Somerset v Middlesex, Taunton, 4th Day April 8, 2012

Dockrell's six steals the plaudits

David Lloyd at Taunton
31

Somerset 350 (Compton 99) and 73 for 4 beat Middlesex 246 (Philander 5-43) and 175 (Dockrell 6-27) by six wickets
Scorecard

Vernon Philander may have been the talk of the County Ground for much of this match but friend, foe and neutral observer alike went away this evening singing the praises of spinner George Dockrell.

Fast bowler Philander played a significant role as Somerset launched their latest attempt to win a first championship title by beating Middlesex by six wickets. But it was 19-year-old Dockrell who took centre stage - and looked an absolute natural under the spotlight - when his team needed a generous helping of magic today.

Figures of 6 for 27 from 20.1 overs suggest a wizard at work. Well, there will be batsmen on the circuit who play him better than these visitors. And not all pitches are going to yield as much turn and bounce as this splendid early season offering from groundsman Simon Lee. But Dockrell's left-arm weaved a spell which was a treat to watch - unless you were something like 22 yards away, of course.

Dockrell, a tall, slim Irishman, has been gathering an army of admirers for a couple of years now, mainly while playing limited-overs cricket for his country. Indeed, people were purring about him when he appeared against England - as a 17-year-old - in the World Twenty20 tournament of 2010.

This season, though, is Dockrell's chance to play first-class cricket to his heart's desire. With Murali Kartik having left Taunton for Surrey, the way is clear for young George to fill his boots. And fill them he surely will if he keeps bowling with as much control, flight and variety as he displayed during this match.

Somerset were first alerted to Dockrell's talent when he was just 15. Last year, with Kartik on board, he appeared in only one championship contest. But this summer his development promises to be rapid and, on the evidence of today, spectacular.

Middlesex were looking more than capable of earning a draw when they reached 105 for 1 deep into the morning session. The first innings arrears had just been cleared and, with a fair amount of good fortune, admittedly, Philander had been seen off.

But Dockrell changed the game from the moment he defeated Sam Robson's attempted sweep to win a leg before decision. Chris Rogers followed, edging a cut, and the visitors knew a tricky afternoon stretched out before them.

Even so, losing their last seven wickets for 40 runs in 20 overs to be hurried out for 175 was pretty remarkable. Philander did for Neil Dexter and Dawid Malan to finish with match figures of 7 for 81. But the Dockrell show resumed with John Simpson being undone by turn and bounce before Gareth Berg, lbw pushing forward, Ollie Rayner, stumped, despite at least one fumble from Craig Kieswetter, and Toby Roland-Jones, holing out in the deep, completed the collection.

A match haul of 8 for 62 should have allowed Dockrell to sit back and relax while Somerset knocked off a victory target of 72 in 40 overs. Instead, he and a few others in the home changing room will have moved towards the edge of their seats as the hosts slipped to 44 for 4.

Having one eye on approaching dark clouds probably did not help the top order. But just when some mild panic was setting in around the ground, James Hildreth and Jos Buttler settled matters with a few hefty blows - including Buttler's reverse sweep off Joe Denly, to seal the deal.

Having lost their opening match of the last two championship campaigns, Somerset deserve to feel good about themselves after this result. As for Middlesex, they fought so hard for so much of a match in which conditions generally conspired against them that defeat will be tough to take. But in the first division one bad session is usually fatal - and the visitors had a shocker after lunch today.

No such worries for Dockrell, of course. "This should give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season," he said. "Obviously I didn't get many opportunities last year with Murali Kartik here so I'm pleased to have started well.

"You have to go with what you've got. I'm quite tall and getting bounce seems to be a big thing for me at the moment. I'm still working on my action and I made a little change this winter while working with Ireland coach Phil Simmons and it seems to have helped because I'm getting a bit more spin."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Juiceoftheapple on April 11, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    Max waller's been well and truly muscled out then. Still, understandable, slow left armer vs a leggie, same old story - unless you're Warnie. Be good to see a 2 spin attack in one dayers thou. I didnt really rate Dockrell that highly before this, didnt think his deliveries looked very threatening, but I take it back, he looks top notch on the highlights. Compton doing the Boycott-Tavare thing, hope it doesn't cost us a result one day as we bat to 8. Cummins or Starc or Hilf or Siddle?.... when VP plays against England. Cracking 3 match series, but for the bloody Olympics should be 5 matcher...

