Latest news:

Tourists v Wannabees

Crocked but coping

By Grockle
July 25 2002

Welcome to the silky smooth batting skills of the men from the West Indies. How will our mixture of young pretenders and old dependables cope with a supposedly understrength A side in a shortend game? Day One offers hopes.





The strange time of year when we greet the second tourist team of the season - not quite a 'real' tourist team but quite interesting.  The game has been decreased from a four day match, rumours are that the powers that be weren't sure that the touring side were strong enough to give a county side a game.  As I say, strange..because we have trouble providing a 'county' side at the moment and we rarely do so for full strength touring sides in any case.

There are some questions to be aasked before the start of the game:

1) Why, if the Windies are a weak outfit, do the powers that be think that they will attract a crowd with a non-member entrance fee of 10 per day!!  Do they honestly think that, with a semi-final coming up, people will pay 30 for a seconds game?   Offering 'kids come in free' doesn't help the concerned parent who still has to pay a tenner PER DAY to bring their kids along.  Haven't the powers that be heard of PRICE ELASTICITY OF DEMAND?  If you cut the price by 50% and you more than double your demand then you make more money.  Surely if you get them in you'll make your money on the bars and food outlets?  Why not a family ticket for the three days?   Why not differentiated pricing at ALL games during the summer holidays?  The result of what can only be defined as 'greed', without the benefit of other information, ensured a sparse crowd of members.

2) Why, is Matt Bulbeck playing when he seems to be carrying an injury?  He only managed 13 overs in the Sussex game (his partner Steffan Jones bowled over 40) and before the end of his first spell today he was bowling (quite well one has to admit) off a shorter run-up).  He left the field after his spells for a longish period, is he really fit or have we no other possible replacements?  Graham Rose also played although he left the field after 6 overs and was seen no more.  Michael Parsons acted as 12th man.  Admittedly he is young and raw but he can bowl if we needed to give others a rest.

3) Watching Arul Suppiah sweep around the outfield, pouncing on the ball and whipping it over the stumps with minimal effort, begs the question; why isn't this guy the sub for first team games whenever the seconds are not playing?  He is a very good outfielder and would be far more useful than some of the strange fielders we sometimes put on the field at the moment. 

Anyway, we go into this game with a mixture of 'non/semi crocks' and 'wannabes'.   Neil Edwards, a very tall, young, left hand opener, Wood, Holloway, Parsons (captain), Arul Suppiah - now playing as a batsman who can bowl, Dutch, Wes Durston slow bowling all rounder, Carl Gazzard the keeper, Trego, Rose and Bulbeck.  The Windies have a smattering of Test players, the most famous of who would be Chris Gayle.  Reon King is in and Powell has played for his country I am reliably informed.  The side is captained by Ryan Hinds - the brother of Wavell I assume - and Phil Simmons boy Lendle is in the team.  There's also a huge 'Big Bird' lookalike (the great man is back at Taunton as the manager of this side) who is about 6 foot 8 by the name of Solomon Benn - 'Big Benn' one would assume.

The Tourists win the toss and decide to bat and Gayle and a very useful guy called Smith set up the innings with a stand of 138 for the first wicket.  They seem to have so much time to play the ball.  They play incredibly late at times and we don't help ourselves by slinging the ball down the leg side causing Gazzard all kinds of problems as he has to fly the wrong way to try and stop boundaries.  he doesn't always succeed and 'extras' are high in the first session.

After lunch it gets more interesting from a local point of view, although we all expect lots of big shots when Somerset open with the slow partnership of Durston (River) and Dutch (Old Pavilion) straight after the break.  Especially when Gayle deposits Durston into the Tone in his first over.  But the boys keep uo the pressure and Smith gets a bit too cocky and comes down the pitch to waft one into Gazzard's gloves.  We think he's stumped but it seems that Dutchy needs the wickets this year and he is finally classified as caught behind.  This brings Bulbeck back on for a really good spell.   Although Gayle and Morton put on another 36, Bully gets Gayle caught behind at 174, Morton LBW at 181 and Hinds C&B 2 balls later without scoring.  It looks a very different game at 181 for 4 with both the big scorers gone.  Breese and Bravo steady the ship a bit and both get into the 30's before Bulbeck gets his fourth, Breese caught behind for 35, and then Dutch weighs in with Bravo's wicket for 38, caught in the deep by the impressive Suppiah.  241 for 6.

This brings in the younger Simmons, who shows a lot genetic characteristics by hammering a very rapid 81 with 'Big Benn' at the other end playing four balls defensively before sweeping the fifth (bit Garner-ish really).  Keith Parsons bowls Benn next, but they've put on 87 in this time and then he has King caught for 5.  But Powell joins Simmons and they put on 40 for the 8th before Parsons takes the number 9 for 17.   Dutch finishes the innings off next ball at 370 with the wicket of the impressive Simmons.  A good fight back from 138 for 1 and it was good to see the side cope with the free flowing batting.  One sad note is that all the wickets went to the 'oldies' although Durston looked tidy and Suppiah went for only 9 off his 5 overs...maybe he should have shouldered a bit more of the slow attack as Dutch went for 104 off his 26 - though he did get 3 wickets for his efforts.  Bulbeck may be injured but he was the most impressive at 18/3/47/4.

With 12 overs to face, the new opening partnership of Wood and Edwards went off at 5 an over and had amassed 60 before the end of play - and confident with it.  

View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with: