A quick report on an extraordinary series of happenings at Taunton, which ended with one of the rarest of all sporting results – a tied cricket match.
Today’s extraordinary events in Taunton have almost certainly sealed the 2018 County Championship for Surrey, who already have a substantial lead at the top and are in complete command of their own match against Essex.
TWISTS AND TURNS IN TAUNTON
Lancashire were skittled for 99 in the first innings, to which Somerset replied with 192. In their second innings Lancashire reached 170, leaving Somerset an apparently straightforward task of scoring 78 to win the game. Then Somerset started losing wickets, and at 23-5 Lancashire looked favourites. A bit of a recovery followed, spearheaded by some sensible batting by Dominic Bess. Ay 75-8, needing three to win, it looked like Somerset were sneaking it, but then a ninth wicket fell. At 77 Jamie Overton played out a maiden to Graham Onions. Jack Leach then gave a catch off Keshav Maharaj, giving the South African spinner final innings figures of 7-37 (11-102 in the match) and ending the match in a tie. Genuine ties are very rare birds indeed – this is the first I have personally either heard or seen, and the last county championship game to end thus was in 2003, while only two test matches ever have, Australia v West Indies at Brisbane in 1960 and India versus Australia at Madras (now Chennai) in 1986. This was compulsive listening – I hope the US Open tennis coverage which gets underway shortly matches it for drama.
Somerset and Lancashire I salure for you for providing this spectacle, genuine commiserations to Somerset on the almost certain ending of their championship hopes for this season. Also congratulations to Surrey who have scarcely put a foot wrong in the four-day stuff all season and will deserve to see the championship pennant fluttering over The Oval next season. Vic Marks if you are due to be summarising in the test match it might be advisable to have something come up that prevents you from being there – certain of your colleagues, notably Mr Norcross, are likely to be unbearable.
Yesterday Nottinghamshire and Surrey contested the final of the Royal London Cup at Lord’s, and it is that match that is the subject of this post. However, before I move on to the body of the post I have one other thing do…
A NEW WEB ADDRESS
I recently upgraded my package for this blog because I needed more space for photos. As part of the deal I acquired a free domain name, so for an overview of this blog you can now go to aspi.blog. This new address is considerably short than the old one.
THE ROYAL LONDON CUP FINAL
Surrey batted first and scored 297 from their 50 overs. Mark Stoneman, who must have been considered by the England selectors for the test match that starts on Thursday scored 144 not out, at that time the second highest score ever in a big Lord’s final. Many of us had hoped that he would break the record which had stood at 146 since the 1965 Gillette Cup final (a 60 overs a side match as compared to 50), not least because of the identity of the old record holder, a certain G Boycott.
The Nottinghamshire response started as though the innings was being played on two different pitches – while Alex Hales was in complete control at one end, a succession of batsmen struggled and failed at the other. When Chris Read came in at the fall of the fifth Nottinghamshire wicket Surrey were still probably just about favourites, not least because there was not a lot of batting to come (Luke Fletcher is a capable lower order batsman but Messrs Broad, Pattinson and Gurney are all very definitely picked purely as bowlers.
Read played a fine innings, while Hales blazed on into record setting territory. He set the record in emphatic style with a thumping boundary. By the time Read was out Nottinghamshire were pretty much home and dry. In the end it was Luke Fletcher who hit the winning runs, with Hales 187 not out. This is Hales’ second recent record breaking innings, as he also holds the record for an England men’s One Day International with 171 (the distinction is necessary, since the highest individual score for England in any One Day International is Charlotte Edwards’ 173 not out for the womens team).
Mention of womens cricket leads me to finish this section with another record. Chamari Atapattu of Sri Lanka scored 179 not out in a team total of 257-9 against Australia in their womens world cup match. Australia chased them down, with skipper Meg Lanning 152 not out. The key difference was that Lanning was well supported, first by Nicole Bolton with 60 and then by Ellyse Perry who was 39 not out at the end. Atapattu set two records with that innings. First, and unwanted, the highest individual score for a losing team in an ODI. Second, that 179 not out was 69% of the team’s total, also an international record. Viv Richards had scored 189 not out in a total of 272-9 against England in 1984, which is a similar percentage to Atapattu, but for no3 in the list you have to go back to March 1877 and the inaugural test match, when Charles Bannerman scored 165 out of 245 all out in Australia’s first innings (also the first innings of the match).