  • JG2704 on April 11, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    @CS - Dougie Brown's another who played for Scotland and England. Then I googled him up and found he also played for Namibia. Re Trott and KP - if I was an outsider - I would not have a problem with it as SA never showed any interest in calling either up to the seniors.I don't know with Joyce - I don't feel strongly but it seems to cheapen playing international cricket if withihin the space of 5 years or so you have switched from 1 nation to the other then back again esp if the reason is that he could not get a place in the side he chose to play for.With Dockrell or any other Irish player , if Ireland qualify to play test cricket I think they should be allowed to switch back because the circumstances of Irish cricket have significantly changed.. I'm not sure about the 4 year rule - I'm sure Morgan played for Eng within 12-18 months of his last appearance for Ireland. The debate will rumble on , but re Hick it wasn't like he played for Eng within a year or so of last playing for Zim.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 11, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    @JG, I have a feeling that the rules were changed about the time that Hick qualified. He had played for Zim and was in their 1983 World Cup squad (at 17) albeit without playing. I recall Mike Proctor qualifying for England just before injury forced his retirement in 1981. No less an authority than Sir Geoffrey was advocating England picking him (look at our fast bowling resources then and you'll see why). I am not sure if the qualifying time came down from 10 to 4 years, or was 10, then 7 then 4 (someone must remember this). Anyway, that changes nothing, I would prefer England not to pick Dockerell and Rankin, although I think that at least the latter is a very long way down the pecking order right now and unlikely to get a game With so many young spinners around George Dockerell would also, fortunately have a huge battle to get in the side. I think that Kerrigan would give him a run for his money right now: that boy is a huge talent and 100% English.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 11, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    @JG, it is one thing playing for another team because the country of your birth does not play at the top level. It's anotherchanging from one Test side to another. KP was not wanted and would have had trouble playing regularly. Trott, I son't know about. When Kepler Wessels changed from South Africa to Australia and back to South Africa it seemed too short a qualifying time. For Gavin Hamilton and Ed Joyce, who had no chance of playing again at top level, going back to the country of their birth seemed reasonable. Hamilton was poached (no other word for it) on the basis of World Cup performances and found hopelessly wanting at Test level but, having played one game for England, could no longer play for Scotland. It seemed callous. I would be far more leniant with players from Associate nations than those born in Test-playing countries (save dual nationals who pick one of their two passports and stick with it, as my father had to) who move for economic reasons.

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    @Chrispa85 on (April 09 2012, 01:17 AM GMT) I don't think Alfie is playing IPL this year. It's a shame He has not started with Somerset this year as last season we seemed to pick up form after a slow start last year when he was back from IPL and we then tailed off towards the end when Tres got injured. Still pleased to have Vernon and hope we sign a quality bowler for when Vernon leaves

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    @Bongani Katoon (April 09 2012, 22:40 PM GMT) You're right. I'm not too proud to admit that I'm not so confident with our batting depth. You could add Cook to that. Having said that Trott wasn't on the radar until he played and became an instant success and KP contributed very little in the tests (UAE/SL) until the last match this year.

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (April 10 2012, 12:53 PM GMT) To be honest it actually seems too short to me. I remember Hick and Lamb seemed to take quite a while to qualify for England compared to some of the Irish players who are playing for Ireland one yesr and for Eng the next. I'm not against it but I felt the Joyce situation - however compassionate - did not feel right. I do however think if Ireland do get test status then the Irish players should have a few months to decide one way or the other who they want to play for and that be that. As a neutral it would be good to see Morgan,Dockrell,Rankin etc playing test cricket for Ireland. I see the situation different with Trott and KP as SA didn't seem to show an interest in recruiting them anyway.

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    @Chrispa85 on (April 09 2012, 01:17 AM GMT) I don't think Alfie is playing IPL this year. It's a shame He has not started with Somerset this year as last season we seemed to pick up form after a slow start last year when he was back from IPL and we then tailed off towards the end when Tres got injured. Still pleased to have Vernon and hope we sign a quality bowler for when Vernon leaves

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    @Bongani Katoon (April 09 2012, 22:40 PM GMT) You're right. I'm not too proud to admit that I'm not so confident with our batting depth. You could add Cook to that. Having said that Trott wasn't on the radar until he played and became an instant success and KP contributed very little in the tests (UAE/SL) until the last match this year.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 10, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    Meety, Ed Joyce needed 4 years to re-qualify for Ireland. And I agree, that is not right. Same story for Gavin Hamilton re-qualifying for Scotland and Geraint Jones for Papua New Guinea. The rule does not seem fair to me.

