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FAKE2020 CC1The Big One? Yorkshire @ Headingley

By Grockle et al
June 15 2020

After a bit of debate about the 2 spinners without Jack Leach and the merits of Davies and Banton as keeper we decide to go with the same side except that Craig Overton returns for Jack Brooks.  The first versus second match with  a possible trophy in it. Strong Yorkshire side with their England players on the field.  Could be a very important result for one of the sides in Fantasyland.

v YORKSHIRE CC1 @ Headingley Monday 15 June 2020

Somerset go into this game with faith in their batting lineup.  The fantasy engine means that the Tom Banton in this simulation has yet to have the season he had in 2019 and the winter that followed it.  Therefore he is still a 'learner' and a bit of as gamble with only 3 first class games to his stats presently.  Steve Davies with the gloves and with the bat has been a better option in this campaign and the selectors have stayed with him.  Roelof van der Merwe is once again choisen as spin partner for Dom Bess and Craig Overton returns after his rest during the home game.

The Somerset side is therefore;

Ali, Byrom, Bartlett, Hildreth, Abell (c), Davies (wk), Gregory, Bess, van der Merwe, Overton C, Overton J

Yorkshire have a formidable side against that with;

Fraine, Lyth, Beauchamp, Root, Bairstow, K'Cadmore, Willey, Rashid, Maharaj, Pillans and Coad

Tom Abell chooses the toss, loses it and Somerset will bowl.

Fraine and Lyth come out to face the opening attack of Gregory and Craig Overton. The first half hour is one of caution and tight bowling with Fraine nearly leaving, caught behind, with only 8 on the board in the 5th over.  This has been a characteristic of most of the games where Somerset have bowled first, admittedly at home the pitch has something in it at the start of every day and then may flatten out but the Headingley wicket is giving something to the bowlers and something for the batsmen to be wary of.

Lyth isn't 'wary' enough and Overton has him caught at midwicket by Hildreth with only 11 to Yorkshire's tally.  Beauchamp comes out and immediately looks like he means business.  The initial attack is replaced during overs 12 (Jamie Overton) and 13 (Dom Bess) but there is little more Somerset excitement and the 50 arrives in the 15th.  RvdM is tried for the 20th but there are no more chances until Lewis Gregory comes on in the 23rd.  He has Fraine caught at mid off by Craig Overton for 27 at a score of 74 for 2.

Abell keeps ringing the changes with Craig re-introduced for the 30th and Bess back on one over later.  Nevertheless the 100 arrives and once again it is Gregory who makes things happen as Root miscues one from Overton into his hands at 105 for an individual 23.  Meanwhile Beauchamp is going about his business with ruthless efficiency and he reaches his 50 just before lunch (74 balls with 8 fours).  Yorkshire march off for food at 124 for 3 with honours probably even during session 1.

The lunch break comes and goes and little happens after it as the Overtons open the attack in the afternoon.  Gregory is on with the 44th and he is joined by his captain for the 45th.  Bairstow takes a particular liking to the slower pace of Abell and drives him for at least one four every over but Gregory does manage to remove the dangerous Beauchamp for 69 when he knicks one to Bartlett at second slip at 166.  K'Cadmore is almost out to his first delivery when he edges the ball to where a third slip would have been. Bairstow is more of a challenge at the moment however and he goes to 50 from 59 balls (8 fours) at 183.

The Yorkies are not in too much trouble and the introduction of spin with Bess and RvdM coming on for the 51st and 52nd overs suggests Somerset are feeling that they need to slow things down and remove some of the home side.  The 200 has arrived from a K'Cadmore boundary but Bess tempts the same batsman 9 runs later and Davies takes an excellent diving catch.

Willey has a thick edge dropped at slip in his first over but he partners Bairstow, who doesn't look in any trouble past 250 despite the re-introduction of the Overtons before Tea which arrives with the score on 261 for 5 with the Yorkshire partnership looking very comfortable.

Gregory pairs up with Jamie Overton to start the last session and Jamie finally gets Bairstow 2 before his century courtesy of Azhar Ali at first slip. 290 for 6 could put Yorkshire on the back foot but Rashid drives for his first four to bring up the 300.  Gregory turns the screw when he takes out Willey caught and bowled for 46 at 306.

The new ball is taken by Somerset at 81 overs.  Rashid dismisses the first ball he faces with it for six to bring up 350.  Nothing else really happens other than the Maharaj 50 comes up from 72 balls (6 fours) until the last over when Reolof produces a mistake from Rashid and he is dismissed for 42 at 395.  The day ends with Maharaj on 51 and Pillans on 1 with Yorkshire ending 3 runs below 400.