A FEW PHOTOGRAPHS
I always like to include photographs in my posts, so here a few to end this one:
Some cricket, some music including references to the Classic FM Hall of Fame, some stuff about upcoming local elections and some photographs.
An odd combination of topics to appear in a title, but all will be made clear in the course of this post. There will of course be some of my photographs as well.
The English cricket season is well underway. Because of an alteration to the structure of the two divisions of first class counties last season to a first division of eight teams and a second division of ten teams, it is now possible for all 18 first class counties to be in action simultaneously, as was not the case when there were nine teams in each division. Over this Easter weekend, for the first time since 1999 (the last season of the single division championship) all 18 of said sides have been in action. Glamorgan lost heavily to Worcestershire before today was underway. Leicestershire had also suffered an innings defeat at the hands of Gloucestershire. Essex and Somerset also finished early, a century from Alastair Cook anchoring Essex in their fourth innings chase of 255. Warwickshire only kept their match against Yorkshire alive into the fourth day because of some assistance from the weather, and having started the season with back to back innings defeats, and three shocking batting performances out of four innings, they must be considered heavy favourites for one of the relegation spots from division 1. Of the five remaining matches, Nottinghamshire are nearly done and dusted against Durham (since I wrote this Nottinghamshire have completed the job as expected, with nine wickets in hand), and it would also seem to be only a matter of time before Kent finish the job against Sussex (this match has also subsequently reached its predicted conclusion). A draw looks the most likely result in the Surrey versus Lancashire, although Surrey are not out of the woods yet. Hampshire and Middlesex also looks like being a draw, although again the Londoners are not quite safe yet. That leaves only…
DERBYSHIRE VERSUS NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
Overnight this also looked like a draw was the most likely result, with Derbyshire 128 runs to the good with 10 second winnings standing. However, some behind the scenes discussions obviously took place, since Northamptonshire spent the morning session of today feeding Derbyshire easy runs, handing Reece (168) and Godleman (156 not out) a new record opening stand for Derbyshire. A declaration at 351-1 left Northamptonshire two sessions to score 326 for victory. Whatever happens in these two session neither team will emerge from this match with much credit in my book. While Northamptonshire’s motivation was obvious, Derbyshire could easily have declined the offer, backing their batsmen to score off proper bowling.
The long Easter weekend is when the Classic FM Hall of Fame is unveiled. It is assembled from listener votes. Each participant votes for their first, second and third favourite pieces of classical music, and the votes are all tallied up. The Hall of Fame comprises the top 300 pieces that emerge at the end of the process, and they are played counting down from 300 to 1 between 10AM and 10PM on each day of the weekend (it used when it first started to be 9AM to 9PM). This is the first occasion on which there has been a clash between the Hall of Fame and live cricket. I have resolved that clash by listening to the cricket when it has been on five live sports extra, and to the music at other times. The only exception to this was on Saturday afternoon, when it was time for…
A shortage of available NAS West Norfolk Committee members meant that I was there for both sessions. The attendances were unsurprisingly low in both sessions. However, those who were able to make it had a good time. In the second session I renewed my acquaintanceship with Scratch 2, and next time I shall be moving on to another aspect of this program. Here are some pictures…
Various places in the UK will be going to the polls on May 4th. Last time I mentioned this subjectI said that I was between Labour and Green, and leaning towards Green. Since then, although I have yet to receive anything from any candidates a search of the King’s Lynn & West Norfolk borough councilwebsite turned up the following information about who was standing:
In view of the fact that there are three candidates in this list of four for whom I am absolutely unwilling to vote and that I regard failing to vote as unacceptable my vote will therefore go to Mr Collis, and I urge others who are voting in this election to cast their votes for Mr Collis as well.
Moving on from my own area, there also elections taking place much more extensively in Wales and Scotland.
The big debate in Scotland at the moment is over whether or not there should be a second independence referendum (#IndyRef2) following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, when Scotland was strongly pro-remain. It is not for me as a Sassenach to comment on whether or not Scottish independence is desirable since the only people who should be making decisions about the future of Scotland are the Scots, but I do believe that brexit is a sufficiently major change in circumstances as justify #IndyRef2, especially since one of the main claims of the no camp in 2014 was that an independent Scotland would not be able to join the EU. It would appear, if the article to which I link at the end of this section is anything to go on that the Tories seek to make the local elections in Scotland a sort of ‘pre-referendum’. Anyway, here courtesy of the website indyref2.scot, is a post that goes into detail on the issue, titled “Sending a message“.
