TAUNTON ALL STARS v SOM, Staplegrove, 29th June 2004
Despite the threat of rain, a good crowd turned out for this Keith Parsons Twenty20 benefit game, the car park being quite full. The scorecard was obviously printed before Nixon's injury, and before it was known Caddick was playing helicopters! So as far as I could tell, the Somerset 12 (11 plus regular substitutions) were:
Bowler, KA Parsons, Hildreth, Cox, Burns, J Francis, Hurry, Dutch, S Taylor (wkt), Laraman, Andrew, Wheeler.
All Stars 12 (according to the scorecard):
L Cooper, KJ Parsons, P Sanderson, J Trundley, R Keates, Woodman, R Jones, A Warren, P Lawrence, A Mason, J Kerslake, G Bennett.
Umpires were John Harris & Headley Thorne, and scorer Eileen Cook.
All Stars won the toss and put Somerset in. It was white clothing and a red ball game.
Burns and Cox opened, and it soon became apparent that it was a tricky wicket, the ball not coming onto the bat with any certainty, so these two progressed at what might have been deemed a slowish run-rate for Twenty20 cricket. They used up half the allocation of overs by the time Burnsey fell for 22 with the score on 61. Dutch came in next and realised that a quick score would be the order of the day. A couple of boundaries and no less than 4 attempted reverse sweeps (only one of which actually connected with the bat) before he was stumped for 8. Hildreth was next, played a lovely shot for a single, but didn't trouble the scorers any further. Richly deserved applause for the arrival of the beneficiary Keith Parsons who thankfully didn't seem to be troubled with that killer sock injury any more. He played another typical Parsons knock, entertaining the crowd who were now venturing back and forth to their cars for further garments since it was now getting a bit chilly. Cox pushed the scoring along also, hitting a big six towards town centre, but tried the same shot again a couple of balls later and perished to a a catch by G Bennett (Gordon?) right on the boundary for 26.
Sixth man in was John Francis. Now I may have been queueing for a burger at this point because I can't recall much of John's innings, but it couldn't have lasted long because when I returned with burger in hand the score had moved on to 85 for 5 off 14 and Laraman was with Parsy at the crease. KP had been going well, but before the burger had been finished (it was a large one), Mason bowled him for 18 with the score approx 104 for 6 off 17. Now everyone knows man cannot live on burgers alone, so with Bowler making his way to the crease I ventured to the bar for a small cider, and may have missed more wickets to fall, but the Somerset total was 134 off their 20 at about 7:20pm.
The All Stars reply got under way at 7:30pm, with our pace attack of Gareth Andrew and Wheeler(I remember him playing for an Academy XI a year or two ago), with S.Taylor (?) behind the stumps. Despite going past the edge a few times, the All Stars managed to keep up a good run rate and it wasn't until Dutchy was brought into the attack that their first wicket fell, a skied shot going over Hildreth's head but he managed to make the catch whilst running back making it look relatively easy. 27 for 1 off 5.
Substitute fielders seemed to come and go on both sides, but I particularly noticed Cox replace Bowler at this point because Cox was sporting that J.R. Hartley fishing hat of his! Burns replaced Wheeler in the attack, but the run-rate always seemed to be increasing until All Stars suffered a double wicket setback from Dutchy's second over, leaving them at 37 for 3 off 7.
Matt Wood was listed on the original scorecard, but was spotted on our side of the boundary rope in civvies: he was waiting to take himself and Dutchy off to the Rose Bowl for their seconds match the following day, so Bowler not having a long break and wearing several sweaters now, relieved Dutchy of his fielding duties for him to be whisked away. I may have queued for another small cider at this point, with All Stars fighting back well and getting the runrate back to somewhere reasonable at 84 for 3 off 14. At approx 8:30pm Andy Caddick turned up in his helicopter landing just beyond the far boundary obviously distracting proceedings and the All Stars onslaught was pegged back. Andy Hurry (catcher of Viv in last year's Lashings game), Aaron Laraman and John Francis all took a turn at bowling and somehow managed to stem the flow of runs, although it was getting quite gloomy at this point. At 99 for 5 off 18 the All Stars challenge was as good as over. 32 were wanted from the final over, and Somerset eventually 'romped' home by 24 runs approx 9pm-ish.
An entertaining evening, and as Keith Parsons broadcast later, it was thankfully injury-free. Hopefully this is the platform from which to launch a successful Somerset Twenty20 competition.