It doesn't take Pillans long to move his county over 400 at the start of Day 2.  Gregory and Craig Overton are given the job of putting the Yorkshire innings to bed.  Unfortunately, Maharaj and his partner see their job a little differently and start to move the score along with a couple of near misses.  They deal with the opening attack far too easily and this prompts Somerset's move to spin with the introduction of Bess alongside Jamie Overton. Nothing really happens however and it is not that long before the 450 arrives!!  However just after this extra batting point, Pillans miscues a drive directly back to the bowler and he is caught and bowled Jamie Overton at 452 for a really useful 33.  Coad is the last man in and he is in real trouble with Dom Bess.  But he keeps playing and missing or is found to be just outside the line.  Eventually, after 3 appeals in one over it is MAHARAJ who is plumb to the young spinner for 70 and Yorkshire are all out for 456

Now Somerset have 55 minutes until lunch and a big score to get.  Over 300 just to avoid the follow on.  Byrom and Ali face Coad and Willey and they work at a solid start, going into lunch with 34 for no loss with Ali on 10 and Byrom on 18.  

Ominously Maharaj opens the Yorkshire bowling after the lunch interval with Rashid at the other end.  There was little in this wicket on Day 1 for the Somerset spinners but here we are with 10 wickets in hand facing slow bowling on Day 2. However the opening batsmen seem to weather the initial storm and bring up the 50 as Coad replaces Maharaj.  Byrom drives hard at one which takes an edge and is stopped in the slips.  It wasn't a chance but there is still something there for bowlers. 

Finally, Eddie gets tied up in front and Yorkshire have their first wicket via Maharaj LBW for 40 at 87 for 1.  George Bartlett is off the mark with a cover driven four and then 100 arrives with another from the bat of George. Next Ali arrives at 50 (106 balls with 6 fours).  However, Azhar then loses concentration and makes no more runs after being plum in front to Maharaj almost immediately - 110 for 2   but Maharaj beats him as well and he is also given out LBW at 115.   Three LBWs to the Yorkshire spinner and still 10 minutes before Tea!!  There are no more scares and Tea arrives at 150 for 3 with James Hildreth  on 18 and Tom Abell on 17.

Maharaj and Rashid continue the tight control after the drinks break.  They restirct the Somerset men until Abell tries to drive once too often and is LBW to that man Maharaj for 27 and it is 165 for 4. Coad replaces Maharaj, Davies takes a liking to him and drives him for 3 fours in his first two overs.  He then crashes Rashid through the covers to bring up the 200 and repeats this to take the deficit iunder 250.  Coad nearly gets some revenge when Hildreth miscues him but into open space.

Maharaj returns in time for James to go to 50 off him at 219 (103 balls and 6 fours).  He then immmediately plays and misses twice against the Yorkshire spinner and is finally cleaned up by him for a score of 55.   Another Somerset man who gets moving and then loses the plot a little.

221 for 5 becomes 222 for 6 as Rashid has Gregory plumb (to spoil the "Maharaj Show") for 0 while at the other end there is a real tussle going on between Steve Davis and Maharaj who nearly hasthe keeper caught behind at 236 before Davies returns fire with a straight six at the end of the next over.

Yorkshire take the new ball and introduce Coad and Willey to use it froom the 83rd over onwards. An appeal against Davies is judged to have been bat onto pad but he is then clean bowled for 45 with 4 balls to go of the day - something this computer simulation seems to love!!

Somerset end the day at 251 for 7.  Maharaj has shown his class with 5 for 67 creating a situation where Dom Bess and Roelof van der Merwe take up the rreins tomorrow needing 55 runs to save the follow on with only 3 wickets remaining of the visitor's first innings.


Willey starts proceedings in the second half of this clash and is not far away almost immediately as Bess looks straight in front with the second ball of the morning 'Not Out' says the umpire.   At the other end Coad has RvdM feeling for the ball as well.  It is not until the 5th over that Bess finally gets one across the rope but Coad is relentless and RvdM is another LBW victim for 10 at 272 for 8.  Bess is still fighting as Pillans is introduced and Maharaj is not far behind him as Somerset stagger to 286.  Dom is being 'dominant' while Maharaj is keeping both batsmen honest and wary in between dispatching the loose balls.  The one time Bess takes a chance he is gone, trying to cut a ball too close to him and being caught close in.  it is a bad mistake because at 296 for 9 the number of runs to avoid the follow on is in single figures but he has now put his county in the position of trying to get them with one wicket remaining with time before the lunch break.

The only thing in his favour is that the last pairing for Somerset are the Overton twins who are not a bad couple to have as your 10th wicket on any day.  Rashid is on to break this but Craig and Jamie go about theit job, taking the score over 300 and then passing the follow on target to get the deficii down below 150.  In fact they do more, both taking fours from Maharaj in his next over before taking 8 off Rashid as well.  the 350 comes up as Jamie puts Rashid to the sword again taking 9 from his next over.  There is a thick edge from one of Maraharj's last balls of the session but with a partnership of 61 the Overton's come in for a well earned rest with 99 runs needed for the par score, Craig on 26 and Jamie on a flamboyant and aggressive 40.  Coad has 2 for 104 but that is in comparison to the excellent 6 for 92 for Maharaj. 

