Four days tied up in two

County Championship Division 1. Somerset v Lancashire. 4th and 5th Sept 2018. Taunton. Final Day.

The match ended on the second day. Wickets continued to fall as batsmen continued to struggle particularly against the slow left arm spin of Leach and Maharaj as Somerset tried to hold back a Lancashire resurgance.

Overnight: Lancashire 99 and 7 for 2. Somerset 192. Lancashire need a further 86 runs to avoid an innings defeat with 8 second innings wickets standing.

Well, here I am on what should have been the third day of the match writing a report on a second day that had all the feel of a fourth day. In the immediate aftermath of the match it felt, to me at least, that we had been through four days in getting to the end of the second such had been the manic intensity of the cricket.Read More »

22 wickets and 298 runs in Stygian gloom

County Championship Division 1. Somerset v Lancashire. 4th and 5th Sept 2018. Taunton.   First Day.

22 wickets fell on the first day of this match, 13 to spin and nine to seam. The ball turned before Lunch immediately raising the spectre of a pitch inspection. Lancashire opted to toss, won it and elected to bat. Somerset immediately put them under pressure and sustained the pressure through the day although not without facing significant pressure of their own from the Lancashire bowlers.

My report, in addition to covering the cricket and the watching of it, considered some of the issues surrounding pitches, spin bowling and how modern batsmen play spinners.Read More »

Horatius at the bridge

County Championship Division 1. Lancashire v Somerset. 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th May 2018. Old Trafford. Final Day.

I was late posting this report. I had made the trip back to the West Country via London and had taken in an art study day on the way. ‘The Thames in Art’ for the record. Monet, Whistler et al. My arrival in London was too late for me to write my report there because the final day of the match went its full length. And what a final day it was.
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Lancashire advance. Abell rebels.

County Championship Division 1. Lancashire v Somerset. 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th May 2018. Old Trafford. Third Day.

Somerset’s excellent start to the season had received its first serious check on the second day of this match when Lancashire batted themselves into a position which threatened superiority. For Somerset’s bowlers, who had been dominant in the previous match against Yorkshire, there was some serious work to do. Read More »

The balance shifts

County Championship Division 1. Lancashire v Somerset. 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th May 2018. Old Trafford. Second Day.

Somerset entered the second day of this match with a solid base but with still some way to go if they were to control the match.  

Overnight: Somerset 321 for 5.

By the end of the day I was recalling Marcus Trescothick’s adage from the early days of his captaincy that at Taunton you needed to bat last to win the match. I wondered if that applied to Old Trafford in this match for by the end of the day the prospects of Somerset taking another wicket seemed to be setting with the sun.Read More »

A giant falls

County Championship Division 1. Lancashire v Somerset. 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th May 2018. Old Trafford. First Day.

For the first time since 1993 Somerset had won their first two Championship matches of the season. After years of poor starts to the season it was with an unaccustomed glow that Somerset’s band of travelling supporters headed north to Old Trafford. 

Toss. Somerset. Elected to bat.

The shot Trescothick played to Parkinson looked oddly jerky, the ball bouncing awkwardly to mid on. The jerkiness perhaps explained by the fact that by the time the ball reached mid on Trescothick was on his knees.Read More »

County Championship 2017 – Must Win – Match Preview

MUST WIN 

~   LANCASHIRE   ~ 

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th September 2017. Somerset v Lancashire – Match Preview.

Whilst Somerset, 13 points into the relegation zone, were fighting to sustain their chances of First Division survival Lancashire came to Taunton with a slim, if unlikely, chance of overhauling Essex to win the Championship. They were 36 points behind in second place with three games to play. They would need to beat Somerset and almost certainly win their last two games to have any chance of becoming champions. Effectively this was a ‘must win’ match for both sides.

Somerset and Lancashire had previous history where Championships were concerned. The match preview I posted follows …Read More »

County Championship 2017~ Lancashire ~ Final day ~ Craig Overton stands tall

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th September 2017. Somerset v Lancashire.

Overnight. Somerset 335. Lancashire 133 and 247-8 (f/o). Lancashire lead by 45 runs with two second innings standing.

15th September 2017. Final Day.

Farmer White (IP Logged) 15 September 2017 11.07 p.m.
“Craig Overton stood just a little taller at the end of the Lancashire innings. The second match in succession in which he has taken wickets on a pitch favouring spinners. I was an over late to the ground. It was a good time to arrive. The first thing I saw was Jarvis’s off stump cartwheeling out of the ground propelled by a thunderbolt from Overton. I had not long sat down back at the top of the Somerset Pavilion when he speared one in at Bailey’s toes. Bailey could neither get his bat down nor his feet out of the way in time so lbw it was. It was like the days before they taught tail enders to bat a bit and in particular how to keep the pace bowler out. Somerset have a bowler who can bowl fast enough and straight enough on his day to shoot out a tail.
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County Championship 2017 ~ Lancashire ~ Third day ~ Battle of wills

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th September 2017. Somerset v Lancashire.

Overnight. Somerset 335 (SM Davies 111, TB Abell 46, MW Parkinson 4-68, TE Bailey 3-40). Lancashire 133 (SJ Croft 41, MJ Leach 5-47) and 28-0 (f/o). 

14th September. Third Day.

Farmer White (IP Logged) 15 September 2017 8.31 a.m.
“Umpire Nick Cook was seen looking expectantly at the sky beyond the Trescothick Stand where the weather was coming from on this third day as a brief smattering of rain swept the ground. Groans. Then the deep rising roar of an approaching Spitfire filled the air and most eyes were on the sky. It curled away behind the flats having taken another peek at the cricket. You watch cricket at what is now the Cooper Associates County Ground for sixty seasons and never see a Spitfire, and then two come along in the same match. May it presage two five wicket hauls in the same match for Jack Leach.
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County Championship 2017 – Lancashire – First day – Battle Royal

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th September 2017. Somerset v Lancashire.

Toss. Uncontested. Somerset required to bat.

12th September. First Day – Battle royal

Farmer White (IP Logged) 13 September 2017 7.49 a.m.
“I know they start Championship matches at 10.30 in September. They have for years. Unfortunately, that was not at the forefront of my mind when at the beginning of July I arranged an important appointment for 9.00 a.m. on the first day of this match. And so it was, with another delay on the way to the ground, I arrived at the ground three quarters of an hour after the start. I was not as desperately anxious as I might have been because I caught a glance at the scoreboard as I came over Priory Bridge Road and into the town for a car park. I could see a ‘0’ in the wickets column and the name ‘Trescothick’ as one of the batsmen. It is amazing what relief a name and a digit can bring to the overanxious mind.Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Lancashire ~ Second day ~ Somerset rampant

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th September 2017. Somerset v Lancashire.

Overnight. Somerset 330-9.    

“No appointments today so it was straight to my perch at the windy end of the top of the Somerset Pavilion. Although from the gale that swept the Terrace all day I imagine those at that end of the seating would contest my claim. I was there for the start to see Jack Leach cut McClaren beautifully to the Caddick Pavilion and then, in the next over apparently almost literally hold his bat out horizontally to dry only for the ball to fly up off the top edge and Somerset were all out for 335.

Lancashire needed 186 to avoid the follow on. 186 all out is the first cricket score I can remember with certainty. For that reason and perhaps because of what followed on from it the events surrounding it always reappear in my mind when the number 186 comes up in a match. Given what did follow it I hope it has no resonance for this match.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 »