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Three Hundred to win - Northants @ Taunton


Good to be Back

By Grockle
May 3 2002

In our new "one day" four day kit, we look to restart our B&H season. Northants have hit 299 in their innings and Coxey has gone for one!! 2:50pm THREE TON TO WIN

THREE TON TO WIN - NORTHANTS @ TAUNTON 3 MAY 2002

Finally we have some cricket at home.  After the floodgates opened at Warwickshire in terms of runs and then the rain contributed against Glamorgan we need to play three games and win all of them to have a chance of being in the next phase of the last B&H competition.

We also saw the new Somerset KIT!!  Numbers and names on the back.  Huge green Dartington advert on the front and the arms and lovely maroon panels down the sides.Bowler Kit.jpg (23155 bytes)        Bowler bock.jpg (19377 bytes)

We've taken what Lancs did last year and created a white one day kit!!   Strange days.

No rain at Taunton today (yet) and a decent crowd to boot.   Northants won the toss and batted first and the same team for Somerset with Francis in for Jones and Trego being preferred for Matt Wood (extra bowling option one would imagine).  Hussey and Swann opened for Northants against Bulbeck and Johnson and despite an early wicket for Bulbeck, the openers came off best a run rate of around five an over again is too many unless early wickets fall.  Peter Trego replaced Johnson at the Old Pavilion after 10 but the left hander was left on at the other end and bowled out with decent figures of 38 for 1 off his 10.  The problems were starting at the other end however.  Trego was causing no real problems for Mal Loye and the prolific Hussey and when he was replaced by Simon Francis after 22 overs, the Northants batsmen must have though Christmas had come early.  Dutch came on at the River end for Matt B when he finished but while he kept the batsmen thinking, they were plundering the new boy from Hampshire at the other.  At 118 for 1 in the 22nd a score of about 300 was possible, by the middle of the 24th they had reached 150 and 300 plus was a distinct possibility.   Of the four sixes in the innings, three came off the new boy and two in this sectiojn of the game meant that we saw a double spin option being employed early with Ian Blackwell taking over in the 26th over.

Blackwell's appearance brought the next wicket in 5 balls when Hussey went for 87 (off 91 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes) 160 for 2.  At halfway Northants had 170 on the board and 340 was a possibility.  The slow option kept the score down and they only managed to add 10 in the next five overs.  Loye got his fifty but then decided to get the score going again.  This meant taking on Blackwell - who he didn't seem to be reading too well - and he was stumped going big over the Old Pavilion 196 for 3.  With 35 overs to go, Johnson came back at the River End - why became obvious six balls later.  After one over and some stretching, he left the field not to return - hamstring?? Oh goody!!

Francis returned at the River End at 36 and 200 arrived at roughly the same time but although the ones and two's were coming, the boundaries had dried up so the score ticked rather than belted along.  Blackwell bowled Warren with the score on 242 and Sales went to his fifty off 59 balls as his side passed the 250 mark.   Who was going to bowl at the death with Johnson unavailable?  The solution seemed to be faith in Francis who was moved to the Old Pavilion end.  Trego had overs, Parsons hadn't bowled (is he fit to do so on a regular basis?) and Burns hadn't been used at all.  Blackwell bowled out  with figures of 3 for 46.  He stopped the rot and kept Northants wary.  Sales was dropped by the captain with the score on 262.  Dutch got Penberthy stumped at 272 and with the score on 282 we moved into the last over to be bowled by Keith Dutch.  Ball one was a dot, Sales put the second one into the CA Pavilion for 6 and the third to the boundary down by the River corner.  He tried again with the fourth and was well caught by Francis in roughly the same place after the ball had collected ice crystals it was so high!  76 off 75 balls wasn't a bad knock - maybe he's found his form again after a couple of indifferent seasons.  Two singles finished off the innings and we have 300 to get to win this game and keep in the hunt.

Good points? Dutch finished with 2 for 64 - not great but wickets when needed  The slows got their act together and Matt Bulbeck produced a reasonable spell.

Problems? Rich Johnson had problems and we have two matches in the next four days.  It looked hamstring-like to me and that could be a real problem.   Peter Trego went for 39 off his 6 and poor old Mr Francis went for 69 off 8 and we can't have that.  Keith Parsons doesn't look fit to bowl and we have to wonder why he is in and not resting.  I have no idea why Burns didn't tunr his arm over to add variation at least.  Rob Turner was also feeling his foot at one stage although it didn't seem to affect him in any other way.  300 is possible..we shall see what transpires.

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