Snuffles from Somerset

Somerset La La La, Somerset La La La.

Sun, Sea and Somerset will be where I take a somewhat lighter (hopefully anyway, depending on the result) look at my county Somerset as we go through the wet, windy and hopefully sometimes sunny County Cricket season.

I’m not your typical southerner, although there is nothing I love more than the occasional pint of cider or two (or three) while watching the cricket. And with recent seasons going the way they’ve gone, I’ve certainly needed pints at regular intervals. Add to that the abysmal showing from England in the Ashes against the sandpaper loving, ball tampering Aussies and I’ve basically become a full time alcoholic.

Anyway I’ll stop with the rambling.

Somerset hosted Worcestershire in the first game of our County Championship season on Friday the 20th April. Six teams got underway the week before and after seeing the scorecards and the green top surfaces I’m glad we had a week to prepare ourselves for the impending doom. Just a quick point before I move on, I think it’s important to note that it’s appalling how the ECB makes us play four day cricket in the worst times of the season, shafting it to have the shorter formats at the peak cricketing times, mostly leaving us with rained off, bad light affected matches meaning we most likely don’t have a true reflection of a league table.

Anyway, with Worcestershire opting to bowl the oh so faithful Tres and Eddie Byrom took their guards and stepped up to bat. Different to the usual Taunton pitch of late, there was a significant amount of green on the top with conditions looking to favour the pace bowlers rather than spin (a sign of things to come as Leachy claims a MotM performance – not).

We went about our way in typical fashion, 7-2 after only 6.3 overs, Tres getting caught on the stumps by Magoffin for LBW while Eddie nicked off to Joe Leach.

Already thinking about that first pint and it’s not even 11:30 am.

A bit of stability followed as Hilly made a decent 48 from 65 balls with inevitable MotM Ed Barnard getting him as his first brace of the season. That made it 99-3, 26.3 overs into the first innings of the day of our County Championship season.

It didn’t get much better than that I’m afraid as Barnard starred in taking 5-52 in 16 overs, the most notable first innings performance from Somerset was our suspected ball tampering friend (wink wink because he’s an Aussie, they’re never going to live this down are they) Matt Renshaw with a magnificent 101* not out.

Somerset finished on 202 (later changed to 198) all out from 56 overs. Not the best but far from the worst, let’s all laugh at Durham.

A successful bowling performance from each bowler put Somerset in a decent position; Gregs, C. Overton and Davey all taking multiple wickets. Barnard continued his motm performance striking a snappy 50. Worcestershire ended on 179 all out trailing by 19 runs.

Hilly For England?

It’s never to late to play for your country. All you have to do is look at former Somerset player Chris Rogers and also Adam Vogues who both had opportunities for Australia later on in their careers.

Well I’m here to plead with the England selectors to please get the always reliable James ‘Hilly’ Hildreth into the setup. And let’s be fair it’s not like England’s middle order is a shining light right now is it?

I’m saying this as Hildreth was the shining light in our 2nd innings when he scored 111* not out. Tres even contributed scoring 43 before being caught behind. I just have to mention Barnard again who took a stunning 6-37 leaving his side requiring 274 in the 4th and final innings.

Fair play for the Somerset bowlers in the final innings, we never let Worcestershire have any sort of leeway taking wickets consistently throughout. 4-1, 16-2, 25-3, 55-4, 63-5, 85-6 and so on.

Mentioning Barnard again, he had to battle the last session with the tail end and he made it very tricky work for Somerset (we usually make anything hard at the best of times). He contributed 45* not out as everyone fell around him.

At last, after three days of County Championship, with Worcestershire being 190-9, Jack Leach bowled his first over of the game. Nothing magical, he got hit for eight in his first over of the ten balls he bowled (don’t ever put the words ten and balls in the same sentence after the ECB’s recent announcement, if you know; you know).

The game ended with the run out of Magoffin; Somerset win by 79 runs.

Wow we did it, we actually got some points on the board, I’m actually starting to be optimistic about the upcoming season. No doubt things will unravel when Somerset face Yorkshire next Friday, but anyway let’s hope the Southerners shine.

Somerset La La La, Somerset La La La