June 5, 2001

Shine reflects on tied game and Bulbeck's return

Somerset coach Kevin Shine was back at The County Ground on Monday morning after watching his side gain their first points of the season in the Norwich Union National League when they tied with Kent at Tunbridge Wells on Sunday.

"What a fabulous game" he said. "We bowled poorly at the start and they got off to a flyer. When they tried to bat a bit our bowlers started to get on top and 180 on a poor wicket looked about right. Keith Dutch (2 for 22) and Jamie Grove (1 for 27) were the pick of the Somerset bowlers for me," he went on.

"When we batted Ben Trott bowled well against us again, but Rob Turner and Keith Dutch put us in a strong position, though the game was still poised in their favour with three overs to go. We needed 14 off the last over, and thanks to Rob's two great shots, the final ball of the day he paddled to the boundary over the head of short fine leg we managed to tie the match."

The National League match and the draw against Leicestershire the previous day "have given us a great lift - it's good to get our first points on the board in the National League."

The coach also reported that Matt Bulbeck had shown "no sign of any back stiffening after playing in the four day match at Leicester. Matt bowled well in the first innings, but in the second didn't get the ball to swing so much."

Kevin Shine rates the young left-arm seamer very highly indeed and went on: "Matt is a potential England bowler," and paid tribute to everybody who has been involved in his return to fitness. "He's half-a-year ahead of schedule, everybody has done a good job to get him back to where he is now," he said.