C&G & NCL SCOTLAND v SOM, Edinburgh, 7th & 9th May 2003
The same visit, just a bit more detail about the actual cricket that was played!
Wednesday. A thoroughly enjoyable, if short, Wednesday day's play. Scotland batted first and rarely got above 2.5 an over with an excellent display of bowling from all contributors.
Parsy had the best return with 3 wickets, but Johnno and McLean got Somerset off to the best start possible, tying batsmen down with quick, accurate bowling, beating the edge a number of occasions in most overs.
A total of 130-odd should have been well within our capabilities even with our one-day record this season thus far! It was! A masterly example of how to dismiss too low a total, with a display of controlled aggression which saw us home with about 30 overs still left; a perfectly executed mission.
Friday. The Friday game started on time. We batted 5 overs with the possibility of rain interruption, but the rain that came was heavy and lasted.
When the game resumed at 5:15pm, it was reassigned a 16-over match - but we'd already had 5 of those under the original 45 over format!! At this point most people knew (or should have known) we were in for one of those farcical games of "anything less than a boundary isn't good enough". Somerset had just another 11 overs to amass as large a total as possible. The remainder of this game was exactly how I see the 20-20 cricket being played; little for a fast bowler - any tip off the bat will bring runs through a restricted field; nothing for the slow spinner - a few paces down the wicket and the batsmen will hit them out of the ground; medium pacers stand the best chance (so I was a bit surprised Parsy didn't get a bowl, but I apportion no blame to coach nor captain for this)! It's a sort of cricket sixes, but with 11 players. Defensive shots are weak, there are plenty of batsmen to play, so a batsman will not value his wicket in the same way. I hope the youngsters enjoy it!
Sorry, I'm ranting again. Of course it was a shame we couldn't defend our 179 total (amassed from 5 overs, then another 11, 6 runs added under DL then taken away again and the match reduced to 15 overs ' crazy or what?), but it did go to the last over.
Keep these results in perspective. Somerset completely dominated the full 50-over game and Scotland were worthy winners of a 15 over knockabout. No offence intended to Scotland supporters - indeed, it was refreshing to read the comments of Rob Outram; also thanks Scotland for some excellent hospitality!
Overall I was happy with the 2 days cricket, and I'm certainly not calling for any heads to roll. A word of warning - I don't think this will be the last time Somerset loses a match! Celebrate wins, and prepare for the odd disappointment!