Fighting hard

County Championship Division 1. Somerset v Surrey. 18th, 19th and 20th September 2018. Taunton. Final Day.

Somerset entered the third day of this match in a virtually hopeless situation. I was unable to attend until after Lunch but was able to follow most of the proceedings of the morning online. The question at the end of the second day had been whether Somerset would survive the third. Few I had spoken to expected the match to reach a fourth. Read More »

Somerset under the weather

County Championship Division 1. Somerset v Surrey. 18th, 19th and 20th September 2018. Taunton. Second Day.

I often fail to make the start of play if I have to complete one day’s post on the following morning. This was such a day. Surrey had threatened a gargantuan score at the end of the first day. Somerset pegged them back on the morning of the second. The question was how would Somerset bat against the Surrey attack that had swept all before it in 2018. Included in this report are some outline statistics about the strength of the Surrey attack.

Tom Banton made his First-Class debut in this match.

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Surrey on the road

County Championship Division 1. Somerset v Surrey. 18th, 19th and 20th September 2018. Taunton. First Day.

Surrey came to Taunton as County Champions on the back of nine successive Championship victories. In the away match at Guildford in June they had beaten Somerset by an innings. With that win they had overtaken Somerset at the top of the table and had remained there ever since. Surrey were undeniably the Championship team of the season.

The assessment of the pitch for the Lancashire match as being ‘below average’ and its implications for future pitch preparation was a repeated point of discussion among supporters and that is reflected in this post.

Lewis Gregory, injured in the previous match, was not available for this match.

Toss. Surrey. Elected to bat.

As someone said to me as I left my seat after the first day of this match it was like being transported back ten years to the days of the Taunton ‘roads’.Read More »

A stellar match

T20 South Group. Somerset v Surrey. 10th August 2018. Taunton.

Surrey, the auld enemy and a match fit for such an occasion. Both teams still had a very real opportunity of qualifying for the Quarter Finals and played as if they intended to get there.

Somerset won the toss and elected to field.

After a few days break from match report writing, it as been a long haul since April, time to catch up – here is the Surrey T20 report, drafted the day after the match. Polished a bit this evening:

Apparently NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will travel at speeds of up to 430,000 mph. Jamie Overton doesn’t bowl quite that fast but in his first over on Friday he bowled fast enough to remove two Surrey batsmen.Read More »


County Championship Division 1. Surrey v Somerset. 20th, 21st, and 22nd June 2018. Guildford. Final Day.

The overnight situation looked bleak for Somerset. They would have to bat the best part of five sessions to save the match. There was no prospect of them regaining the top spot in the Championship they had ceded to Surrey on the first day.

Overnight: Surrey 459. Somerset 180 and 18 for 0 (f/o). Somerset trail by 261 runs with 10second innings wickets standing. 

Another day of festival cricket and if it was the festival aspect you were going for it must have been a perfect day. Hot in the sun if that is what takes your fancy, a cool breeze in the shade if that is your preference and no prospect of rain. The day after the summer solstice so the sun was as high in the sky as it ever ventures in these parts. The clouds had spruced themselves up and were wearing their finest white. Widely spaced in formation and cotton wool in shape and form, they drifted gently by all day, providing a perfect canopy under which to play cricket.Read More »


County Championship Division 1. Surrey v Somerset. 20th, 21st, and 22nd June 2018. Guildford. Second Day.

Somerset’s decision to forgo a toss and insert Surrey had foundered. Surrey’s harvest of four bonus points to Somerset’s one on the first day had taken them above Somerset and to the top of the Championship table. Somerset had come to the second day with much catching up to do if they were to have any prospect of reversing those positions.

In the morning Surrey had taken their overnight score to 459 and Pope had scored a century. My report focuses on what followed. The last two sessions threatened to define Somerset’s Championship season.

Overnight: Surrey 351 for 5.

Sometimes you remember every detail of a calamitous or momentous event that happens in front of your eyes. Sometimes all you remember is a blurred flash. I can remember every ball of Alfonso Thomas’ momentous four in four. I can remember too much detail of Somerset’s calamitous collapse at Horsham a few years ago. The Ryan Patel spell of six wickets for five runs here falls into the blurred flash variety.Read More »

Pitch and Toss

County Championship Division 1. Surrey v Somerset. 20th, 21st, and 22nd June 2018. Guildford. First Day.

