Most people who know me know I live and breathe Somerset cricket. That I bleed maroon and black and have done from an early age. But occasionally, just occasionally, I have days like yesterday where it is all too much.
By the time I caught up with what was happening at Southampton Somerset were in the midst of their post-lunch collapse. And while I could see that Worcestershire were putting up a fight against Surrey at New Road but pretty much every other game was going the same way, it was almost as if I ignored it, it would go away.
That feeling of almost apathy lasted until the last hour when I was able to catch up with the commentary and enjoy the bowler inspired fightback. This morning, I’m pleased to say all that had gone and I was looking forward to play starting.
Sadly as the day wore on that initial feeling was replaced by one of sadness. We know this Somerset team is one of the very best we have ever seen. One of the top couple of sides in the country and yet, the current conditions across the country are reducing us to the level of the rest.
I’m not angry, just disappointed that such a great competition has been reduced to this sad state of affairs at a time when as in 2016 we should all be part of a tumultuous end of season.
Yesterday only 5 batting bonus points were accrued across the two divisions. That across nine games tells the tale.
Last week at Taunton, on a pitch that is still (apparently) subject to the deliberations of the pitch inspectors 538 runs were scored at an average of 13.45 runs per wicket.
Today at the end of Somerset’s second innings the equivalent stats were 370-30 or 12.33 and even at the end of the game it had “risen” to 13.05. Now I’m not saying that there are grounds for complain about the pitch! It was the same for both sides and over the course of the 2 days Hampshire were the better team, principally because on Monday afternoon they were able to put together a couple of partnerships, something Somerset could not match today.
What I am saying is that this puts into context the furore last week. The thing I’m most proud about is that there has been no “Allott-like” whingeing from Somerset, despite the fact that this loss, only our second all year remember, makes the championship a formality for Surrey.
Marcus displayed once again that he is a class above and while I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the batting he must be exempt from that. It is true work needs to be done but we are looking to strengthen form a position of strength and will come again.
For now let’s accentuate the positives. We have a great day to look forward to on Saturday. We have the two pillars of our batting locked down for next season. We have a potent bowling attack which will be strengthened by the addition of Jack Brooks.
AND we have a chance to put a statement win down at Taunton next week against the Brown caps.