  • Juiceoftheapple on April 11, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    Max waller's been well and truly muscled out then. Still, understandable, slow left armer vs a leggie, same old story - unless you're Warnie. Be good to see a 2 spin attack in one dayers thou. I didnt really rate Dockrell that highly before this, didnt think his deliveries looked very threatening, but I take it back, he looks top notch on the highlights. Compton doing the Boycott-Tavare thing, hope it doesn't cost us a result one day as we bat to 8. Cummins or Starc or Hilf or Siddle?.... when VP plays against England. Cracking 3 match series, but for the bloody Olympics should be 5 matcher...

  • JG2704 on April 11, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    @CS - Dougie Brown's another who played for Scotland and England. Then I googled him up and found he also played for Namibia. Re Trott and KP - if I was an outsider - I would not have a problem with it as SA never showed any interest in calling either up to the seniors.I don't know with Joyce - I don't feel strongly but it seems to cheapen playing international cricket if withihin the space of 5 years or so you have switched from 1 nation to the other then back again esp if the reason is that he could not get a place in the side he chose to play for.With Dockrell or any other Irish player , if Ireland qualify to play test cricket I think they should be allowed to switch back because the circumstances of Irish cricket have significantly changed.. I'm not sure about the 4 year rule - I'm sure Morgan played for Eng within 12-18 months of his last appearance for Ireland. The debate will rumble on , but re Hick it wasn't like he played for Eng within a year or so of last playing for Zim.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 11, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    @JG, I have a feeling that the rules were changed about the time that Hick qualified. He had played for Zim and was in their 1983 World Cup squad (at 17) albeit without playing. I recall Mike Proctor qualifying for England just before injury forced his retirement in 1981. No less an authority than Sir Geoffrey was advocating England picking him (look at our fast bowling resources then and you'll see why). I am not sure if the qualifying time came down from 10 to 4 years, or was 10, then 7 then 4 (someone must remember this). Anyway, that changes nothing, I would prefer England not to pick Dockerell and Rankin, although I think that at least the latter is a very long way down the pecking order right now and unlikely to get a game With so many young spinners around George Dockerell would also, fortunately have a huge battle to get in the side. I think that Kerrigan would give him a run for his money right now: that boy is a huge talent and 100% English.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 11, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    @JG, it is one thing playing for another team because the country of your birth does not play at the top level. It's anotherchanging from one Test side to another. KP was not wanted and would have had trouble playing regularly. Trott, I son't know about. When Kepler Wessels changed from South Africa to Australia and back to South Africa it seemed too short a qualifying time. For Gavin Hamilton and Ed Joyce, who had no chance of playing again at top level, going back to the country of their birth seemed reasonable. Hamilton was poached (no other word for it) on the basis of World Cup performances and found hopelessly wanting at Test level but, having played one game for England, could no longer play for Scotland. It seemed callous. I would be far more leniant with players from Associate nations than those born in Test-playing countries (save dual nationals who pick one of their two passports and stick with it, as my father had to) who move for economic reasons.

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    @Chrispa85 on (April 09 2012, 01:17 AM GMT) I don't think Alfie is playing IPL this year. It's a shame He has not started with Somerset this year as last season we seemed to pick up form after a slow start last year when he was back from IPL and we then tailed off towards the end when Tres got injured. Still pleased to have Vernon and hope we sign a quality bowler for when Vernon leaves

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    @Bongani Katoon (April 09 2012, 22:40 PM GMT) You're right. I'm not too proud to admit that I'm not so confident with our batting depth. You could add Cook to that. Having said that Trott wasn't on the radar until he played and became an instant success and KP contributed very little in the tests (UAE/SL) until the last match this year.

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (April 10 2012, 12:53 PM GMT) To be honest it actually seems too short to me. I remember Hick and Lamb seemed to take quite a while to qualify for England compared to some of the Irish players who are playing for Ireland one yesr and for Eng the next. I'm not against it but I felt the Joyce situation - however compassionate - did not feel right. I do however think if Ireland do get test status then the Irish players should have a few months to decide one way or the other who they want to play for and that be that. As a neutral it would be good to see Morgan,Dockrell,Rankin etc playing test cricket for Ireland. I see the situation different with Trott and KP as SA didn't seem to show an interest in recruiting them anyway.