With 1 hour and 34 minutes to Tea Fraine and Lyth walk out to face Jamie Overton and Lewis Gregory at a score of effectively 84 for 0.  Lyth smashes Overton's fourth ball for four and is then dropped at mid off during Gregory's  first over... not mistakes that are going to be popular when in this situation.  However, the mistake is not that important as Lyth goes to an excellent catch from Davies behind the stumps for 10 off Overton.  Beauchamp starts where he left off in the first innings and straight drives his first ball for four. It gets more important however when his partner Fraine is LBW to Gregory at 31 for 11.

Bess is on for the 8th and Craig Overton is introduced in the 9th as Beauchamp and Root look too comfortable.  Spin worked for Yorkshire, will it work for Somerset?  It is uncertain as Beauchamp brings up the 50 and the lead passes 150 at 66 for 2.  RvdM comes on to create a full spin attack for the 20th.

This changes things immediately as the very dangerous Beauchamp is caught in close by Hildreth off Bess for 26 and it is 79 for 3.  Bess also has Bairstow reaching early. But there are no more incidents before the Tea interval.  81 for 3 means Yorkshire are 165 ahead.  Bess has 1 for 21 and Gregory has 1 for 8.  Root is on 22 and Bairstow has 2.  The next session is vital to this game for both sides one would imagine.

Lewis starts with RvdM as his partner - and that is a statement from Somerset.  Bairstow also makes a statement as he sends a six into the crowd from the faster man.  Both he and Root look good as the 100 arrives and RvdM makes way for Bess.  The bowling starts to rotate in order to keep the home batsmen off their stride.  This works with Root who Davies stumps off Bess for 44, excellent work. 138 for 4 becomes 148 for 5 when Bess strikes again having K'Cadmore LBW for 4.  Willey steps up and sends the ball to the boundary to bring up the 150 in the first over of a new spell by Craig Overton which goes for 13.  Bairstow reaches 50 (72 balls 6 fours and 1 six) and the Overton over prompts the return of Roelof.  This is a good move as he takes Willey out LBW for 18 at 173 for 6. The batsmen start to leave in a procession as Bess takes out Rashid via another close Hildreth catch for 1 (174 for 7) followed by Bairstow snicking one to first slip without adding to his score 174 for 8.  Pillan comes and goes, caught behind second ball and although Maharaj is still fighting Jamie Overton comes on and tempts him into a miscue and dolly catch with his fourth ball.  Yorkshire are all out for 198, 276 ahead with last man Maharaj finishing with 17.

Jamie Overton finishes with 2 for 31, Bess excels with 4 for 65, RvdM also bowls well with 3 for 26 and Lewis has the other with 1 for 29.

There are 3 overs for Somerset to face and they face them without incident ending with 3 for no loss and a last Day requiring them to add another 274 for victory or lose 10 wickets to fail.


Willey and Coad look to make early breakthroughs and put this game away and it takes Eddie Byrom 8 overs before he gets the first one off the strip and to the boundary.  It is not until the first bowling change that Pillans gets the first break as Ali is caught at first slip by K'Cadmore for 12 at 24.

Maharaj is on for the 16th over and he receives a first ball four from the bat of Byrom but he has Bartlett  'fishing' out side of off.  Rashid joins his spin partner but he prompts the 50 arriving with a Byrom six.

Just when Somerset supporters think Byrom may be getting into his stride, Maharaj interferes and has him LBW for 32 at 65 for 2 (212 runs required).  Baretlett joins him in the pavilion at 79 when Rashid tempts him to provide a thin edge to Bairstow for 27 (198 behind).  Both batsmen got a start but neither has pushed on when needed.  Tom Abell starts by getting off the mark with a boundary.

Lunch arrives at 91 for 3 with James on 13 and his captain on 4.  The Yorkshire bowlers come in with Maharaj 1 for 39, Rashid 1 for 20 and Pillans 1 for 5.

Coad resumes at one end after the break but the other sees one over rotations between Maharaj and Rashid.  it seems to be working as Abell is dropped by Willey off the spinners bowling in the second over.  There ae also a couple of pretty ambitious LBW appeals which come to nothing as Somerset reach the point of needing 150 to win at 127.  This Maharaj, Rashi and Coad interaction continues and eventually at 131 Abell finally edges one behind for 22 off Maharaj.  Davies the new man does not look confident and nearly succumbs to another edge in the next over.  Meanwhile Hildreth at the other end is batting confidently as he sends the ball to the rope to bring up the 150.  Two consecutive fours bring up his 50 (88 balls 9 fours) while a very very thin edge saves Davies from an LBW appeal from Maharaj at 161.

