Pink ball blues

The introduction to this report was written during the winter of 2017/18. It remains as it was written then. Things have moved on in relation to pink ball cricket, but the issue of Championship crowds, except in a few counties like Somerset, has not. This post includes an attempt at a light-hearted poem on cricket, at least from the batsman’s viewpoint, played with a pink ball. 

PINK BALL BLUES 

~   HAMPSHIRE   ~ 

“It was a perfect afternoon’s cricket in the middle of a lovely summer evening.” 

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Southampton. 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th June 2017. Hampshire v Somerset.Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ So Close

SO CLOSE 

~   YORKSHIRE   ~ 

“Yorkshire eyes perked up although the couple in front of me could not bear to applaud. Too tense. Too close. Somerset faces looked at each other. So close and yet now a little further away.”

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th June 2017. Somerset v Yorkshire.

In this match Adam Hose replaced Peter Trego. This was the first sign that the guard might be changing in the Championship batting line up.

9th June. First Day.

Farmer White (IP Logged) 10 June 2017 8.30 a.m.

“Isn’t it time Ryan Sidebottom retired?” said the incoming text just before the close after he had taken three Somerset wickets in his first five overs. And that after he had batted 18 overs to help add 31 for the last Yorkshire wicket with more ease than virtually any of the Yorkshire batsmen had shown. He is a remarkable player. Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Signs of revival

Somerset’s fifth County Championship match of the 2017 season after three defeats and a desperate draw. For the first time in 2017, Somerset got the better of a Championship match, although the first victory of the season remained elusive. Lewis Gregory made a stunning maiden first-class century and was inolved in a huge partnership with Dean Elgar who made 158. The debate about the fragility of the Somerset batting continues. The reports starts with a match preview which looks back at a fighting Somerset draw at Lord’s in 2013.

The match report itself includes a description of what it was like to be in London during the first London Bridge terrorist attack which took place during the course of this match.

As always the original reports are in a darker font and begin and end with quotation marks.

SIGNS OF REVIVAL 

~   MIDDLESEX   ~ 

“As to my weekend in London the Saturday night and London’s response to it will leave a mark long after the match…has merged in with memories of many other matches.” 

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Lord’s. 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th June 2017. Middlesex v Somerset. Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Nadir

NADIR 

~   HAMPSHIRE   ~ 

“The difference in the way Somerset and Hampshire batted in their second innings was stark and telling.” 

Somerset’s dismal start to the 2017 Championship season continued with a third defeat in the first four matches. The cricket is described, but the reports also reflect the lively debate among supporters about the reasons for the slump and thoughts about the possible reasons. Different times to some of the heights of 2018 and 2019, and a different type of report.

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 26th, 27th and 28th May 2017. Somerset v Hampshire. Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Narrow escape

NARROW ESCAPE 

~   WARWICKSHIRE   ~ 

“It is therefore possible that Somerset may be operating in a perfect cricketing storm this year.” 

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 19th,20th,21st and 22nd May 2017. Somerset v Warwickshire.

The Championship to Date.

Just before the start of the next Championship match against Warwickshire I reviewed Somerset’s poor start to the Championship season in April which had brought much criticism from supporters. In fact, all the posts on this match were written in the context of and in part were a response to the growing sense of alarm among supporters at the direction the season, especially the Championship season and particularly the Championship batting, was taking.Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Reality affirmed

This is the third in the series of 2017 season ‘Farmer White’ Match reports reproduced here from the reports posted on grockles.com at the time. I did not attend the second match of the season, against Lancashire at Old Trafford. Instead, I listened to the online commentary whilst constructing a patio in my garden. I wrote ‘reports’ on what I had heard after the first and second days of the match. Laying a patio is heavy, precise work and I worked until the light went late in the evening. As a consequence, I did not write reports on the third and fourth days. The reports I did write were ‘offbeat’, the second in particular. The reports themselves appear between quotation marks and in a slightly darker font to differentiate them from the contextual information added in the winter of 2017/18. 

REALITY AFFIRMED

~   LANCASHIRE   ~ 

“The Championship season now looked a very different prospect than it had at the start of the season.” 

Specsavers County Championship First Division. Old Trafford. 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th April 2017. Lancashire v Somerset. Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Championship reality

This is the second in the series of ‘Farmer White’ reports from Somerset’s 2017 season. The originals appeared on grockles.com immediately after the cricket was played. and are reproduced here with additional information which sets the context of the match. The original reports are contained within quotation marks, appear in a slightly darker font and are headed by the grockles.com post header which gives the time of the original posting of the report. I was unable to attend the final (third) day of the match due to travelling to London for a quinquennial event. There is a brief resumé of the day after the reports on the first two days. The reports start with a brief season preview. The lesson to be learned from the preview – predictions are for soothsayers and not for humble cricket-watchers. 

CHAMPIONSHIP REALITY 

~   ESSEX   ~ 

“And so, in the end, yesterday was more cold water than warm glow and the breeze from beyond the Trescothick Stand … was chill to the bone.”

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 14th, 15th and 16th April 2017. Somerset v Essex. Read More »