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    @Chrispa85 on (April 09 2012, 01:17 AM GMT) I don't think Alfie is playing IPL this year. It's a shame He has not started with Somerset this year as last season we seemed to pick up form after a slow start last year when he was back from IPL and we then tailed off towards the end when Tres got injured. Still pleased to have Vernon and hope we sign a quality bowler for when Vernon leaves

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    @Bongani Katoon (April 09 2012, 22:40 PM GMT) You're right. I'm not too proud to admit that I'm not so confident with our batting depth. You could add Cook to that. Having said that Trott wasn't on the radar until he played and became an instant success and KP contributed very little in the tests (UAE/SL) until the last match this year.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 10, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    Meety, Ed Joyce needed 4 years to re-qualify for Ireland. And I agree, that is not right. Same story for Gavin Hamilton re-qualifying for Scotland and Geraint Jones for Papua New Guinea. The rule does not seem fair to me.

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    @Posted by Meety on (April 10 2012, 00:17 AM GMT) I think it should be fairly easy for that to happen - GD to switch - if/when Ireland become a fully established test side. Otherwise they are not showing consistency as Ed Joyce switched and switched back again in no time. I know we get a load of comms re our importing and to a degree rightly so. I do feel that people go OTT using Prior and Strauss who have spent most of their lives in England or even Trott and KP who have never played for the SA senior side but I can see where the neutral man is coming from when you get an Irish player who plays for Ireland one year and the next he's playing for England. Ironically in the 90s the Irish football team had quite a few Englishmen in their team

  • Meety on April 10, 2012, 0:17 GMT

    I'd have no worries with Dockrell playing for England (more ammo - LOL) as long as IF Ireland achieved Test status he & Morgan could INSTANTLY be qualified to play for Ireland. I am assuming Test status could be achieved with 10 or 15 years. What I don't want to see, is Dockrell playing for England in some trivial ODI or T20, whereby he would then be unqualified to play for Ireland. This would be a double edged sword as it would lower Ireland's performance in the short/mid term which in turn would make something like Test status less achievable. @TheHoneymonster - whilst IMO Dockrell is NOT an "..England player.." - you are correct in saying that Irish cricket has improved immensely under the ties to the English domestic scene. Ireland thanks to their ECB ties, is in far better shape for test status then Bangladesh were 12 years ago (some would even argue it as even now!).

  • on April 9, 2012, 22:40 GMT

    @JG2704 not to stoke da fire mate, bt if KP and trott were to be injured who does england hv in their ranks to replace them?

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    @Chrispa85 on (April 09 2012, 01:17 AM GMT) I don't think Alfie is playing IPL this year. It's a shame He has not started with Somerset this year as last season we seemed to pick up form after a slow start last year when he was back from IPL and we then tailed off towards the end when Tres got injured. Still pleased to have Vernon and hope we sign a quality bowler for when Vernon leaves

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    @Spelele - You're starting to sound a little nervous there re "It is, however, disappointing to see his county captain overuse him so much in a plan by the ECB to wear him out before the SA tour of ENG. What happened to promising to use him only when chasing a game?" - Chrispa85 has already answered part of that and re "What happened to promising to use him only when chasing a game?" - I'm sure Somerset would have made no such promises as they would have paid good money for his services , although they have probably said that they would not overdo his workload which as Chrispa85 has answered they haven't. I hope he doesn't burn himself out because if Eng do win I don't want excuses etc like you put with India's ageing side (about 6 months or so older than when they toured SA) and Australia in transition ...

  • CricketingStargazer on April 9, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    @Darren Cook, a lot of us want to see Ireland playing more ODIs and a lot want to see them being granted Tests. The sad reality though is that unless another Asian nation is ready for elevation to balance the voting, the BCCI will never consent to Ireland being promoted. For now I just hope that a way can be found to give Ireland at least 3 ODIs and a T20 against England alternate years and for all touring sides to play at least one ODI in Ireland.

  • SDHM on April 9, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    samedwards- fair point, well made! He'll have been in the Somerset academy for the last few years though, and the point still stands; the likes of Rankin and Morgan owe a lot to county cricket, as many players around the world once did (not so much any more, considering all the incentives the ECB have put in place to edge out quality overseas players in place of youngsters - not a good move in my eyes). And Spelele - I'd have to agree with other posters; if you think 40 overs over four days is a demanding workload, you need a rethink! Philander does however seem to struggle even after relatively short spells; there's a lot of grimacing and stiffness going on after a few overs. It's something he needs to work on; if the summer continues as dry as the weather has been over the past few weeks, then the pitches will be flat, and if Cook and Trott get stuck in, it'll be interesting to see how long he can last.