The score rises until it is less than 100 for the victory and possibly the most important wicket goes down as Somerset pass 200 when the in form Hildreth is plumb in front to Rashid 3 minuteds before Tea which comes at 202 for 5 With Steve Davies on 44 and Lewis Gregory without a run to his name. 75 needed for the win.

And so the last decisive session starts, the game will be won or lost here, the draw is the less likely result.  Yorkshire throw their obvious man of the match into the fight as Maharaj and his partner Rashid look to spin Yorkshire to the win. Lewis Gregory goes worryingly early as Willey makes up for the Abell drop earllier inthe day and the batsman goes for a single to the first ball he faces at 208 for 6.  At the other end Davies, probably Somerset's hope now, goes to 50 (68 balls 7 fours). At 213, another batsman leaves the keeper as the sole hope as Bess is caught and bowled by Rashid also for 1.  214 for 7.  However, Roelof seems confident against Maharaj, driving him for a boundary .  Another Davies  boundary takes the runs needed under 50 but there aren't that many wickets left and time is running out.

In the 83rd over Yorkshire take the new ball and Coad returns to put it to use before the 39 nneeded are scored.  Willey takes over at the other end but Steve Davies takes 2 boundaries off Coad to take the score over 250.  With 17 to go, RvdM is lucky to survive and LBW shout from Willey.  Davies also has his moments as he edges one into space with the score on 270 before RvdM hits the boundary that gives the visitors the game by 3 wickets with Davies standing proud on 91 not out.  

The obvious man of the match was Maharaj.  The man of Somerset's match was Steve Davies who stood and delivered when asked and put his county ahead at the top by over 40 points now after this one.

Is it really Somerset's Fantasy season after all these years?



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FAKE2020 CC1The Big One? Yorkshire @ Headingley
Discussion started by , 15/06/2020 15:05
15/06/2020 15:05
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:06:21:14:24:53 by Grockle.

11/06/2020 12:10
The 10th game of the FAKE2020 Championship season is away to Yorkshire at Headingley.

We are some 18 points ahead of them on the table and a significant number beyond Essex in 3rd (113 I believe) so THIS could be the game that swings it one way or the other.

At the moment EVERYONE is fit. Questions? Suggestions?

I'll run through to the game and see what comes up if anything later today and look to start this one over the weekend probably.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:06:11:12:10:52 by Grockle.

11/06/2020 13:04
Cove definitely in for Roelof with Azhar a second spinning option if required to bowl a few overs.
Has Davies scored enough runs lately to prevent Banton having an outing??

11/06/2020 13:05
Have you got the latest Batting averages Grockle

Somerset LaLaLa
11/06/2020 14:56
I can almost hear the words "From the River End, Jack Leach"

11/06/2020 15:31
Did you mean the Truman or Emerald end

Somerset LaLaLa
11/06/2020 19:40
It's been a long time Nelliec. Which one is the Kirkstall Lane End and the Football Stand End?

Can we have Ben Stokes?

11/06/2020 20:24
I wish I knew.It would be a good quiz question to name all the old names and their equivalent nowadays

11/06/2020 20:30
Maybe it still is officially the Kirkstall Lane end An end and a stand are probably different in most cases

Somerset LaLaLa
12/06/2020 10:58
What are people's views on selecting Tom Banton? Farmer, you are a man of wisdom...

He played the first match and didn't do much with the bat. Since then the batsmen have all come good, the competition for places keeping Carberry and Kervezee away.

The consensus at the start of the season was for Davies to keep the gloves.

My view is that he should come back for the following game (Warwickshire) at the latest, possibly letting Davies open to see if that 'improves' his average. Is it worth doing this now and who would we drop?

12/06/2020 11:56
If Cove and Banton come in you would probably have to drop Roelof or Brooke’s for Cove.and Davies or Byrom for Banton

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:06:12:11:57:10 by nelliec.

Farmer White
12/06/2020 12:02
Enough wisdom Somerset La La La to spend my life supporting Somerset ...

Selection it seems is a tough old job with a winning team and others pushing for places.

For what it is worth, in four-day cricket my selection starts with Davies. He is the best keeper. Catches win matches and a top keeper keeps batsmen honest. I always go back to the question someone put to me at a match when Davies' place was under scrutiny: "If you were Jack Leach who would you want behind the stumps?" So, to my mind, Davies keeps. As to his batting, he has not set the world afire in the Fantasy CC and he didn't in the 2019 CC. However, when I was putting my 2019 reports together for my book I was struck by the number of times Davies was the glue who batted through with the tail and scored useful 30s or thereabouts which often turned a headache score into a manageable one. He gets in on his keeping alone and, in the real game, often achieves more with the bat than is immediately obvious. I don't have easy access to the fantasy facts so can't say to what extent his fantasy work with the bat reflects his 2019 contribution but his runs are a bonus, his keeping is essential.

