wickets but niether Stevens or Renshaw looking particularly happy to oblige.  Once more Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton start a day in the hope of early succes.  Both bowl tightly against batsmen unwilling to take chances, though occasionally Darren Stevens has a go at one that isn't there and those play and miss shots keep things interesting.

More often than not however, his partner at the other end connects and the score moves on.  In the 63rd over Jamie Overton replaces Gregory at 215 for 4 and it isn't long before the intial surge of Craig Overton is replaced also by the medium pace of the Somerset captain Tom Abell.  One would assume that if there is no breakthrough with these two then the slower men will be on before the lunch break to see what they can do.  Presently Stevens is playing the faster man well and he reaches a battling 50 from 73 balls with 9 fours as his side bring up the 250.  He then loses concentration and is lucky to escape a narrow run out almost immediately taking a daft single to a wide awake Somerset infield.  But very little else is happening and the batsmen seem comfortable with the pace attack though they are taking it very carefully indeed given the situation.

Abell decides to try a new tack and Jack Leach is introduced some 45 minutes before lunch with Kent 92 runs ahead.  Not long after Bess takes over at the other end and immediately changes things by getting Stevens missing in front with his 4th ball.  268 for 5 and the Kent man leaves after contributing a very valuable 65.  Blake takes over and the question of whether to take the new ball becomes a decision some 20 minutes before the interval.  As nothing is really happenning with the old one and the pacemen have had a break Somerset decide to give them two bites and Jamie Overton takes over.

Renshaw nearly gifts the opposition his wicket as the nerves n the 90s get the better of him and he takes a risky single to get to his 100.  He makes it and celebrates an important century from an uncharacteristic 229 balls with 13 fours.  Without him and Dickson this game would already be over but as he holds out until lunch Kent are instead 130 runs ahead with him on 100 and lake supporting with 15.

A long morning for the Somerset bowlers, none of who have been able to really influence the play.  Craig Overton has been tight but mostly ineffectual (16 overs 3 for 39), his brother has been expensive though dangerous, Dom Bess got the wicket in the session but has bowled 18 overs for it for 72.  There needs to be some incisive work done at the start of the afternoon session or this game could get away from the home side and a Kent lead of over 150 would put the result in some doubt.

So the serious part of the game starts and as Renshaw puts Kent on 300 there is a need for a Somerset counterstrike.  It comes quickly as Gregory entices Matt to guide one to Dom Bess at second slip and the end of a game changing innnings of 107.  302 for 6 and now the game is most definitely on.

Blake is looking confident though a poorly judged quick single nearly does for him. Abell is trying to keep Kent from stabalising while trying to find his match winning combination of bowlers.  He tries Jamie Overton  to see if pace is the way to go but that produces nothing so he tries to slow it down and Bess  again produces the ball required trapping Blake LBW but not before he has added 48 very valuable runs to the total and moved his side on to 337 for 7.

Leach keeps the scoring in check but the batsmen are still there so Gregory is re-introduced and he has Podmore dropped in his first over.  Nothing is going the home side's way it seems... until Podmore is dismissed in Gregory's second over for 5.  The next over sees Bess finish the job with another LBW decision this time Riley for 5.  Kent are finally dismissed for a fighting and tenacious 360 as Kuhn again does not grace the field.  198 runs for victory and 12 minutes to survive until Tea.

Stevens is up for this but his first ball is a wayward 4 leg byes... the excitement can even get to the veterans.  That is about it as Abell and Carberry take absolutely no chances and go in for a drink with 14 on the board and 185 to win.

Too many Kent big scores in the second innings means that Somerset have a job to do and this game is very much still alive. Renshaw and Dickson made up for a small show on their first visit by providing 206 between them in the second.  With Stevens adding 65 and Blake 48, the Kentishmen are going to make Somerset work for this one. 

Although the bowlers stuck manfully to their task they couldn't get past the defence or get the batsmen to hit the ones they should have.  Craig Overton with 3 for 45 off his 21 overs and Dom Bess  with 3 for 91 from nearly 26 did the damage.  Gregory provided 2 for 50 from 17 and Leach was 'frugal' without victims with 46 from 19.  The final wicket went to the ever thinking Abell. But all in all the ball went to the boundary more than it went into fielders hands and now there is some work for batsmen to do and four sessions left to do it in.