Somerset started their two match eastern tour at Guildford against Surrey who were in second place, just behind Somerset, in the Championship table.

Toss. Uncontested. Surrey required to bat.

Staying in East London for a match at Guildford was never the most sensible thing to do. But deciding late to make the trip made it by some way the most economic. The commuting days of my exile came flooding back as I made to board a train into London. Me and, literally, a full platform of others, they off to work, me off to the cricket.Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Surrey ~ Final day ~ A fighting defeat

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. The Oval. 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd September 2017. Surrey v Somerset.

Overnight. Somerset 269 and 113-4. Surrey 433. Somerset trail by 51 runs with 6 second inningswickets standing.

22nd September 2017. Final Day.

Farmer White (IP Logged) 24 September 2017 12.58 p.m.

“It was a fitting end to Kumar Sangakkara’s last innings at The Oval as Surrey closed in on victory. It would have been a fitting end to his first-class career had it taken place during his final match, at Old Trafford next week. Here, he drove a ball from Dom Bess so perfectly straight and with such tremendous ferocity that Umpire Ian Gould took evasive action by tumbling flat onto his back like an upended stump. It was not Gould’s speed of reaction which saved him, but the lightning fast reaction and sureness of hand of Dom Bess who, it seemed impossibly, caught the ball. Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Surrey ~ Third day ~ Match in tatters

Close. Somerset 269. Surrey 328-6. Surrey lead by 59 runs with 4 first innings wickets standing.

21st September. Third Day -Match in tatters

Farmer White (IP Logged) 22 September 2017 8.26 a.m.
“The relegation tide rose around Somerset on the third day of this match. Middlesex won at Lord’s and Yorkshire are closing in on Warwickshire at Headingley, although making some heavy weather of it. Somerset are losing against Surrey, and will need an extended effort from their remaining six wickets on the last day against a rampant Surrey to salvage the five points which come with a draw. It will require their best batting of the match, the first morning apart. Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Surrey ~ Second day ~ Sangakkara

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. The Oval. 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd September 2017. Surrey v Somerset. 

Overnight. Somerset 269. Surrey 42-0. Surrey trail by 227 runs with all first innings wickets standing.     

20th September. Second Day – Sangakkara

Farmer White (IP Logged) 21 September 2017 8.40 a.m.
“The real world sometimes impinges on a day at the cricket. It did, briefly, today as I neared The Oval on the tube for the second day’s play. “Is this anyone’s bag?” someone shouted from next to one of the doors in my carriage. It wasn’t. At least it didn’t belong to anyone still on the train. People started to gravitate towards the two ends of the carriage. There was nothing remotely approximating to panic, just a calm though visibly anxious quiet on people’s faces. The bag looked so innocuous as it rested there, now quite alone. At the same time it looked numbingly fearsome as the implications of what it could be began to sink in.
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County Championship 2017 ~ Surrey ~ First day ~ Swimming against the tide

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. The Oval. 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd September 2017. Surrey v Somerset. 

With one point covering three teams the second relegation slot was most likely to fall to Middlesex, Somerset or Yorkshire. although it was still possible that Hampshire or Surrey, a further 11 and 13 points ahead of Yorkshire, might just come into the frame, especially if Surrey lost to Somerset, Middlesex beat Lancashire at Lord’s and Warwickshire beat Yorkshire at Headingley. 

19th September. First Day – Swimming against the tide

Farmer White (IP Logged) 20 September 2017 8.50 a.m.

“Somerset may just be running out of road in their late season charge to stay in the First Division. After two stunning victories against teams at the bottom and near the top of the table they may find themselves swimming against a powerful tide on the second day at The Oval. At least that is how it was starting to feel at the close of the first day from my perch in the Peter May Stand. I sat for most of the day on a line exactly square of the Pavilion End stumps. Hardly a position from which to judge if the ball was moving but during the eighty or so minutes after lunch Rikki Clarke looked as if he had the ball on a string. Five wickets fell in the space of 35 runs, all to moving ball type dismissals; and there were many more balls which were played at and missed. It was a devastating piece of bowling which left Somerset’s First Division survival hopes hanging by a thread. Read More »

County Championship 2017 ~ Hard pounding ~ Surrey


~   SURREY   ~ 

“The Quantocks had given up the unequal struggle and the cloud had enveloped the ground as much as the applause. But what memories remain of that golden miraculous afternoon.” 