As to Banton, tough though it is, I would stick with the batting formula that has worked, with the notable exception of the Essex math, this far unless someone starts to flag, in which case Banton would have to be thought hard about alongside Kervezee and Carberry.

Leach, assuming he is fit, in for VDM is fairly straightforward I think much as I like VDM's combativeness.

The toughest choice is whether or not to keep Bess. Given the three seamers plus Abell formula has worked well thus far, I would, especially as we are getting deeper into the season, pitches may start to develop some turn and Yorkshire topped 500 at Headingley in last year's match. And a spinner turning it in each direction adds to the variety and the questions that are asked of the batsmen

If Bess is retained that creates another tough choice. Stick with the three successful seamers from the last match or drop one for Craig O? Gregory has to play, so that leaves two from Jamie O, Craig O and Brooks. I would want Jamie's pace and Craig's accuracy and lift at Headingley so it is Brooks that goes. Perhaps the toughest decision of the lot because, although I have always worried about his consistency in the real game, he has performed consistently well in the fantasy game. I just think the two Overtons and Gregory are the best mix for Headingley.

Thus speaketh the wisdom of the Farmer SLLL. You should though be aware, my wisdom has an awful habit of metamorphosing into the sort of farce that Brian Rix would have been proud of; or, as my old English teacher would have insisted I put it: of which Brian Rix would have been proud.


Somerset LaLaLa
12/06/2020 14:11
There is a logic to sticking with the batting formula that has worked, especially in such an important game. If Somerset win, then we can afford to make a few tweaks for the run-in. And if we do as we did against Yorkshire last year then some changes will be necessary anyway.

I will make a case for the inclusion of Banton against Warwickshire on his batting merits alone.

One thing that has struck me in the fantasy game, is that the first innings of a 'star' player (e.g. Carberry, Hildreth, Gregory, Ali, Byrom, Kervezee, vdM) or changing the batting order for someone underperforming (Bartlett, Abell) can result in them making a big score. Even Cove made a lot of runs the first time he came back from injury.

Therefore, Davies may benefit from being opener, a position he held for about 4 matches at the end of last season. That decision can wait for me until we see what happens against Yorkshire.

I also want to play just 4 main bowlers at some point, which could be another route in for Banton.

The computer likes to reward the rotation of some bowlers as well and I don't believe it was a coincidence that Gregory and Jove mopped up the wickets last time, after their rest. It was your suggestion to originally rest Gregory which worked brilliantly.

Leach is taking about 6 wickets a game and for that reason we don't really need an extra spinner. Cove should come back strongly and Brooks has proved himself to be consistent throughout the fantasy competition. A break may do Bess good, he has played in all but one match so far

Somerset LaLaLa
12/06/2020 14:13
My team:

Ali, Byrom, Bartlett, Hildreth, Abell, Davies, Gregory, Cove, Brooks, Jove, Leach

Farmer White
12/06/2020 14:26

I wouldn't argue too strongly in a selection meeting against a straight Bess/Brooks swap for the reasons you give, particularly giving Bess a break if that is how the computer operates, although I would probably stick with Bess because I like the control and pressure two good spinners operating in tandem can bring.

As to Davies opening, he started well last year - a century against Warks from memory, but faded. Opening the batting and keeping at the skill level he does with all the concentration that must involve is a very big ask. I would retain his opening for emergencies only I think. I wouldn't want it to undermine his keeping - if the computer is that sophisticated.


12/06/2020 14:29
The computer also does not take into consideration having to rotate players to keep others happy so they don’t feel the need to swap clubs

Somerset LaLaLa
12/06/2020 15:19
My mindset is playing against lines of code and a database, I wouldn’t select the same side in reality (or want to make the decision).

Some of the discussions though are really absorbing in these cricketless times, such as whether to play 2 spinners, when to declare and whether to enforce the follow-on. Hopefully we won’t lose our fantasy players to other counties, that’s another dimension I suppose.

There is an interesting fantasy competition for the Guardian that normally runs in parallel with the championship. It is based on selecting a team each week that scores points according to actual performance. I did ok last season based on my large Somerset cohort, but fell flat because of my lack of knowledge on second division players.

But thanks as ever to Grockle for having the idea and going with this in the first place. Cricket Captain seems quite realistic, particularly fun when playing with a few others

13/06/2020 11:57
Lots of conversation since Thursday. Sorry - reports time in Bermuda!!


Azhar Ali Bat 39.64 SR 41.6% Bowl 46W 43.02 Econ 3.71

Tom Banton 11.2 (hasn't batted a lot) 41.5%

Mike Carberry 41.18 SR 50.9% Remember Carberry is an offspinner 17W @ 36.59 Econ 4.11

Alexie Kervezee 30.33 SR 61.4% with 8 wickets @47.25 Econ 3.53

Just to cover all the bases

Has anyone heard of 'K Barrie' or 'J Ramshaw' - they have just been promoted from the 'youth programme' into the Somerset first team squad. Do they exist in the real world?


