Always Looking on The Bright Side of Life

With apologies to a certain Podcast but I’m finding it hard to be down. No trophy defence but an exciting “Somerset September” looms

Somerset 287-8 (Goldsworthy 79, Hildreth 72, Lamb 4-35) lost to Warwickshire 289-7 (Lamb 92, Davey 4-57) by 3 wickets

Somerset’s Young Lions fell short of making the knockout phase of the One Day Cup having been beaten for the third game in five days. The disappointment for all involved in the club feels palpable this evening but the blow is slightly softened by the knowledge that a win in this last game would not have been enough. 

It is easy to identify the phase of this game that determined the result. The Somerset innings had been beautifully paced by the Davies, Hildreth, Goldsworthy trio up to the 35th over on a pitch that was not as easy to bat on as you would expect from such a slow surface. A total of 300+ was probably going to be needed against a Warwickshire side with a top order hardly disturbed by the other competition. 

James Hildreth who, like Steve Davies before him, had made batting look easy perished caught in the deep when he looked destined for a big hundred. Lewis Goldsworthy departed 3 overs later and the Somerset innings stalled badly against the most occasional of occasional off-spin of Matt Lamb. Having never taken a List A wicket he picked up four in just five overs as Somerset fell to my mind 40 short of what they needed.

James Hildreth – his dismissal was the turning point

You felt at that point that Somerset hadn’t made enough but when, as on Tuesday four of the opposition top order had been dismissed for around a 100 hope sprung eternal. I began to contemplate the possibility of a trip to Old Trafford on Saturday which would have been some compensation and the possibility that, like two years ago, Somerset would be able to reach the final by the hardest route.

But it was that man Lamb who would prove to be the difference, this time with the bat, with 92 off 103 balls. With support from the very impressive young pair of Mosley and Bethel they reached the target in the last over.

Somerset’s day was summed up by the last two balls of the game. First, Davey’s last ball of his allocation should have been his fifth wicket but not only did George Thomas fail to take the catch but the ball crossed the boundary.

A last over needing eight with two wickets left and the experienced Brennan gone might have been interesting. When Sonny Baker’s first ball of the last over was called as a no-ball it was all over.

But sadly it would not have made a difference. News had clearly filtered through to the players that Glamorgan, who had been 181-2 chasing 230 had lost by 4 runs to Yorkshire and with Surrey having already beaten Derbyshire there was no way Somerset were going to finish in the top three.

Somerset’s players and supporters should not be down about this campaign. A squad of little experience has, ironically given the title of “development competition” by Somerset’s now Chief Executive developed massively in the last three weeks. The Academy production line continues to churn out quality almost weekly and the future for our club over the next five years is much brighter now than it was three weeks ago.

Ben Green – should be very proud of his young side

Sadly there will be no Somerset first team cricket for the next two weeks, a tragedy in the height of Summer, but boy do we have a lot to look forward to then. Take a breath everyone it promises to be a typically exciting “Somerset September”.