  • FatBoysCanBat on April 9, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    I think Somerset can be a force in the top division. With Tresco, Hildreth, Compton, Kieswetter and Buttler they have perhaps the est batting line up in England. As for the bowling; we all know how good Dockrell is, Philander won't be there for the whole season but I can't see them losing any matches while he is there, then there is the experience of Steve Kirby - very under-rated in the English System. I don't know much about Meschede but from what I understand Alfonso Thomas is in the squad [as a local player] so the attack could be Philander, Thomas, Kirby and Dockrell - which looks good. Hopefully when Philander's time is up they can sign another quality overseas quick. As an NZer I hope Tim Southee and his management will do all they can to get him over to England and this is an opportunity for him to get him foot in the door. A County stint will do wonders for him. And he will do well over there.

  • on April 9, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    I played in a match against George's father a few years ago, the Dockerells are steeped in Irish Cricket.

    It's unfortunate that Irish Cricket is doomed to lose it's best and brightest to England. Maybe the plans that Cricket Ireland have for a First Class structure here will eventually lead the way to to Test status.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 9, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    I should have added that, as the light faded so fast at the end, another 30 runs would have guaranteed Middlesex a draw.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 9, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    All a bit of a let down for Middlesex. They were clearly inferior all through the match, but fighting hard and then folded in the most disappointing manner on the final afternoon. Three down at lunch they should have been able to bat past Tea and secure a draw. Plenty of excuses about April pitches and Middlesex having the worst of the conditions, but the bottom line is that Middlesex went from 105-1 and approaching safety to 175 all out. One more hour batting and the match was safe. It's a hard lesson on how difficult survival will be tthis season.

  • bobmartin on April 9, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    Spelele... Somerset are not paying Philander to idle away his time picking up some form in English conditions and hone hime for the tests... he's earning his corn doing his job,,, If that wears him out and he's knackered come test match time... so much the better... He who pays the piper calls the tune ...

  • samedwards on April 9, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster, Dockrell has not been developed by Somerset, rather by Ireland. He started playing cricket there & represented them in all their international fixtures since he was 15. In fact, this might be his 1st County season, where he will be the premier spinner for Somerset.

  • on April 9, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    Lets hope Mr Dockerell stays Irish as I know he isn't English and if players like him keep playing for England how are Ireland ever going to develop as a cricketing nation...

  • Chrispa85 on April 9, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    @Spelele If 40 overs over 4 days in cold and damp conditions is too physically demanding then Philander has serious fitness issues.

    As a Somerset fan I'm incredibly excited about him being in the team. As an England fan I wish he weren't in county cricket because I believe that fast bowlers in particular benefit from regular action and he is discovering more about the conditions he will play on.

    @JG2704 Alfonso spends the winter playing T20 all over the place including the IPL so we won't see him for a while unfortunately

  • on April 9, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    Not that i care about county cricket, bt well done V.P fly the SA flag high. Get another 50 wickets in 8 games ths tym @JG2704 alfonso thomas (the south african) is at the ipl. Lol you've bn askin da same question 4 a while nw.

  • Spelele on April 8, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    @JG2704: hahaha, not a chance! Philander will continue with his form and terrorise England this June. It is, however, disappointing to see his county captain overuse him so much in a plan by the ECB to wear him out before the SA tour of ENG. What happened to promising to use him only when chasing a game?

  • JG2704 on April 8, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    Pleased that Somerset won. After a slow start and finish cost us last season it was good to get off with a win today.When I left around mid day Middx were 60-1 so I was surprised Somerset won. I feel they need to get as many wins as possible while the weather isn't washing games out and while VP is still there.Still wondering why Alf T wasn't playing. Well done Dockrell too. Hope Somerset sign another quality bowler as their overseas player when VP leaves to play for SA. Hopefully he will have taken loads of wickets for Somerset and will then go through a lean patch when playing for his country

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 8, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    Well it would indeed be nice if Dockerell would continue to strengthen the Irish side for years to come. However, hyped performances like this are likely to make England more interested, and, since Dockerell has expressed his amibition to play for England (as it is the only realistic way, as it was for Joyce and Morgan before him, that he can become a test cricketer), make it more likely unfortunately that Ireland will lose him.