Neither Somerset batsman seems in any hurry after Tea.  The Kent bowling is tight and the batting is patient.  Carberry seems to be having trouble getting Stevens' line right and walks into one that raps him on the head.  He is stunned for a moment but decides to carry on and hits the leather off the next one to the Third Man boundary.  Seems to have actually cleared his head!!

Abell is not so lucky.  He chases one outside off and is caught behind off Hagget for Kent first blood. 27 for 1 with the skipper out for 11. Tom Banton comes in on a pair and can't have been all that bouyed up by seeing his partner play and miss a very close one.  However the young man gets down to the job and is off the mark second ball.  Stevens and expecially Podmore are really getting to the work this session with some very tight bowling.

It is obviously frustrating Carberry and he finds himself in two minds, over-hitting one that isn't really there to hit and falling between two stools caught in midfield by Haggett for 18 at 42 for 2.  Not a great start with a small but testing target to get.

Riley now plays 'cat and mouse' with Hildreth. Playing and missing alternates with sumptuous boundary strokes.  Banton gets caught up in this with his first boundary which is followed by a swat that goes straight down Bell Drummond's throat again off Haggett and with the end of the day approaching Somerset have lost another wicket at 75.

George Bartlett also strides out to start his 2020 account having done little in the first knock.  There doesn't seem to be any nerves though as he takes two off his first ball before finishing the over with a rocket four straight back past Haggett. 

With that we come to the last over, Bartlett plays an injudicious shot to the 5th ball which nearly sees him returning early to the pavilion but he steadies himself and takes his county to 100 off the last ball of the day.  98 needed for the win on Day 4 and 7 wickets remaining with James Hildreth (23) and Bartlett himself (17) presently occupying the crease.

A decent Kent bowling performance in the early evening. Stevens was tight with 22 from his 10.  Podmore was considerably better with a wicket and 19 from his 8 while Callum Haggett got the real rewards from his 11 with 30 for 2.  Riley added only 20 from his 8.  All to play for tomorrow and this game may be on its last lap but it is certainly not over yet.


Day 4

Not suprisingly Darren Stevens starts his county's push towards a win in this game with the ex Wyvern Haggett as his bowling partner.  The pair are tight and there is little chance that James Hildreth or George Bartlett have any intention of playing an 'expansive' game.  The first boundary of the day does not come until the third over.  Stevens is getting movement because even in his watchful mode, Hildreth is forced to play and miss by the experienced man.  Podmore replaces Haggett and again shows a better application in the second innings to the first, he also has Hildreth playing and missing but the runs keep coming, albeit slowly and it isn't long before Kent have to look at the slow variation and introduce Riley.  Bartlett takes him for 8 from two balls in his first over, taking the total needed under 50 in the process.

Hildrethadds a 50 to his first innings score at 153 for 3 - a vital score from 108 balls with a mere 4 fours.  With one more run added, Haggett ends the 79 run partnership of these two when he bowls Bartlett all ends up for an equally important 41.  He is becoming a man to rely on in this Somerset Championship side and he is replaced by a man who also desperately wants to become that but has struggled for no apparent reason with his CC1 form in the past couple of seasons.  Steve Davies is a class act and though he gets off the mark with the third ball he faces, it is the boundary he takes off of Riley in the next over that shows how good he can be with a bat in his hands.

Podmore returns and asks questions but Hildreth will not be drawn and simply waits before cracking the wayward delivery to the square boundary to take the runs required under 20.  Both batsmen seem to have decided to do this in boundaries and before lunch if they can manage it.  With 7 minutes to go they need 11, 4 minutes and it's 9, 1 minute and it's 6..... surely the umpires will extend the session to finish it off?

But NO.  with 3 needed for the win the players go off for lunch!!

After the break Stevens refuses to give up.  He only allows 1 off his first, Riley bowls a maiden for the second and the third also only allows the scores to be tied.  But in the fourth the winning run is struck and Somerset take 22 points for a 6 wicket victory at 199 for 4.  Kent have to settle for 3.  The last stand of 45 came in quick time with Hildreth ending on 77 not out and picking up the 'Man of thhe Match' award and Steve Davies clocking up a supporting 18 not out.  Mentions for the Somerset bowlers who chipped in with 'spells'; Jamie Overton in the first innings with 4 for 54 and his brother Craig with 3 for 45 and Dom Bess with 3 for 91 in the second.

With Yorkshire beating Somerset's next opponent Notts by 285 runs, Somerset go into second place.  In the other game this early Essex beat Hampshire.  The rest of the division was involved in University games.