13/06/2020 12:11
Here are the match conditions


13/06/2020 12:15
Who are the team definites?

1 Ali?
2 Eddie? Banton? Carberry? Davies?
3 Bartlett
4 Hildreth? (hasn't been doing particularly well recently)
5 Abell
6 Davies? Banton?
7 Gregory
8 Bess
9 Cove
10 Brooks? Jove? Davey?
11 as above

For a side doing very well there are a few questions to ask. Jack Leach is a definite anyway.


13/06/2020 13:02
Bouncy track so Jove,Cove and Gregory should definitely play.Assuming Bess also plays I would play Banton as the extra batsman with Tom and Azhar providing alternative bowling options.A draw wouldn’t be the worst result

13/06/2020 14:18
Banton where? Number 7?


13/06/2020 14:51
I would personally.Farmer might disagree and prefer another bowler

13/06/2020 15:56
Sorry guys. No Leach. Out for at least another 3 weeks.

So presently

Ali, Byrom, Bartlett, Hildreth, Abell, Davies, Banton, Gregory, Bess, Overton C, Overton J

Seems to be the plan?


Farmer White
13/06/2020 16:33

I always think five bowlers is best and with Gregory and Abell in the side and the strength of our lower order batting we should be able to manage it. The pitch is due to be 'good'. Last year Yorkshire topped 500 on it. We may need to bowl a lot of overs and there are still four matches to come so we don't want to find ourselves having to overbowl anyone. With Leach and Bess in the side that should not be necessary. Looking at Grockle's list, with good bounce too I would stick with my original thought of Jamie O ahead of Brooks.

As to Banton I take the view that players currently holding a place in the side should retain that place until it is clear they shouldn't and I don't think that applies to Davies or any of the top five batsmen. Hildreth has had a bit of a lean time of late but he had a very powerful start to the season and he has proven pedigree. He is very reliable at first slip too. I wouldn't be moving him out just yet. If at some point Banton forces his way in then, as with the others, he should keep the place he gets unless it becomes clear he shouldn't.

All that of course is based on an underpinning theory of selection. Namely that:

Your best side has to be as balanced as possible in terms of bating, bowling and attacking fielding positions, and Gregory, Abell, the fielding of most of our bowlers and their lower order batting provide an excellent opportunity to put out a very balanced side.

Bowling should be as varied as possible and having Abell in the side makes it possible to have two spinners turning the ball different ways and whatever combination of pace fits the situation.

You should always play your best keeper in four-day cricket, especially if you have two class spinners. Maximum security behind the stumps raises bowler morale and cannot help opposition batsmen's morale.

Subject to the need to rotate bowlers, stability in a side, provided it is producing performance over time, enhances the way a team works and provides a secure setting for any new player who is needed to come in.

It is the last two that are keeping Banton out, but, should he come in at some point the last one will keep him in if he performs.

So, that is where I come from on selection and it is where anything I suggest comes from.

Other selection theories are available which is what makes selection such an endless, and ultimately unresolvable, point of discussion. And which helps make this fantasy cricket good fun when there is no real cricket to watch. And so I add my thanks to Grockle for thinking this up, but above all for keeping it going. Providing he promises he will not get to the end of match 12 or 13 and then lose the will ...


Farmer White
13/06/2020 16:46
Ah! Hadn't seen Grockle's post when I posted mine. However, I would stick to the principle in my post and simply bring in Rolef VDM for Leach. Bess is an attacking spinner and not always the most economical. Roleof can bowl a tight line and restrict scoring if needed.


13/06/2020 17:49
I think it comes down to Maharaj if he’s playing.My theory was that the tail just rolled over last year,but I suppose RVDM as he showed against Harmer last year that he could take Maharaj on as well.As long as we don’t win the Toss and bowl again

Somerset LaLaLa
13/06/2020 20:40
Sorry guys. No Leach. Out for at least another 3 weeks.

Oh Grockle.

With no Leach we can't risk just 4 main bowlers and need Bess plus vdM. Cove should also play.

I'm not sure whether Farmer agrees with my logic, but we end up with the same 5: Gregory, vdM, Bess, Cove and Jove.

13/06/2020 21:56

Farmer White
13/06/2020 23:11

I think we should always have five main bowlers, except just possibly on an April ultra-greentop (George Bartlett was a seventh batsman in the first match of 2019 v Kent and without his knock in the second innings we might well not have got over the line). And with Abell in the side we can afford the variety of a second spinner if we have one that fits the bill. I suggested VDM ahead of Brooks because, although he is not in Leach's league as a slow left arm spinner, he has taken wickets for us in red ball cricket, but crucially because he can bowl a tight line and give Abell some control if needed. To that extent I suspect our logic may be similar.

On the toss I am with Nelliec. I do not want to re-live last year. Even in fantasy!