  • SDHM on April 8, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    Funkyandy - you could argue he is an England player, seeing as he's been developed by Somerset :P The fact of the matter is Irish cricket would be nowhere without the county championship developing their players and giving them chances, so the likes of Morgan, Rankin and Dockrell are as much products of English cricket as they are Irish cricket. Test cricket probably won't arrive in Ireland for a long time, so if these players want to try for the top level, I don't think anyone should stand in their way. That said, I'm not particularly comfortable with it - there are enough talented young English-born players coming through now that we shouldn't have to deny Ireland a potential star. On this game, good start for us though - with Philander in the ranks and a young spinner on form we might start winning consistently at Taunton for once. Wouldn't mind seeing the batsmen put their foot down in the next few matches though.

  • funkyandy on April 8, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Get in George!! That boy will become Ireland's version of Dan Vettori!! HANDS OFF ENGLAND!!! Pick your own players!

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  • funkyandy on April 8, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Get in George!! That boy will become Ireland's version of Dan Vettori!! HANDS OFF ENGLAND!!! Pick your own players!

  • SDHM on April 8, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    Funkyandy - you could argue he is an England player, seeing as he's been developed by Somerset :P The fact of the matter is Irish cricket would be nowhere without the county championship developing their players and giving them chances, so the likes of Morgan, Rankin and Dockrell are as much products of English cricket as they are Irish cricket. Test cricket probably won't arrive in Ireland for a long time, so if these players want to try for the top level, I don't think anyone should stand in their way. That said, I'm not particularly comfortable with it - there are enough talented young English-born players coming through now that we shouldn't have to deny Ireland a potential star. On this game, good start for us though - with Philander in the ranks and a young spinner on form we might start winning consistently at Taunton for once. Wouldn't mind seeing the batsmen put their foot down in the next few matches though.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 8, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    Well it would indeed be nice if Dockerell would continue to strengthen the Irish side for years to come. However, hyped performances like this are likely to make England more interested, and, since Dockerell has expressed his amibition to play for England (as it is the only realistic way, as it was for Joyce and Morgan before him, that he can become a test cricketer), make it more likely unfortunately that Ireland will lose him.

  • JG2704 on April 8, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    Pleased that Somerset won. After a slow start and finish cost us last season it was good to get off with a win today.When I left around mid day Middx were 60-1 so I was surprised Somerset won. I feel they need to get as many wins as possible while the weather isn't washing games out and while VP is still there.Still wondering why Alf T wasn't playing. Well done Dockrell too. Hope Somerset sign another quality bowler as their overseas player when VP leaves to play for SA. Hopefully he will have taken loads of wickets for Somerset and will then go through a lean patch when playing for his country

  • Spelele on April 8, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    @JG2704: hahaha, not a chance! Philander will continue with his form and terrorise England this June. It is, however, disappointing to see his county captain overuse him so much in a plan by the ECB to wear him out before the SA tour of ENG. What happened to promising to use him only when chasing a game?

  • on April 9, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    Not that i care about county cricket, bt well done V.P fly the SA flag high. Get another 50 wickets in 8 games ths tym @JG2704 alfonso thomas (the south african) is at the ipl. Lol you've bn askin da same question 4 a while nw.

  • Chrispa85 on April 9, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    @Spelele If 40 overs over 4 days in cold and damp conditions is too physically demanding then Philander has serious fitness issues.

    As a Somerset fan I'm incredibly excited about him being in the team. As an England fan I wish he weren't in county cricket because I believe that fast bowlers in particular benefit from regular action and he is discovering more about the conditions he will play on.

    @JG2704 Alfonso spends the winter playing T20 all over the place including the IPL so we won't see him for a while unfortunately

  • on April 9, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    Lets hope Mr Dockerell stays Irish as I know he isn't English and if players like him keep playing for England how are Ireland ever going to develop as a cricketing nation...

  • samedwards on April 9, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster, Dockrell has not been developed by Somerset, rather by Ireland. He started playing cricket there & represented them in all their international fixtures since he was 15. In fact, this might be his 1st County season, where he will be the premier spinner for Somerset.

  • bobmartin on April 9, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    Spelele... Somerset are not paying Philander to idle away his time picking up some form in English conditions and hone hime for the tests... he's earning his corn doing his job,,, If that wears him out and he's knackered come test match time... so much the better... He who pays the piper calls the tune ...