So.... Fake 2020 will return on the 11th when we travel to Trent Bridge for a match against Nottinghamshire. 

 Kent D4    Kent Summ

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FAKE 2020 CC1 Opener v Kent at Taunton
Discussion started by , 05/04/2020 12:58
05/04/2020 12:58
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:04:09:10:39:14 by Grockle.

23/03/2020 17:54
Here we go then.

It's going to get damn boring between now and the end of May so...

I'm working virtually this week and then I'm stuck in the vicinity of Bicknoller Towers for maybe another month and maybe even longer. with a lot of time on my hands

So if you are willing to help me I'm planning to run a "2020" season in sort of truncated real time.

It's the 2019 one really with the squad as it was in December of 2019.

I'll start looking it over (we're going to use 'Cricket Captain' 2019) and get ready to play the first game

The only problem will be that we will play the sides in the 2019 CC1 - not the 2020 version (unless they update before the season starts - which they might. So our first game at the moment is versus Kent on April 5

I need some answers from people as pre-season prep. This is where you lot come in. Either through post responses or via polls I am going to do this based on your decisions concerning teams etc. I'd like to play the games in real time if possible and that may require decisions to be made on a quite immediate basis - bowling changes etc but we'll see how it goes if people are interested.

Initial Decisions
There are two possibilities in terms of squad.
1. We can buy in new players from a group
2. We can play a version where Pete Trego and Marcus Trescothick and Tim Groenewald are still available.

Personally I would rather not use Marcus or Tim because they would not be around this season but I'm happy to go with the majority.

However, I am less against keeping Pete

So Initial questions

1, Do you want to see who we can buy? We will be bidding against other counties so we may not get anyone

2. Are you happy to not use Marcus and Tim?

3, Do you want us to keep Pete T?

Fourthly I suppose is the question whether you want to be involved as a posting population in this at all? I may do it for my own amusement should you not but I have done this before in the off season and it was quite fun.

I haven't used this software for over 10 years however so I will have a little play before I start this thing for real. I'm just floating the possibility out there fore the moment so give me some feedback people.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2020:03:29:14:34:07 by Grockle.

Shepton Paul 2
24/03/2020 10:44
I'd say cope without Tregs, Tres and Tim, and see who we can get (we know the gaps!). Let's make it as much like a new season as possible.

I can't pretend I'll be on hand for bowling changes and deciding whether to have three slips or four to Jove on a dark Tuesday evening in late September, but happy to contribute as and when. I'd always play more spinners rather than fewer, prob be a bit more defensive than most on here, and bat first.

25/03/2020 09:31
Well here's a starting point

Abell, Bartlett, Byrom, Green, Hildreth, Rouse, Banton, Davies, Gregory, Lammonby, RvdM, Bess, Leach, Davey, Gilchrist, Brooks, Overton C, Overton J, Sale, Waller

Azhar Ali will be the international for the whole season except for a short period where Murali Vijay will replace him

Babar Azham will be one of our T20 players with Jerome Taylor being the other one

There are some people available for purchase with our signing budget of £70,000

However, there are NO seam bowlers on the domestic list I'd give a minute to

There are only 4 real prospects with the bat as well though you may not agree

Karl Brown RHB (30) £20,500
Mike Carberry LHB (38) £23,000
Alexie Kervezee RHB (29) £22,000
Calum McLeod RHB/RM (30) £39,000!!

There is a Youth list but I have no idea whatsoever about those - if you've heard of someone exciting from last season who might be classified as a 'youth' then I can have a look

But is there anyone you want to consider?

The rest are really 'chaff' from other squads, either 'journeymen' with little time at the crease or older professionals at the end of their career (of whom Carberry really is a significant standout)

Anyone fancy anybody? Other suggestions for me to investigate. I can't change the internationals - though I'm not sure of the allocation for T20. Was it 2 or 3 players last season?


25/03/2020 09:40
I'd go with Kervezee on the strength of a magnificent innings at Taunton a few years back when the rest of his side folded rather feebly.
Eight years actually, it seems, so maybe not much to go on, but heck it's fantasy.

25/03/2020 10:05
Yeah he struck me. I've always had a sift spot for Carberry. He's a lefty but he's nearly 40. His career stas are phenomenal though Average of 40.

Kervezee was an aggressive batsman ai remember


Shepton Paul 2
25/03/2020 15:15
Yep, Kervezee and Carbs for me. Who priced McCleod - his Mum?!