I posted some photographs in the music section of this post, and I finish the post with some pictures mainly from outside…
ENDNOTE – CRICKET REVISITED
During the time it took to put the above photos up both Middlesex & Hampshire and Surrey & Lancashire have shaken hands on the predicted draws. These means that only the ‘declaration bowling’ game between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire is still to be settled.
An account of the finish of the Nottinghamshire vs Surrey game in the county championship, some quality photos and some important links.
As well as an account of a classic finish in the county championship match between Surrey and Notts I have some photos and a few links to share.
SURREY’S UNAVAILING FIGHT BACK
Thanks to Kumar Sangakkara and Arun Harinath in their second innings Surrey came into the final day with half a chance of completing a Lazarus like come back. Surrey’s second innings ended on the stroke of lunch with them having built a lead of 168 – just enough that things might get interesting…
Opener Greg Smith played a solid innings for Notts, but when he was out the score was 152-7 and an upset was definitely possible. However, nos 8 and 9, with a pair of genuine tail-enders to follow saw through the danger to get Notts home by three wickets. There was no play anywhere else in the country.
Owing to the nature of the day (cricket in the middle thereof), I took two walks, one in the morning and one in the evening and I have pictures from both to share…
My remaining links also belong together, constituting
THREE MORE REASONS FOR LONDONERS TO
VOTE FOR SIAN BERRY IN THE MAYORAL ELECTIONS
Sian Berry has been running the best campaign of all the contenders for London Mayor by the proverbial country mile, and today she has responded as a potential decision maker to not one or even two but three change.org petitions that I have signed. I have links below to the pages that show her very detailed and very positive responses to all three.
Cricket, golf and a walk – features lots of pictures.
The county cricket season is underway, and just after midnight our time the first golf major of the year was decided. Additionally the weather today is so pleasant that for the first time in 2016 I am using my ‘outside study area’…
AN EXTRAORDINARY FINALE
Reaching the point at which Jack Nicklaus among others has said majors really begin – namely the back nine on Sunday, this years US Masters was looking like Jordan Spieth was going to comfortably retain his title, but then he hit trouble, first in small way with bogeys at 10 and 11 (both very difficult holes) and then in a huge way at the 12th. At this tiny but fearsome par 3 Spieth put two balls in the water, clocking up a quadruple bogey 7 and losing the lead for about the first time of the tournament. England’s Danny Willett recorded a 67 to get to the club house at five under for the tournament, and Spieth reached the 17th needing a birdie, birdie finish to tie (barring miracles neither hole offers any chance of an eagle). A bogey at 17 and it was all over, and Willett, the previously unknown Englishman was the champion. The 18th at Augusta is a long par-four, not remotely drivable, and in any case the longest distance from which anyone has holed out to win a tournament is 176 yards by Robert Gamez (the victim of this freak, not for the first or last time in his career was Greg Norman).
A MORNING WALK
Before the cricket started today (day 2 of 4, Nottinghamshire having peen put in by Surrey had run up 445, Surrey had survived two overs without incident) I headed off for a walk. I was barely started when the first photo presented itself…
The riverside stretch to Hardings Pits yielded some cracking pics, a good few featuring cormorants…
Cormorant in full flight above the Great Ouse
The mouth of the Nar as it flows into the Great Ouse
West Lynn Church
The parkland stretch of the walk yielded two different types of train and several birds…
Magpie, just before heading back towards town.
This bronze Norwich Union plaque is the only one of its kind I have seen – it is to be spotted near the Catholic Church
The walk back into town, following Bawsey Drain, yielded a wide variety of shots…
Ducklings with their mother.
These adorn the Tuesday Market Place
SURREY IN TROUBLE
Having conceded almost 450 by poor bowling, Surrey are now struggling with the bat, at 149-5. Elsewhere, Durham and Somerset are enjoying a low-scoring tussle, while Ben Duckett of Northamptonshire has relieved the Sussex bowlers of 254 (and counting – he’s still there). I shall be doing some prep for my photographic display at the Positive Autism Awareness Conference this Friday once I have published this, which ends with this picture…