54th over: Somerset 172-9 (van der Merwe 29, Leach 11) Thanks Tanya, hello everyone. Getting interesting, this. Jamie Porter returns in place of Samuel Cook and has a huge shout for LBW against turned down by Alex Wharf. That looked on the plumb side of close; three reds on Hawkeye confirm its eminent DRSability.
53rd over: Somerset 167-9 (Leach 9, van der Merwe 21) Van der Mere scythes Harmer straight over Leach’s head for four. A couple more as Harmer, who holds the ball high in his fingers, almost as if he was displaying a porcelain egg, bowls on, and on.
And that’s it from me, I’ll hand you over to Rob Smyth for the rest of the day – enjoy!
52nd over: Somerset 160-9 (Leach 9, van der Merwe 21) A couple of scampered singles, then van der Merwe hits a skyer just short of the fielder. And Somerset add another three to the total. Softly, softy, catchy monkey.
51st over: Somerset 157-9 (Leach 8, van der Merwe 19) A boundary from van der Merwe that I missed, and Essex should remember that Leach is very adept at eeking runs from tricky positions.
50th over: Somerset 152-9 (Leach 8, van der Merwe 14) A huge cheer for Headingley hero Jack Leach who gets off the mark straight away with a thick edge for four before driving Cook through third man for another boundary and adding half again to Cook’s runs conceded tally in two balls. The cameras pan to a grey haired bloke in the crowd – blimey, that’s John Cleese. Yesterday, another Conservative with experience of the courts, Jeffrey Archer, spent a rainy afternoon at Taunton.
WICKET! Bess b Cook 10
A sensational ball that nips in off the scrambled seam to destroy Bess’s stumps. That’s Cook’s fourth wicket – for just 15.
49th over: Somerset 144-8 ( Bess 10, van der Merwe 14) Harmer again, in a No. 11 shirt, no vest. All proceeds as normal until Van der Merwe keeps his wrists low and reverse-sweep-dinks him over the fielder at deep backward point for six.
48th over: Somerset 138-8 ( Bess 10, van der Merwe 8) Van der Merwe is taking charge, Yes!, No! he shouts at his partner, but then Cook squares him up like a kipper, legs twisted. Just a single from the over.
47th over: Somerset 137-8 ( Bess 10, van der Merwe 7) And there we are, van der Merwe gets down on one knee and sweeps Harmer’s first ball for six – what’s the fuss about, he sniffs? Then he pancakes one, somewhat disdainfully, over his shoulder for a single. Bess is watchful.
46th over: Somerset 130-8 ( Bess 10, van der Merwe 0) Not that things are much easier from Sam Cook’s end. A maiden. Somerset could really do with at least another 20 – from somewhere…
45th over: Somerset 130-8 ( Bess 10) Harmer resumes, sunglasses on, and immediately gets two lbws. Somerset need quick runs, preferably in the next over before they have to face Harmer again.
WICKET! Overton lbw Harmer 0
The second wicket of Harmer’s first over after lunch. Overton, hangdog, trots off. Ah, the replay shows it was a little high.
WICKET! Abell lbw Harmer 45
Abell steps back and Harmer’s delivery follows him, fixing him straight in front of the stumps.
44th over: Somerset 126-6 (Abell 45, Bess 10) Sam Cook, shirt untucked, mucky trouser legs, picks up the first over after lunch, his fifteenth over of the game. He’s as accurate as ever but his fifth ball whizzes through low almost trimming the heads off the grass (if there was any). A maiden.
And the players are out as we prepare to resume after lunch.
Perhaps that was a well-timed break for grub after all as the covers are wheeled on at Taunton. Round the grounds, play has already been called off for the day at Edgbaston and there has been no play anywhere else except Chester-le-Street where..
Durham 262-8 (Watling 104; Hogan 4-35) v Glamorgan
43rd over: Somerset 126-6 (Abell 45, Bess 10) Abell survives a chance of sorts at short leg but the ball dipped very quickly in front of (Bopara)‘s hands. That is followed by a wristy drive with the back foot well in the crease that was simply edible. Then a couple more as the anoraks are pulled on in the crowd and the players skip off for lunch.
42nd over: Somerset 118-6 (Abell 41, Bess 9) Just a snappy single from Porter’s over, and only a couple more to survive until that controversial lunch.
40th over: Somerset 117-6 (Abell 40, Bess 9) “Skills Harmy,” cries a fielder, but the sprinkling of rain that fell a few overs ago seems to have calmed the pitch a little, stroked it, pitch-whispered. Abell and Bess bat on.
39th over: Somerset 116-6 (Abell 39, Bess 9) Some very interesting talk from Mark Ramprakash and Ebony Rainford-Brent about the Lions and pressure on players to change once they fall on the ECB radar. They’ve been watching Jamie Porter’s run-up which, now I study it, does look rather laboured. But then I haven’t seen enough of Porter to know if it was ever thus.
38th over: Somerset 114-6 (Abell 33, Bess 7) I’ve not much to say about that Harmer over, a maiden, as I was reading this absolutely lovely email from Harry in Vietnam.
Good Evening (Morning) Tanya,
On many occasions the OBO has got me through some pretty long days. I work to rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife from the illegal trade in Vietnam. The job has many aspects, some extraordinarily slow. Socialising bears is one such event when they have no interest in socialising but, meander around dens apart while I keep watch just in case.
In such times a cricket match taking place and 6 minute updates on the action are a ray of light in the otherwise furry boredom.
Today I am not embarking on one of the slower jobs such as socialising bears, watching the behaviours of a hornbill or macaque, or post anesthesia monitoring a tiger but, answering your call for emails.. Not that this is a particularly interesting email mind. Then again, you asked for emails, not interesting ones. I’ve not been back to England in years but, still a Somerset fan. All the best
Harry – that’s up there in my top ten OBO emails. Thank you.
37th over: Somerset 113-6 (Abell 33, Bess 7) Under his maroon helmet, Tom Abell is clean shaven – quite rare in a sportsman at the moment. [ I must admit I’m a sucker for a bit of stubble] Anyway – that is a gorgeous drive by Abell as Cook stays a little, really classy, giving his bat face a great show.
36th over: Somerset 108-6 (Abell 33, Bess 7) Mark Ramprakash is on the mike, and is impressed with Dom Bess’s footwork. Forward he goes, back he goes, and that is a very handy outside edge from Abell which flies past the right hand of the diving Cook at slip for four. Nine from Harmer’s over as a shower passes slowly over the ground.
35th over: Somerset 99-6 (Abell 29, Bess 2) Sam Cook is poetry in motion. Non-demonstrative, he pitches the ball on a dime and beats the edge ball, after ball, after ball.
A magnificent email arrives.
As far as chocolate bars, I come to you with a single caveat – nothing puts me off more than a bar of solid chocolate. Your Dairy Milks, your Galaxys, your standard Yorkies – these are not appealing and border on the sickly.
In terms of the autumnal bar of choice, I find myself shifting from the summery allure of a Crunchie – selected as even if the chocolate melts off the outside you have a solid central honeycomb to hold and consume – to something with a caramelly core. I’m talking Lion Bars, Toffee Crisps, a Starbar, and, of course, the king of bars in the shape of a Tunnocks Caramel Wafer.
As the winter draws in, I tend to find myself going for the more festive bars – often a Fry’s Peppermint Cream or a Fudge – and of course the obligatory Roses/Quality Street box/tub over the festive period itself..
Spring brings with it a shift to something a little lighter, and I might go for a Bounty or Dime, potentially a KitKat. And then when summer comes I reach again for the Crunchie and the cycle repeats.
Today, in rainy Leeds but watching rainy Taunton, I’ve got a real urge for a Double Decker, though.
Thank you Oliver – that is Willie Wonkerish in its detail.
34th over: Somerset 98-6 (Abell 29, Bess 1) Two off Harmer, more importantly they survive him. 150 would be a good effort from here.
33rd over: Somerset 96-6 (Abell 28, Bess 0) Dom Bess, whose nascent batting career is remembered by two innings – his 57 against Pakistan and his heave-ho against Lancashire in the Championship match here last year – watchfully plays out the remainder of Cook’s over.
WICKET! Gregory lbw Sam Cook 17
I don’t think Gregory will want to see a replay of that. He tottered forward so his leg was just in front of the stumps, and left the ball. Cook was laughing as he celebrated.
32nd over: Somerset 96-5 (Abell 28, Gregory 17) Now Rob Key has mentioned Harmer’s big hands, I can’t keep my eyes off them. They’re huge. Hams – big fat Christmas ones. A single, an lbw shout and a possible chance grassed by Alastair Cook off the over.
32nd over: Somerset 95-5 (Abell 28, Gregory 16) The excellent Cook strays just a hand off his length and Abell flicks with some style – another boundary. Five dots follow.
Gareth Wilson is also feeling the pain of the break for sandwiches, “Hi Tanya- cricket doesn’t help itself, does it? Start play at noon then stop for lunch at 1? Seriously? Why not play till 2? It’s so frustrating…..”
I don’t know quite why they didn’t take an early lunch. Trescothick special lasagne that will only be ready at one?
31st over: Somerset 91-5 (Abell 24, Gregory 16) Gregory uses his feet turns and swivel-pulls Harmer to the leg-side boundary. This has to be the way, surely? No one is gong to out-bat Harmer. What’s this? He swings again, and gets an inside edge past the stumps, past the keeper for four more. And again! A precariously lucky edge that flies past Alastair Cook at slip. And then a fourth boundary, a textbook force off the back foot. Sixteen tasty runs off the over.
31st over: Somerset 75-5 (Abell 24, Gregory 0) A maiden from Sam Cook. It’s breezy out there in the middle and I take back what I said earlier, there is some blue sky up to the left behind the church.
30th over: Somerset 75-5 (Abell 24, Gregory 0) Classic Harmer. Such a menacing force, he goes round the wicket to Gregory who scuttles forward and survives the over.
Wicket! Bartlett c Bopara b Harmer 5
A breakthrough in Harmer’s first over of the day as Bartlett goes back and turns the ball straight into the mitts of Bopara.
29th over: Somerset 75-4 (Abell 24, Bartlett 5) Cook finishes off his over prorogued yesterday by rain – a snorter that skids past the outside of Abell’s bat.
Aha! We have some action at Taunton, the players are out, the sky is greyish, but Sam Cook is bowling in short sleeves.
Thank you! My inbox over-floweth. And yes, the thing that has enraged you all is the good old English lunch-break.
Mark Hooper growls, “The deciding match of the championship and they allow an hour’s play before stopping for lunch! You’d think that, just for once, they could just make do with a couple of satsumas and a protein shake? And then have a break when it rains again LIKE IT’S GOING TO DO ALL WEEK!”
“Why do we still have these ridiculous meal breaks when a lot of time has already been lost,” rages David Malcolm. “Cricket should be more flexible. There is more rain on the way, so why not get as much play as possible before it arrives. Bet it starts raining again as soon as they return from lunch. Common sense is sadly missing due to silly Victorian rules about eating at set times. The players obviously need breaks but the weather conditions should be taken into account.”
They’re playing cricket at Chester-le-Street, where at least one person is nail nibbling. Durham 238-8 against promotion possibles Glamorgan, with BJ Watling 93 not out.
Right, come on people, someone send me an email. That monkey on your back- the Cricketer’s Power List, the best chocolate bars to see you through autumn, the young player to watch for 2020 – give it a nudge.
Away from the Supreme Court to Taunton, where the umpires have decided that play will start at noon with lunch taken at one o’clock.
Rob Key is out on the pitch, which is dry as a bone – the drainage system has played a blinder . The players are on the outfield stretching, bending, chewing the fat. The groundsmen are digging forks into the boundary edge.
So …. Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was illegal…
And through the precipitation pings an email:
“I failed yesterday to respond to your question, “if you had to give the ECB 100 lines, what would the sentence be?” writes Kim Thonger.
I respond thus. They must write…“I must say, a hundred times, no to the hundred.” But just for fun, they must write it in Latin…“Fatendum est, iterumque centuplicet nec hundredo”.
(It’s Google translate Latin (mine is rusty) so I’m expecting John Cleese to appear as if by magic in the living room and hit me round the head and correct it, but frankly I don’t care, so long as the ECB get the main thrust of the message which is, they’re in a poorly designed canoe, up a creek shaped like a dog extrusion that rhymes with bird, barking up the wrong tree, at a pigeon that’s long since flown the nest.)
Ah, we now have a full house. The rain is falling at Chester-le-Street too.
Still, some happy quotes from Dom Sibley who has more than deserved his chance to pull on the England cap this winter.
“There have been a few articles written in the last few days and my friends and family have been saying ‘oh, you’re picked’ but until you get that confirmation you can’t think about it too much. So it’s a thrill to have it confirmed and to be going away with England to New Zealand is really pleasing. We’ll see how it goes out there and hopefully I will get a Test match.
“I have been pleased with my consistency. It has been down to a combination of a few things – a few changes technically and, to an extent, taking responsibility because we have had a few younger lads in the Warwickshire batting line-up. With batting it is just a case of getting in the groove and on a roll and I have done that.
“Rory Burns has scored runs in championship cricket over the years and he got his chance so that showed what can happen. I made my Surrey second-team debut opening with Rory and made my first-team debut with him and he is a good mate so it will be great to be alongside him in the England squad.”
The television is now working, though with subtitles, and I’ve turned on to find Dominic Cork talking about Simon Harmer’s BIG HANDS. The rain has stopped at Taunton so, while we wait, here are some Marcus Trescothick magic memories.
Ah. Thanks for the tip below the line – it is also raining in Canterbury and the start is delayed at Hove, Lord’s and Grace Road – where the club describe the prospects of play today as “bleak.”
But play will start on time at The Riverside! A glass raised to more autumn cricket north of Hartlepool.
Now please excuse me briefly while I try and get the telly to work.
If you missed the tour squads yesterday, (and rather exciting they were too) here is Ali’s take on them – omission of YJB and all.
Elsewhere the news is … damp. There will be no play before lunch at The Oval or Edgbaston, and things are also delayed at the crucial Division Two promotion bash at Bristol, with Gloucestershire perched uncomfortably in the dressing-room at 80 for 6.
Good morning from heavy-sponged Manchester – and a soggy looking Taunton, where the super sopper is out and mopping furiously. The Met Office site shows signs of hope – clear weather between 10 and 2 – if the groundsmen can dry the outfield in time to get the players out before the next fat plopping rain clouds return. The umpires are due to peer again at the pitch at 11am.
Yesterday’s match stopped just before lunch with Somerset 75-4 on a dustbowl against the wiles of Simon Harmer and Sam Cook. It was tricky out there. As James Hildreth: said, “I think anything above 200 will be a good score. Every run out there seems massive”