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Pear-shaped Somerset crash at New Road


By Grockle
May 19 2002

Another inexplicable performance by the one day squad who need bat practice in paper bags to see if they can get out of them! Please someone, explain to me why this is happening.

v Worcestershire @ New Road 19 May 2002


After the excitment of throwing a game away by giving a side over 300 and then falling short of getting it beck by one run, we needed a boost today.   We all know what is wrong but the Championship matches have shown that the batsmen can put the totals together.  It just need the fielding and bowling to tighten up so that the score they have to get is not too far ahead.  The weather is not 'summery' and the pitch is assessed as a 230 track and when Worcesteshire decide to bat on winning the toss we are put straight on the spot.

Their innings....

Vikram Solanki gives us a good start by choosing to snick the first ball from matt Bulbeck into Turner's hungry gloves.  0 for 1 is a good start and it gets Hick to the wicket early so that we can get him out.  Rose starts at the other end and looks back to his old self.  He's tight and he's agressive and he has a bit more pace than we were expecting but Singh and Hick settle the nerves and put together a 70 run partnership before Hick is picked up by Trego, on as substitute, off Hagar's bowling. 70 for 2.  Singh is looking in form but a change of pace forces him into a mistake and he is out at 101 from a ball bowled by Blackwell into the hands of Keith Dutch for 65.

Simon Francis went for a few in his first overs although he was unlucky not to pick up something but when he comes back he gets the rub of the green.   First Leatherdale is bowled for 69 (165 for 4 a 64 run partnership with Smith), then he gets Batty with only two more on the board caught behind. Smith and Rhodes put together a recovery and put on 78 before Frankie breaks them up by getting Smith caught by Burns and Rhodes next ball to the keeper.  245 for 6 becomes 245 for 7.  Ali and Lampitt can only add 9 and they finish about 25 runs too far ahead at 254.

The autopsy...

5.6 an over is still too many but there are some positives in this performance.  Francis went for 60 off 8 (7.5) but he did take 4 wickets and he was unlucky.  Johnson said that the wicket at Taunton needs getting used to and he seems to be getting the hang of it.  The confidence is rising but unfortunately, the run rate is not falling and it has to.  Then again, this was his best performance in one day cricket, is he going to be good enough?  Rose put in his 9 for 33 and we need that, that is really the difference between this and other one day performances this year. Without him Worcestershire would have been in  the 280's. 

Our reply...

A surprise first pair came out for us.  With a large score needed, we sent out Peter Bowler AND Matt Wood.  Both are seen as 'accumulators' rather than quick scorers and probably the theory was that they would create the base for the rest to build on.

Bowler out for 1 1 for 1.  Wood out for 10 (and injured by a smack on the hand) 2 for 11. Cox out for 7 3 for 15. Blackwell out for 12 4 for 30.  Burns out for 11 5 for 40.  Well we maintained our form of rarely getting past fifty without losing at least four wickets!  Another game where the middle order are left to produce the majority of the runs required.  Had the pitch changed?  Had the weather changed?  Had one bowler put in the performance of his life?  Didn't seem like it. Two were bowled by straight deliveries and two were LBW including the captain.  What is happening?

With 215 required, we were relying on those partnerships again.   Parsons and Turner a partnership of 0 as Rob goes first ball caught by Hick.  Parsons and Dutch a partnership of 21 before Dutch is caught behind for 6.  Parsons and Rose a partnership of 27 when Rosey is bowled by Batty.  Parsons and Bulbeck before Keith Parsons, who topped scored with 37, is caught by Smith.  Bulbeck and Francis put on 21 in 5 minutes!  Matt was last man out for 21 and we had made a paltry 127 all out.  A loss by 127 runs..

Last week we were asking for consistency.  We were talking about the need for the batting, bowling and fielding to be of the same standard.  It was today, consistently poor with a few exceptions.  It was good to see Keith Parsons not suffering from the hand injury he got in the Championship match.  It was good to see Rose giving us what we expected.  It was good to see a bowler get more than a brace of wickets.  But it's still crap.  The form of the counties who compete for the Championship is notoriously bad in the one day game, we hope that is what this is all about.  The problem is that we all know that our strength is really in the short form of the game and we can't put it together at the moment.  We can only hope that with Jonah back for the Surrey game and Rose as third seam, we can keep the pressure on at the Oval while our next NUL game is two weeks away.  Could we hope that Johnno might be fit a week earlier than Bath?

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