Nottinghamshire prosper in drawn fixture
Nottinghamshire 402 for 9 drew with Somerset 177
However diligent their preparation and practice, Somerset cannot exert any control over rainfall that they feel afflicts the west country more than anywhere other than Old Trafford. A third severely interrupted day ensured that there was no time for their second innings at Taunton. A draw, the probable outcome on the third evening, became an inevitability once no play was possible before lunch. It was a question thereafter of how many points could be gathered in.
For Somerset, that amounted to a mere six, for Samit Patel, called up by England for the one day international in Ireland next week, collected the 30 runs he needed to reach his century and finished with 128 in all off 163 balls with 20 fours and a six. Long before then, there was fulmination over the weather from Brian Rose, the director of cricket. It is undoubtedly true that Taunton suffers more rainfall than most other grounds in the country - but best not to tell him that this is a part of the charm of cricket.
It remains to be seen whether poor weather will prevent Somerset becoming county champions for the first time, a repeat, in their opinion, of what happened last year. Yet they neither batted well nor bowled accurately in this match. Whereas Andre Adams had maintained a disciplined off stump line in bowling them out for 177, their own quicker bowlers were more profligate when bowling at Patel and Riki Wessels, who struck 82 from 79 balls with ten fours and two sixes, entertainment indeed.
Still, there were two wickets in successive balls for George Dockrell, the slow left arm bowler who should play against England for his native Ireland. He dismissed Patel and had Steven Mullaney taken at the wicket, but was unable to take a hat-trick not least because Chris Read, the Nottinghamshire captain, has become accustomed to coming to the crease in such circumstances. Dockrell was a little expensive, but will have an opportunity for so long as Murali Kartik is injured and there is indecision over his future with Somerset.
Nottinghamshire, unable to make runs sufficiently quickly to enable them to attempt to bowl out Somerset a second time, as was the intention of Mick Newell, their coach, batted out the day. For all Somerset's concerns over their antiquated drainage system, which according to Rose is 120 years old, there is nothing that can be done about rain weekly, monthly and perennially sweeping across their county from Cornwall.
"This was a pretty average day for us," admitted Marcus Trescothick, the Somerset captain. "We did what we could to salvage something from losing 225 overs in the match and were pleased to pick up three bowling points. We now have two massive matches to come - against Hampshire here, Yorkshire at Leeds - followed by playing the leaders, Lancashire in our final fixture. Realistically, we need to have two victories by the time we face them."