Somerset LaLaLa
14/06/2020 08:11
Yes, the April 2019 game was the only time we played 4 main bowlers last season. The computer tends to throw out quite good pitch conditions, I don't think it's given the pitch inspectors much to do.

In order of date, we played the following combinations of spinners last year:

No spinners - 1
Leach - 6
Leach & Bess - 2
Bess - 1
Bess & vdM - 3
Leach, Bess & vdM - 1

Leach played 9, Bess 7, vdM 4

14/06/2020 11:31
So if you want vdM do you also want Banton coz that means dropping Davies or move him up the order


14/06/2020 11:39
Maybe we stick Far one more game but personally would swap Davies for Banton

Farmer White
14/06/2020 12:49
My thought was a simple replacement of Leach with vdM but as you say a lot of discussion so I may have miscalcukated somewhere along the way. My team would be:

van der Merwe
Craig O
Jamie O

Farmer (signature not 12th man!).

14/06/2020 12:57
Go with farmer Grockle and we can reassess the batting afterwards

14/06/2020 15:28
Personally I would certainly go with Davirs ref the gloves but Banton is sitting there in terms of batting potential going 'really'?

However, we have to be aware that we are viewing a 2019 engine with a 2020 perception of Tom's ability. He hasn't done the stuff we've seen in our reality in the Fantasyland


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:06:14:16:02:52 by Grockle.

14/06/2020 16:08
I've gone with only Cove coming in for Brooks.

Yorkshire are; Fraine, Lyth, Beauchamp, Root, Bairstow, K'Cadmore, Willey, Rashid, Maharaj, Pillans Coad

STRONG side.


14/06/2020 16:09
We've lost the toss and will bowl.


15/06/2020 15:13
Fraine Lyth and Root before lunch but Beauchamp is looking ominous and Bairstow is waiting in the wings. The wicket isn't giving much to the spinners yet but Rashid and Maharaj are waiting in the wings. 124 for 3 at lunch.


Somerset LaLaLa
15/06/2020 17:27
Early days, but we should as always wait to see how the Somerset first innings score compares.

Our only loss (against Essex) was following a spectacular second innings collapse 85/10.

The draw was when we let Surrey get too many first innings runs.

15/06/2020 18:07
261 for 5 at Tea with Bairstow over 50 (in 59 balls with 8 fours) and Willey not looking in too much trouble. Could be an over 400 run day. Depends on how many wickets we can get in the third session.


15/06/2020 19:13
397 for 8 at stumps with RvdM taking out Rashid 5 balls before the end of the day. Maharaj 51. Somerset will be chasing something around 400 to get to par.


16/06/2020 15:43
Pillans and Coad help Maharaj take the score beyond 400.... well beyond 400. Beyond 450 before they finally go. Big ask for the Somerset front end with a period before lunch and Notts introducing spinners early. We got very little from this pitch. Will Maharaj and Rashid get more?


16/06/2020 15:49
What we’d do for the extra batsman now

16/06/2020 16:47
Well 35 for 0 at lunch


Farmer White
16/06/2020 17:17
A test for the fantasy team. If the programme thinks like a human selection panel Yorkshire selecting two spinners suggests the pitch is expected to turn, or at least be flat. A crucial toss perhaps. If Somerset's fantasy team is to win the fantasy Championship it will need to show it can battle hard in adverse circumstances such as these. Keep calm and bat on.


Somerset LaLaLa
16/06/2020 19:54
We've scored over 300 first innings for most of our matches in this fantasy competition and got one of our strongest batting line-ups here

16/06/2020 20:51
150 for 3 at Tea. 3 LBWs to Maharaj!!


17/06/2020 14:42
Virtual reality stopped play Grockle. Hopefully in this fantasy world you'll have to restate the game and we win the toss (Sm128)

Somerset LaLaLa
17/06/2020 16:38
Well we avoided the follow-on, and 99 runs behind, as said in the match report it's great to have the Overtons as the last pair. Happy to take the draw, if only to deviate from the loss we suffered last year

17/06/2020 16:56
Not a bad tail S-L-L-L.Just need Gregory to fire with the bat again.

17/06/2020 20:29
Jamie is LBW for 43 at 372, a lead of 84 after a 10th wicket partnership of 76.

1 hour and 34 minutes before Tea. 3 wickets down before that for 81.

All out for 198 3 overs before the end of play.

3 for 0 at the end of the day. 274 on Day 4 or 10 wickets. Good game?

Bess 4, RvdM 3.... spin wins again.

Maharaj could win this game.......


Shepton Paul 2
18/06/2020 09:52
Good game! I fear we've bowled them out too quickly...

18/06/2020 11:04
Could be the case. It may be a 'hang on and hope' after Tea if we get that far.....

A Day is too long for 270 ish.

We will either win or lose this, the draw is pretty much gone.