25/03/2020 16:18
I'll put in some bids and we'll see what happens


28/03/2020 19:31
Well that was more successful than I expected.

We've signed both Mike Carberry (one year contract) and Kervezee on a 2 year deal. So that should cover our loss of Marcus and add a bit of aggression to our middle order.

Now we prep for Kent on April 5!!

Anyone suggest an opening team for a match at Taunton in early April?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:03:28:19:43:03 by Grockle.

29/03/2020 14:32
I did not expect to bid for two players and get them both so "2020" Somerset is over-resourced a little in terms of batsmen it would seem

For a first match at home against Kent we have the following available;

Overton C
Overton J

But we also have Davey, Bartlett, Byrom, Kervezee, Lammonby and Bess

So - openers?
Spinner or spinners?
Opening Bowlers?
First change?
Choice at the toss?

What would be the strategy?

A wealth of assets it seems


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2020:03:29:14:37:40 by Grockle.

29/03/2020 16:13
Grockle, beware of men in white coats at your door., and I don’t mean umpires.

29/03/2020 17:34
And all you have to do is identify this thread as one not to read CH and we'll both be happier


29/03/2020 17:57

Ali is injured and out for 5 days starting from the 4th of April.

Suppose it's one less problem of selection

Ahh well, these things are sent to try selectors....


29/03/2020 23:02
Jerome Taylor has escaped and is seeking refugee status in a northern City.

30/03/2020 08:33
Probably got caught here like a number of Britons caught in Spain, Pakistan and a number of other places. I'm the only member of my staff who got to the UK that I know of and that was because of unexpected circumstances. Lots of 'ex pats' stuck around the globe.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:03:30:18:37:39 by Grockle.

Shepton Paul 2
30/03/2020 19:13
Grockle - from your team, I'd play Byrom instead of Ali and Bess ahead of Brooks.

30/03/2020 22:33
Well Ali is injured so either Byrom or Bartlett would have to step in anyway.

2 spinners in early April Shep?

The only other question is whether you give the gloves to Banton in order to play Kervezee? I'd rather see Davies, he's a better keeper anyway.

And the toss? I'm assuming you bat first at Taunton?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:03:30:23:06:10 by Grockle.

31/03/2020 07:27
Back Bess’ burgeoning boisterous batting by batting Bess below Banton,
And Abell’s ability as an additional authentic all-rounder affords advantage

31/03/2020 09:41
Byrom? Not Bartlett?


Shepton Paul 2
31/03/2020 10:49
Yes, two spinners (the logic of AG). Byrom to open, Davies to keep, bat first.

31/03/2020 15:19
OK. If I get nothing else then I'll go with that

Abell (Capt)
Davies (Wk)
Overton C
Overton J

Bartlett 12th man


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:03:31:16:25:42 by Grockle.

31/03/2020 15:31
Nelson (Capt)

31/03/2020 15:43
MisterMurph - are all articles about are (apologies!) athletic allies alliterative?

Loyal of Lhasa
31/03/2020 18:18
Bridgwater's bombastic Bobstan's beloved best bespoke batsmen/bowlers betray bigoted bias beyond belief.


Seventy-two Seasons a Somerset Supporter

Farmer White
01/04/2020 18:39
If not too late, Grockle, you might want to consider the number of occasions on which George Bartlett made significant contributions to help turn a match which was in the balance, or in which Somerset were trailing last season. His century at Trent Bridge in 2019 was probably the most obvious but there were a number of others. His century at Guildford was another such as was the one at Old Trafford in 2018, and a crucial 40 when he stuck with Renshaw in one of his centuries. You would have to drop Carberry and move Banton up to see if he could replicate his white ball opening form to accommodate him.

I would stick firmly with Davies behind the stumps. As someone said to me last year when the question of giving Banton the gloves in the Championship arose in some minds, "If you asked Jack Leach (or any other bowler I suspect) who he would prefer behind the stumps, what do you think the answer would be?" When I was editing my 2019 posts for publication I was also struck by the number of times Davies made a crucial 30 or so with the bat, often while others scored runs at the other end.

So keep Davies, leave out Carberry, move Banton up one and bring in Bartlett.


Somerset LaLaLa
01/04/2020 19:44
Bartlett and Davey for me, one spinner

01/04/2020 20:36
Well a number of issues with this

Pretty much agreed
Davies has the gloves
Jack Leach plays

So to be decided
I suggested Carberry as an experienced opener because Ali is injured
Do people want Bartlett AND Byrom opening together. My goto would be Bartlett with Carberry

Bess or Davey/Brooks?
I'd also go with Davey personally but I'm going by the posting desire

I need to make a choice by Friday people


Somerset LaLaLa
02/04/2020 17:08
Given Azhar is unavailable then Abell as opener, better than Bartlett who should be lower down?

