Rain Thwarts Somerset’s Opening Day Ambitions

8th April 2019

“But when the melancholy fit shall fall, Sudden from Heaven like a weeping cloud, That fosters the droop-headed flowers all, And hides the green hill in a shroud”                         John Keats, Ode to Melancholy                       

Melancholy was definitely the mood among Somerset supporters just after lunch today. The Somerset weather did what many of us feared for the earliest start to the County Championship season with play being abandoned for the day shortly before 2pm.

So rather like children at Christmas who are told the family have decided to wait until Boxing Day to open our presents we will all have to wait until (hopefully) tomorrow for Somerset to get their season underway.

In the absence of any play at Taunton The InCider has taken the opportunity to look at the action elsewhere in the Championship. 

Generally speaking this was a good day for the batsman, Hampshire in between spells off for bad light (I really must re-read the playing conditions regarding the use of floodlights!) reached 303-4 in 75 overs against Essex with Sam Northeast unbeaten on 94 at the close. The Hampshire innings was built around a fourth wicket partnership of 117 between Northeast and Rilee Roussouw. James Vince, hoping his move up the order to open would advance his England claims got a start before being lbw to Ravi Bopara for 40.

Somerset’s next opponents, the robber barons of Nottinghamshire, batting first against Yorkshire reached 324-5 with new signings the Bens (Slater and Duckett) scoring 76 and 43 respectively, but both were eclipsed by the third new arrival in the top four, Joe Clarke, who made a classy unbeaten 109.

Notts batting is going to make some big runs this season but I suspect that they are also going to fall in a heap several times too. Slater appears to be the more disciplined of the three, his 76 was made off 163 balls out of 172 while Duckett’s 43 occupied only 51 balls and Clarke’s 181.

In division 2 there was one Tauntonian who probably wished his day’s play had been washed out. Derbyshire opener Luis Reece was dismissed to the first ball of the game by Chris Rushworth. Derbyshire were dismissed for 197 which represented a bit of a recovery from 36-4 and by the close Durham had reduced the arrears by 40 for the loss of 2 wickets.

Sussex, on the fringe of most people’s promotion discussions 36-5 before David Wiese’s counter-attacking 51 off 66 balls hauled Sussex to 173. At the close Leicestershire had lost 5  wickets in amassing 131.

Middlesex’s vaunted bowling attack were made to work hard as Northants reached 304-6, West Indies skipper Jason Holder finished on 34 not out.

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