Specsavers County Championship. First Division. Taunton. 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th August 2017. Somerset v Surrey.

The Championship resumed for one round of matches the day after the T20 match against Surrey who remained at Taunton for the four-day game. The question was could Somerset build any momentum after the stunning and unexpected win at Scarborough a month previously. Tom Abell returned to the captaincy after a few unsuccessful appearances in the T20 competition. Lewis Gregory, after his spectacular foray into captaincy at Scarborough, was now finally unable to play for the remainder of the season following surgery on a longstanding back injury.

 7th August. First Day.

Farmer White (IP Logged) 8 August 2017 at 8.42 a.m.

“Perhaps the most important thing I saw yesterday were four primary school age children playing cricket in the car park and another still carrying a pair of inflatable batons from the previous day’s T20 so he at least had been brought to both games. I saw five others, or perhaps the same five, waiting for autographs by the Caddyshack only to all set off like a flock of Cooper Associates County Ground seagulls, in hot pursuit of Steven Davies’ six, presumably for the honour of throwing it back. They were foiled because it fell at the foot of the out of bounds, for this match, temporary stand. There were four or five children of a similar age in the top deck of the Somerset Pavilion from where I viewed today. Hopefully from small beginnings children at Championship matches in numbers will return perhaps gradually drawn in by T20 where they proliferate. Read More »

Another Somerset miracle against Surrey

NatWest T20 Blast. Taunton. 6th August 2017. Somerset v Surrey

“Another full house, although as always with full houses there were groups of empty seats visible in the Trescothick and Somerset Stands. The lower deck of the Somerset Pavilion was tight packed, mainly with County Championship age members including, for a change in this form of cricket, me. The family stand bristled with furry headbands and inflatable batons and the temporary stand was pretty well full. I had time to count another 42 watching from the flats including a good impersonation of a row of parrots on a perch at the front of the roof terrace. It was a crowd that buzzed in anticipation of another classic game. I am not sure it was a classic but it certainly held the attention and as far as I could see no-one left.
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Corey Anderson’s Somerset spectacular – The Oval 2017

I wrote match reports on a number of Somerset’s T20 matches in 2017. The first was at The Oval with references to Beau Nash, Henry Fielding, cricket at Hambledon. The occasion was spectacular, so was the match and Corey Anderson, in his first match for Somerset, played as spectacular a T20 innings as anyone is ever likely to see.

NatWest T20 Blast. The Oval. 9th July 2017. Surrey v Somerset.

I watched this match from square of the wicket in the Peter May Stand at The Kia Oval.

Farmer White (IP Logged) 10 July 2017 11.27 p.m.

“As my London bound coach turned on to the M4, the modern usurper of the old Great West Road from London to Bath, I read Henry Fielding’s ‘Tom Jones’, forerunner of the modern novel. It was written in the age of ‘Beau’ Nash when Bath was being turned into one of the premier summer retreats of London ‘society’ and just before Hambledon flourished as England’s premier cricket club and started the process of regularising cricket’s rules. Read More »

Somerset in the Royal London One Day Cup 2017 – Part 1

This post contains the ‘Farmer White’ match reports on three of the first four 2017 Royal London One Day Cup group-stage matches. There is also a preview of one of the matches and some additional information to set the context of matches. All reports were written at the time. The time and date of the original posting on is contained at the head of each report.



“Fifty over cricket is not for the fainthearted.” 

In 2017 the Royal London One-Day Cup (RLODC) group stages were played in a three-week block beginning at the end of April. During the course of the competition there was much discussion among supporters about the length which Somerset’s bowlers bowled, particularly about short-pitched bowling, and some reflection of that can be seen in my posts.Read More »