Somerset v Nottinghamshire, Taunton, 1st day August 17, 2011

Somerset hampered by rain-ruined day

Jeremy James at Taunton

Somerset 20 for 2 v Nottinghamshire

All Somerset needed, at a time when Durham were not playing, was more rain. That, though, was exactly what they got at the County Ground, where play was restricted to just eight overs. No wonder the club is writing to the ECB to request a grant for proper drainage of the outfield in their increasingly vexed attempt to become county champions for the first time.

Not that this will prevent more rain falling - at this time of year, if not at all times of the year, Taunton is more afflicted than Canterbury and Chelmsford in the east of the country - but at least that would enable them to re-start more promptly. Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB, is, of course, a former Somerset chairman, and hence might well be sympathetic even in these recessional times.

Nottinghamshire, following the lead of many a visiting county nowadays, put Somerset in upon winning the toss in the hope that there would be some movement in the first hour or so. The pitch, as with several cut here this season, is tinged with green. So it proved. In the fourth over of the morning, Luke Fletcher cut one back at Arul Suppiah and had him leg before.

Marcus Trescothick, who had driven Charlie Shreck sweetly through the covers to get off the mark, went the same way in the same over, likewise beaten by movement off the pitch. In his brief stay at the crease, Trescothick had shown no sign of his recent ankle injury, which will be a relief to Somerset with Friend Life t20 finals day quickly approaching.

Durham, Lancashire, Somerset and Warwickshire are all within 17 points of each other at the top of the division one table, so Trescothick was desperate to play. He and Brian Rose, the director of cricket, gave a championship debut in Murali Kartik's absence to George Dockrell, the 19 year-old Dubliner who bowls left arm orthodox spin. "We do not know what the line-up of our overseas players will be next year or the year after, so a young spinner like George has a fantastic opportunity in front of him," said Rose.

He did say the same about Max Waller, the legspinner, who has, in fact, hardly played all season following some excellent performances in the Caribbean t20 in the winter. It does not help, of course, if there is so much rain that the pitches are far from rock hard, or, for that matter, if Trescothick loses the toss for five times in a row, as indeed he has done.