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Blackwell onslaught

Welly Merchant

By Grockle
August 1 2002

Ian Blackwell has put the Somerset innings into overdrive against Kent in the semi-final. Arriving at just over 150 at the start of the 30th, he and Mike Burns put on 90 in 53 before Dutchy hits 3 fours from the last half an over to leave the visitors needing 345 to win.


Hot muggy and a full house, literally sitting in the ailes because the outfield is a bit boggy.  The game starts on time and Fleming, in his last season is up to win this game.  He wins the first competition - the toss - and we're in first.  The sides are roughly as expected.  Kent go in with Fulton playing instead of Jones and have all their big guns ready to fire.  Key, Fleming himself, Symonds, Ealham, Saggers.  Somerset don't have Banger for obvious reasons (although Lyndon Jones had to tell me why!) Have a nice time in Marbella Marcus.   Caddick is not playing - no-one is sure why not but the Hairy Greek - Richard Johnson starts his first game of the second half of the season with a lot on his shoulders.  Matt Bulbeck and Matt Wood are both in and the usual suspects make up the rest of the line-up.


Bowler and Cox start the innings as is also usual in these pressure games. Saggers and Masters open for the Kent men.  The area under the trees by the indoor school has been renamed the "Ian Blackwell Stand" for the day by a bunch of supporters and there isn't a seat in the house.  5 off the first over sets out the trend of the first 20 overs.  Bowler is dropped 2.4 overs in at second slip[ but the scheme seems to be that, with the ball swinging, Saggers will take wickets at the Old Pavilion end and the jobbing mediums will keep the score down at the River end.   It doesn't quite go to plan because once the boys are in they start to milk Masters for the odd boundasry.  Cox doesn't look completely in touch - then again he hasn't really played an innings in anger since the Bath festival - we get the odd illustration of his touch but he looks out of sorts.  The wicket is bouncy and there is early swing in the damp conditions but Goldiing has to come on for Masters after 7 as we move to 35 and the early wicket doesn't materialise.  Henry the B is moaning about the Radio Shack and talking about "Harpoon Lucy" - Vic Marks girlfriend (alllegedly).   This is something to do with Harpoon Louies restaurant (excellent place) sending in a cake and Blowers misreading the label.  What jolly fun!

After Ten...

We've ammassed 42 by the 10th and the 50 arrives courtesy of two consecutive fours for Bowler four balls later.  It's 12.2 overs before Kent break through with 59 on the board as Buzz is caught behind for 31 off Ealham's first over (replacing Saggers at the Old P end.  Burns arrives and we are 73 at 15 when the field restrictions disappear.  It's not great but it is solid and we have wickets in hand.  Fleming replaces Golding at the River for the 17th and we are still at just under 5 by the 20th with 96 on the board, which means the 100 arrives in the 21st.   Bowler's 50 comes four balls later of some 70 balls but he continues to accumulate while Burns looks fluent at the other end.  120 at 25 and Symonds into the attack at 27 at the River end.

Fleming gets nervous..

Kent need a wicket and Fleming brings his principal bowler back on at 27 to get it for him.  Burns simply pops down the wicket and smacks him into the boundary at the Shop section of the ground.  150 arrives just before the end of the 29th and Symonds finally breaks through with the very next ball when he bowls Bowler for 70.  Not electric bu as stable as always.  he'll be disappointed he didn't convert into 3 figures but the base is there for those who come after him.  Rumours are he's looking for another contract...I'll give it ya Peter...though it may not be legal!  A 300 plus score seems on the cards and as if to illustrate that we need that to defend, the next man in is Ian Blackwell - much to the joy of his stand occupants!


Ian has not come in to pussy foot about.  Fleming returns at the start of the 32nd with the score on 159 and by the first ball of the 35th the score is 200 and the two batsmen have a 50 partnership.  Burns has pased his 50 (60 balls, 4 fours) and Blackwell has reached 34 at less thhan a run a ball.  Fleming is replaced at 36 by Masters at the OP end but by this time the boys are going for everyone!   Burns finally goes, caught in the midfield by Fleming off Golding for 72 at a run a ball.  he's done his job(6 fours and 1 six) and we have reached 240 off 39.2.

Parsons again..?

Keith Parsons is the perfect man to send in in this type of situation.  He'll nurdles and smash and Blackwell is going after everyone so he'll hit the boundary balls.  He reaches a devastating 50 off 34 balls with 8 fours and we go to 245 with 10 overs to go.  A 105 off the last ten would be nice.  Fleming is in a quandry because his best bowler hasn't done it for him, Mark Ealham is his best bowler at 40 for 1 off his 10.  he's gone for 58 off his 7 and shouldn't bowl any more but who is going to get rid of this maniac in the Somerset hat?  The Burns/Blackwell partnership accrued 90 runs off 57 balls aqnd Blackwell is in no mood to stop.  The 250 arrives 4 balls into the 40th and we've got 262 by the end of the 42nd so it's belting along.  Ealham is sent on his way with a boundary off his last ball.

Fleming brings himself on at the River End to try and stop the mayhem.  He's trying to bowl full and is llucky to get away with a huge wide but we still get to 277 by the stgart of the 44th.  The Kent captain throws the dice by bowling out Saggers early and Blackwell replies with a huge 6 into the Old Pavilion off his third ball.  Flkeming then drops him in front of the Stragglers...not a sensible thing to do for the opposing captain!!

The Endgame...

Finally, 4 balls into the 45th over, Symonds finally holds onto one from Blacky and he walks off to a tremendous ovation with 86 off 53 balls.  Take the game by the neck and shake it why don't you?  With the telly here and Rod Marsh in the pavilion again, he's done his winter tour prospects no damage at all.  His highest one day score of the season has put us in a great position and Rob Turner comes out to join his one day mate KP to end the game.  Been here before?

Parsons and Turner are happy to take the ones and the two's while they wait for the bad balls but we still pass the magic 300 off the first ball of the 46th.  320 seems to be on.when they take 10 off the over.  Masters is on at the River end and we take 10 off his over as well.  350?....nah!!!  Fleming bowls himself out at the Old pavilion end and puts in an over full of character which goes for only 4....pity he's gone for 76 when you add the other 9!!

Last over...

Poor old Masters has been shifted here and there all game and they give him the ball for the last 6.  Ball one goes for 2 before Turner puts him into the stand at the Brewhouse side for 6.  They try and run a quick one for the third but KP is run out by some quick footwork from the bowler for 32.  In comes Keith Dutch...but what can you do with only 3 balls to face and 332 on the board?   Well, you can be dropped off your first ball and the ball can go for four!   You can then hit the next one for 4 and then you can hit the final ball of the innings for four!!  344 with Dutch nipping off with 12 to his name off the 3 he faced.

Brilliant - a one day execution by Ian Blackwell and a score that we should be able to defend.  We don't deserve to be at Lords if we can't and kent will have to bat out of their skin to get there.  Richard Johnson and the ball men need to put them to the sword early.  They bat a long way down and they can get this total but we have the strongest bowling attack we've had for quite a time.  To coin a phrase.....Game on!!

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