02/04/2020 20:11
So you woUOld open with Abell and Byrom?

With George at 5? Not convinced by George's work with Azhar last year as Farmer suggested?

I'm all for Tom opening but with which B and should the other be at 5 or is there another option there?


Somerset LaLaLa
02/04/2020 23:00
Abell and Carberry to open maybe. Bartlett at 5

I see you've gone Banton then Hildreth. rather than the order they played last season, let's see how it works

02/04/2020 23:44
Yeah Hildreth IS 4

I did that using Carberry up front. Wasn't so sure with the Byrom Bartlett pair but would be happy with Abell opening.

Not easy this team business is it.

Have to say I'm quite curious about Carberry opening for us at Tsunton.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:04:02:23:45:55 by Grockle.

03/04/2020 08:10
As I have a day to decide on a starting line up, I'm taking the indications presently given. So, unless things change significantly, Somerset are going with 2 spinners and the Overtons for this first game.

The only other outlying decision is the opening batting setup and there seems to be less consensus on the solution.

I'll set up another poll to get an idea. The only real agreement is a left/right combination. Eddie and Mike Carberry are lefties Tom and George are rights.

Once the right pair is sorted then we decide on our number 5 and that is it as far as Game 1 is concerned.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:04:03:22:40:11 by Grockle.

04/04/2020 00:27
I would very much like to see George Bartlett in the side but as far as I know he has no experience of opening? (Admittedly he has plenty of batting 3, which can be almost identical, but has performed better at 5 at 1st XI level).
Of course if the CC had been played from the start this year, so would the IPL, which would have lost us Tom B for the early part of the season, making the problem that much simpler (in a way).
I voted for the two lefties opening (possibly a reflection of my political views), but if a right-left combo is desired, surely Tom A opening with one of Eddie and Mike C is best, with Tom B at 3 and George at 5 or vice versa.

04/04/2020 07:39
The present leading option is to move Tom and put George at 5. As you say batting at 3 for Somerset was nearly the same as opening but I'd be happier with that on reflection.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:04:04:10:54:04 by Grockle.

Shepton Paul 2
04/04/2020 10:51

04/04/2020 10:55
Fat fingers and no glasses early on a Saturday morning! Sorry. I've translated it now


Somerset LaLaLa
04/04/2020 13:25
Does it factor in weather? The first day was abandoned last year

04/04/2020 14:10
No idea - we'll have to wait and see. I think it does. it also plays all the other games in a round so you are in competition with the rest of the sides.

I'm hoping for info from the company about an update to the 2019 database (which usually appears around now). We may be able to abandon the 2019 fixture list and actually play the 2020 list as it would have been. If that happens I'll abandon this and reset with the 2020 parameters. It's something to do as my March 10 flight back to work has been cancelled, the school is on virtual with a preliminary idea of possibly opening on April 20 - maybe.

I may be here for a while as they have just closed down Bermuda under a 24 hour 14 day curfew with only shopping visits etc allowed other than activity within 1/2 mile of home with photo ID.


05/04/2020 10:29
Well it may not be the season but here we go.

10:30 on a crisp and sunny Sunday April morning and the parallel universe boys are ready to go.

Day 1 of an alternative reality 2020.


05/04/2020 13:43
As I said I would I am going to follow this strategy for the second day of the Kent game unless people want to go another way.

I am expecting to see both Overton's open our attack sometime later today or early tomorrow morning. Depending on their form once the bowling starts I am expecting to bowl them both for about 5 to 8 overs each before considering a change.

This will depend on the general form of the two and the way that Kent batsmen take to them. Lewis Gregory will be first change for Craig and Tom will replace Jamie at first. If we have the option before a break in play I'd like to use Dom and Jack with the option to use them more coming after a session or so towards the end of a day's play.

On the basis of how Kent's spinner operated in the first innings, the use of one or both of ours will be decided. Where it is offering variation then predominantly it will be Jack who gets the lion's share but should the twin option be used successfully I am happy to use it more than expected if it takes wickets.

It will depend on the nature of the game and where we stand at the end of the first innings. I'm writing this at 67 for 2 lunch on the first day so who knows.