Farmer White
18/06/2020 11:15

Has your computer not seen the weather? Can I suggest you put it outside until it calls the thing off because of the rain? That would at least keep the fantasy Championship alive as it would save Yorkshire from defeat.


18/06/2020 11:20
Not raining in the Yorkshire of Fantasyland it seems.


18/06/2020 13:11
And at 91 for 3 at lunch you have to say that Yorkshire are in the driving seat at the moment!! James and Tom hold the key!!


Farmer White
18/06/2020 13:20
And Gregory if he could reproduce one of those innings in which he took Maharaj apart, and last year drove him out of the attack.


Somerset LaLaLa
18/06/2020 13:32
Will you get the option later on to bat it out for the draw? Sky won't mind

18/06/2020 17:09
Well James nearly plays the innings to win it and then loses his wicket for 65 3 minutes before Tea to possibly lose it. 202 for 5 with Steve Davies on 44 and Lewis without a run. No one has gone on any distance from a 50 and the spinners keep getting bits of movement etc. 75 to win.......


18/06/2020 18:05
A couple of heart in mouth moments with Lewis going for 1 and then Dom Bess following him for the same score.

But Steve Davies stands and delivers with 91 and the partnership of RvdM

Somerset win by 3 wickets with 45 minutes to go. We are on top and away by about 40 points!!

Games win Championships I've been told. You have to beat the others to get the silver. We seem to be doing that.

Place for Tom Banton? It'll have to be up front somewhere I think.


18/06/2020 18:15
Great win and a superb effort by Davies.If Banton does get a run out then Ali maybe looking over his shoulder

Farmer White
18/06/2020 18:49
Never in doubt! Thank goodness it didn't rain ...

The first match to go against the 2019 results.


18/06/2020 19:42
I did not think we could hold out against the Yorkshire spin. The machine was using every aspect of its spin attack , changing ends, variation, alternation and then just trying to hammer away at the batsmen.

Some commendable scores that didn't fully get there. BUT there was a need for someone to take that 40 odd to 100-ish and Davies did that.

Good work by the spinners in the second innings as well to keep the score manageable


18/06/2020 19:52
Somerset on 193 points after 10 games. Yorkshire are on 165 points after 10 games Essex are on 135 points after 10 games

.... Bangladesh won the World Cup beating Pakistan in the Final!!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:06:18:19:57:03 by Grockle.

Somerset LaLaLa
19/06/2020 09:39
We're getting somewhere, great to see Hildreth and Davies back in the runs. Not dropping them methinks.

Need to get over the line though, how many points is the target? 245+ would be 2 wins and a draw. Not losing to Yorkshire at Taunton really important. And Kyle Abbott. Can Essex catch us? We've seen that before, but surely too late now

Somerset LaLaLa
19/06/2020 09:44
I think you said earlier Azhar would be leaving us before the end of the season and Vijay is coming. Any more info available on this? That may be the route back for Banton

19/06/2020 12:15
I have nothing at the moment except of course that the Championship only version I am playing has moved us into August so Leachy is available again for our next game against Warwickshire.

I think that also means that Bsnton, Abell and Byrom have had that white ball summer we all experienced and should be taken as more consummate players.

Also.... the 2020 version of the game has just arrived so we may have to do 2020 twice to see if we would do as well with the updated 2020 squad once this fantasy version is done.

"Endless" fun.

I can even run a fantasy version of the 💯!!


Farmer White
19/06/2020 12:30
Just a another note of thanks Grockle for taking the time and making the effort to persist with this. Fantasy it is, but fun it is too.


19/06/2020 12:45
Had we sort of stumbled about in mid table I'm not so sure I would have persisted but either a top of the table or relegation chase makes it interesting.

There are aspects of the engine that I am starting to become aware of now.

Batsmen are very threatened at the end of sessions. Doubly so if they are near a milestone.

Keepers give away a lot of boundary size leg byes

There seems to be an unusual number of caught and bowled decisions

It doesn't rain much

Other than that it seems to operate along expected lines with little aspects of games changing the outcomes, as with things like Steve Davies' form or George Bartlett taking to the number 3 spot.

One interesting thing that comes from a George Dobell article during this present season of heightened awareness is that it seems we signed the only (or one of only 2) black state educated county cricketers in the professional game at the start of the season - I feel glad that the only reason for this was Mike Carberry's extensive record as a cricketer and no other consideration at all.

I was totally unaware of this fact until I read the Cricinfo article later. It sill stuns me that this absence of 'home grown' black players is the case - though on reflection it doesn't surprise me. State education does very little to promote cricket at the best of times.


Shepton Paul 2
20/06/2020 11:25
Out of interest, if Carberry is one, who is the other?

I've mixed feelings about us winning the Fantasy CC, but thanks to Grockle for all the effort you're putting in.

20/06/2020 15:03
I'm not sure whether they were referring to Mike or not. Thst's why I said 2. Is MC still signed to soneone? Not sure if he retired at the end of 2019


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