Hard going

County Championship Division 1. Essex v Somerset. 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th June 2018. Chelmsford. Second Day.

For the second match in succession Somerset entered the second day with their opponents threatening to build a commanding score. Like Surrey, Essex were among the stronger teams in the Championship having won the title the previous year. 

Overnight: Essex 298 for 4. 

For the second day in succession there was not a cloud in the sky. The sun bore down, if not with quite the intensity of the first day, with enough intent for me to seek from the start the sanctuary of the lower level of the Tom Pearce Stand. The crowd was, if anything, smaller than on the first day and it concentrated itself in the shaded areas and on the Pavilion Terrace which falls into the shade around the ‘Lunch’ interval. One stand which faces as directly into the sun as the Colin Atkinson Pavilion at Taunton was as sparsely populated as the Somerset Stand on an April evening.Read More »

A sterling effort

County Championship Division 1. Essex v Somerset. 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th June 2018. Chelmsford. First Day.

Somerset came to Chelmsford to face the County Champions having just been heavily defeated by Surrey at Guildford. As a consequence of that defeat Surrey had replaced Somerset at the top of the Championship table. 

This match was played with a pink ball, under lights when the light faded, with a 2.00 p.m. start. 

Jamie Overton returned to the Somerset team after injury for the first time in a year.Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Reality again ~ Essex


~   ESSEX   ~ .

 “Chelmsford is not a pretty ground and it looks faintly, if charmingly, decrepit. Not the sort of place you expect to meet a cricketing steamroller breathing fire. But for those who would like their cricket to be played in the aura of the 1950s it is the place to go.” 

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Chelmsford. 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st August 2017. Essex v Somerset. 

Essex had dominated the Championship table from early in the season and by the time of this match were powering towards their first Championship for a quarter of a century. It was a remarkable performance for a team which had only been promoted at the end of the previous season and had only spent three seasons in the First Division since the Championship split into two divisions in 2000. They became the first team to win the First Division in the year following promotion. I travelled to watch this match in the midst of the land of my exile. A long way from home I wrote a ‘whole match’ post after I had returned to Somerset.

Farmer White (IP Logged) 4 September 2017 10.44 p.m.

“Here is my very belated post on the Essex match for anyone not at the match and still interested. Other things to do and defeats are harder to write about than victories, at least for me. I have tried to weave in some thoughts on what I saw as a key reason for this particular defeat. I have written of this match simply as I saw it. As a battle of wills as much as a battle of skills.            Read More »

Somerset in the Royal London One Day Cup 2017 – Part 2

This post contains the ‘Farmer White’ match reports on the final three of Somerset’s 2017 Royal London One Day Cup group-stage matches.

The fourth, against Middlesex, was washed out by biblical quantities of rain. In place of the report which might have been written, had it taken place, is a look back to the Gillette Cup semi-final of 1977 between Middlesex and Somerset, also at Lord’s. It too was rained off on five seperate days, before being settled in a 15 over “farce”, at least that was the view of Brian Close in his final season as captain of Somerset.

On the night before the first day on which the match was scheduled to take place, Elvis Presley died, an event which impinged on the day and which found its place in my report.

The matches include contest with Gloucestershire at Bristol, a consummate Somerset victory, in which Adam Hose made his mark with a stunning century which took the breath away.

The post ends with a couple of light-hearted ‘poems’ triggered by the prospect and the consequences of the rain.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. 


~   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 »