The good thing is that the 12 point deficit does not exist and neither, if my knowledge of this game is correct, do pitch inspectors!!

Let me know if you have any views on how to employ the bowlers. If I get nothing I'll go ahead and see how things pan out.


Somerset LaLaLa
05/04/2020 14:55
What is the reason for opening with the Overtons rather than Gregory?

05/04/2020 15:22
No reason. It was more a thought about if there was a short burst at them at the end of Day 1 than anything else. I'm happy to open with Lewis and Craig if that's the option for Day 2.

I'd give Jamie a belt if there were a few overs at the end of Day 1 I think if they've been in the field all day.


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2020:04:05:15:25:01 by Grockle.

05/04/2020 19:48
Tried the Overtons at the end of the day as it was only 8 overs. Three chances before the finish but no wickets.

Lewis and Craig first up tomorrow?


06/04/2020 12:10
So opened with Craig and Lewis this morning against Renshaw and Dickson. More to come about 1ish


06/04/2020 13:51
So Jamie's pace rips through the middle order of Kent. Think I might start with him after lunch perhaps?


Shepton Paul 2
07/04/2020 10:36
Thanks for doing this Grockle, and for the extensive write-ups. Looking forward to a winning start to the season!

07/04/2020 11:32
Cheers Shep. It's something to do.

There's always the chance of Somerset mucking this up. After all, fake or not, this is the start of a SOMERSET CC1 season.

Today will unfold in about 2 hours.


08/04/2020 00:33
We're going to win it this time (Sm71)

08/04/2020 13:43
Didn't we win it last time?

Well YES we win by 6 wickets with James Hildreth picking up the Man of the Match gong and better second innings performances from Banton, Bartlett and Davies keeping the Somerset ship on an even keel

Azhar Ali will be available for the next match v Notts at Trent Bridge on the 11th.

I'll sort out the score cards and try and get them up somewhere and maybe we can consider the side for the next game.


Farmer White
08/04/2020 14:02
Thanks for the effort Grockle. Take a coat for Trent Bridge. It was freezing up there last year. There were a lot of people wearing clothes they had borrowed from Captain Scott.


08/04/2020 14:31
I'm an East Midlander Farmer - it's bread and butter for me. If it was the present weather I'd even consider going to be honest. Fresh but dry I can cope with.

I'm not sure how the software deals with weather. Rooster tweeted me today asking how we were going to win as it was going to rain. Not sure where he was but today is glorious in West Somerset and it didn't even look like rain on my laptop.


Somerset LaLaLa
08/04/2020 16:11
Well done Somerset. I quite like the idea of the polls, voted for the follow-on and glad we didn't mess it up (phew). Does Hildreth keep the number 4 spot now? And who to drop for Azhar?

08/04/2020 17:21
Yes - a quandary is it not?

I'm assuming
a) Ali plays (seems daft to sign him and then not use him at the start of the season)
b) Who moves aside for him.

As far as the bowlers are concerned there is a question about whether Brooks (who I assume is fully fit - no mention of issues) or Davey comes in, Did the two spin option work? Should we drop Jack? Did the pace attack stand up to the demands?


Shepton Paul 2
08/04/2020 19:06
Good win to start the season - lifts the spirits. For TB, I'd bring in Azhar Ali for Tom Banton, and bat him at 3...I think. Def keep two spinners. Thanks for doing this Grockle - have eagerly awaited the update all day.

08/04/2020 19:22
The bowling line-up seems to have worked pretty well and I wouldn't change it.
The only options to make way for Azhar are Tom B and George, and George contributed more in the last game. I don't really want to drop any of them but I guess Tom B has to be the one to go.
Unless we give him the gloves and leave Steve out, which I would not fancy with two spinners in the side.

08/04/2020 19:44
PS does anyone else have a nasty feeling that if Somerset now go on to win the Virtual Championship it will merely add to the frustrations of the last ten years rather than alleviating them?

08/04/2020 19:48
Scorecards are up on the report. Have a look and I'll try and sort out some polls about these things for tomorrow.

I think and agree that Tom Banton is the man in the frame for a bench. Not because he has done badly but because the rest have done well.

Are we saying then that the side would be
Overton C
Overton J

I think that Banton's form in the CC1 is based on the end of the 2019 season and does not take into account the confidence a winter like his would have given him

It was quite exciting running it session by session. Funny really


Shepton Paul 2
09/04/2020 15:09
Mikeindex: oh yes!!

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