Of friends and Somerset reviving

County Championship Division 1. Yorkshire v Somerset. 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th July 2019. Headingley.

Overnight. Yorkshire 520. Somerset 76 for 4. Somerset trail Yorkshire by 444 runs with six first innings wickets standing.

Third day. 15th July – Of friends and signs of Somerset reviving

My friend from the days of May and Trueman, Alley and Wight came to the cricket again. No problems with his bus this time. Apparently, it was as reliable as a Bill Alley over and he arrived for the start as perfectly as a Bill Alley ball would have arrived on a length. My bus was a different matter. My habitual, report delayed departure, was further delayed as my bus waited obstinately at the stop for three minutes for the timetable to catch up with it. Three minutes is an age as interminable as thirty minutes in the dentist’s chair when Somerset are trying to save a game with the Championship potentially on the line. And the journey can take as long as having the nerve removed from your root canal if the bus decides to make acquaintance with every red traffic light in Leeds as well as pick up every member of the population it can find.Read More »

A numbing experience

County Championship Division 1. Yorkshire v Somerset. 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th July 2019. Headingley.

Overnight. Yorkshire 282 for 3.

Second day. 14th July – A numbing esperience

The disappointment was there to see in the face of every Somerset supporter I saw as I left the ground. It was more than the looks you see after the normal sort of ‘bad day at the office’ cricket. There was a deeper look, one almost of shock. No-one said a word, other than by the look they gave. And every last one gave the same look. For this day had the feeling not just of a heavy defeat pending but of the Championship on the turn. Not only had Somerset fallen far behind Yorkshire but Essex had forged well ahead of a Warwickshire side with batting weakened by England Lions calls and which will have to face the spin of Harmer in the fourth innings. If Somerset lose, which is where the neutral money will be, and Essex win, which they have in every other match this season at Chelmsford Somerset will fall into second place in the table for the first time since the first match of the season. Essex have had the wind in their sails since they beat Somerset at Chelmsford and Somerset have steered themselves into the choppiest of waters in this match since they set the wrong course when they did not contest the toss.Read More »

A day of ennui and oak trees

County Championship Division 1. Yorkshire v Somerset. 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th July 2019. Headingley.

Somerset. T.B. Abell (c), Azhar Ali, J.C. Hildreth, T. Banton, G.A. Bartlett, S.M. Davies (w), D.M. Bess, C. Overton, J. Overton, T.D. Groenewald, J.A. Brooks.

Yorkshire. A. Lyth. W.A.R. Fraine, G.S. Balance, T. Kohler-Cadmore,, J. Shaw, H.C. Brook, J.A. Tattersal (w), M.D. Fisher, K.A. Maharaj, S.A. Patterson (c), D. Olivier. 

Jack Leach and Lewis Gregory were not available for selection for this match having been selected to play for the England Lions at Canterbury.

Toss. Uncontested. Yorkshire required to bat.

First day. 13th July – A day of ennui and oak trees

At the Oval, if you sit in the Peter May Stand, the aircraft slide in over your left shoulder and cross the pitch in a line from long on to backward point as they find their way to Heathrow. At Headingley, if you sit in the Fred Trueman Enclosure, they come towards you over second slip and long-on, as they descend towards Leeds-Bradford Airport. I imagine they would have kept to the same course had Trueman bowled to May here more than 60 years ago now although the airport would have been known as Yeadon in those days. Had they played on the pitch used for this match I imagine May would have blessed the day and Trueman would have had words of another variety. From my seat in the Trueman enclosure, beyond a straight long-on, and directly under the approaching aircraft the ball seemed to be going through on a line as straight as the flightpath which the aircraft followed and with bounce as even as their smooth computer-directed descent.Read More »

Yorkshire outpaced

County Championship Division 1. Yorkshire v Somerset. 29th, 30th 31st August and 1st September 2018. Headingley. Final Day.

Somerset started the last day needing eight wickets to defeat Yorkshire. Yorkshire needed an unlikely 411 further runs if they were to win. The first three innings of the match had all topped 300. It was by no means certain the pitch, on which 1066 runs had been scored in three days, would yield up those eight wickets. My report was delayed because I returned to Somerset via a brief sojourn in London.

Overnight: Somerset 399 and 339 for 7 dec. Yorkshire 320 and 8 for 2. Yorkshire need a further 411 runs to win with 8 wickets standing.

And now, back in Somerset after a circuitous return from Leeds, here is my final day report from Headingley…Read More »

Perfect day

County Championship Division 1. Yorkshire v Somerset. 29th, 30th 31st August and 1st September 2018. Headingley. Third Day.

The third day started with Surrey having a real prospect of an innings defeat over Nottinghamshire. Somerset needed to defeat Yorkshire to retain even a slim chance of overhauling Surrey in the Championship. They held the advantage after the second day but not to the extent that Surrey did over Nottinghamshire. It was crucial they move from being ahead in the game to stamping their authority on the match.

Overnight: Somerset 399. Yorkshire 292 for 7. Yorkshire trail Somerset by 107 runs with 3 first innings wickets standing.

The text read, “Perfect Day?” Well, it probably was.Read More »

Not too bad a day

County Championship Division 1. Yorkshire v Somerset. 29th, 30th 31st August and 1st September 2018. Headingley. Second Day.

Yorkshire had come into this match with relegation a possibility. Yorkshire supporters’ thoughts therefore were almost as much on the Worcestershire v Lancashire relegation battle as on this match. Somerset supporters had half an eye on the Surrey v Nottinghamshire game in the hope that Nottinghamshire might halt the Surrey juggernaut. Somerset came into the second day of the game with what appeared to be a clear advantage although the prospect of either side taking 20 wickets was far from certain. The running commentary from the Yorkshire crowd continued unabated…

Overnight: Somerset 374 for 8.Read More »

Cavalcade

County Championship Division 1. Yorkshire v Somerset. 29th, 30th, 31st August and 1st September 2018. Headingley. First Day.

Somerset arrived at Headingley doggedly hanging onto Surrey’s coat tails in the race for the Championship. A good start was essential.

Somerset won the toss and elected to bat.

I arrived at Headingley just after Lunch. As I reached the East Stand, square of the wicket, the first thing I saw was Hildreth edging Shaw past slip for four.Read More »

Disciplined, determined, dominant.

County Championship Division 1. Somerset v Yorkshire. 28th, 29th and 30th April 2018. Taunton. Final Day.

Somerset had worked themselves into a powerful position over the first two days of this match and the weather forecast for the final day had cleared. Even so Yorkshire had fought hard to keep themselves in with a chance with a solid performance in bitter conditions on the second evening.

Overnight: Somerset 216 and 200. Yorkshire 96 and 49 for 1. Yorkshire need 272 more runs to win with 9 second innings wickets standing.

If this match could be summed up in a millisecond Tim Groenewald’s catch to dismiss Jack Brooks on the last afternoon would serve perfectly.Read More »

Somerset’s Arctic expedition

County Championship Division 1. Somerset v Yorkshire. 28th, 29th and 30th April 2018. Taunton. Third Day.

Somerset started the day in a strong position. However with rain in the forecast, a seam friendly pitch perhaps liable to ease, Yorkshire having last use of it and the first day having been lost to rain the team would have to retain is focus if victory was to be achieved.

Overnight: Somerset 216 and 6 for 0. Yorkshire 96. Somerset lead by 126 runs with 10 second innings wickets standing.

There was a chill wind at the Cooper Associates County Ground today that put yesterday’s depredations in the shade. It was so cold in the breeze that if the only habitat of the arctic tern were the top of the Somerset Pavilion the species would now be extinct. It wasn’t the wind that blew the stumps over though. It was the bowling.Read More »

A century for lunch

County Championship Division 1. Somerset v Yorkshire. 28th, 29th and 30th April 2018. Taunton. Second Day.

This match was due to start on 27th April but the entire first day was lost to rain. Somerset came into this, their second match, having won their first match of the season against Worcestershire. They were looking to consolidate their good start to the season after half a decade of poor starts.

Toss uncontested. Somerset required to bat.

As I conducted my customary circumnavigation of the ground in the Lunch interval someone said to me, “You are going to have to find some new words to describe that.” He meant Matthew Renshaw’s innings of course. Had we met at the end of the day he might have said the same about the whole day’s cricket, Somerset’s performance in particular.Read More »