Somerset v Sussex, Taunton, 2nd day July 9, 2013

Somerset support growing restless

Somerset 244 and 197 for 7 (Hildreth 49, Anyon 4-56) lead Sussex 363 (Yardy 156, Machan 103) by 78 runs

The scorebook does not lie, although here, surely, was the exception. It stated that Marcus Trescothick, the pre-eminent county cricketer, was out for a pair against Sussex, which equated to his fourth duck in succession. To stretch credulity even further, Nick Compton, also out without scoring in the first innings, was dismissed for a single figure score by the same bowler. An Australian.

For the second time in this match, Trescothick had received the kind of ball most batsmen would have struggled to contend with as soon as they had come to the crease. In the first innings, it was a snorter from James Anyon which he was good enough to touch. Now, coming in again after Sussex had achieved a 119-run lead, he was beaten by away swing and caught behind.

As he departed for the futuristic pavilion, Trescothick seemed to acknowledge the crowd by raising his bat in what appeared to be a mock gesture in response to some ribald comment on the boundary. He has played for Somerset for 20 years - and it would seem there will be more to come. He, at any rate, has always declared he will continue until he is 40, even if, at present, he describes his batting as "a work in progress."

It should be noted that two of the Somerset captain's four ducks came in t20 matches, so in a sense that does not count. But these are worrying times, both for him and his team, who not for the first time this season have been outplayed by Sussex. Nor did it seem a particularly sensible idea not to play a specialist spinner in the expectation that George Dockrell would return from playing for Ireland in time for the third day of this match. That looks too late.

As for Compton, yorked by the under-rated Steve Magoffin, he had to put up with shouts of 'Joe Root!' from the Sussex supporters. All this after both dedicated opening batsmen had been in the nets two hours before the start of play on the second day.

In addition, Somerset lost Alviro Petersen, well held low by Yardy at third slip, Craig Meschede - who batted on account of the fact that he will stand down when Dockrell arrives in time for the third day's play - and James Hildreth, who made 49 before Magoffin had him caught in the slips, before achieving a lead.

The salient innings in this match was played by Mike Yardy, who struck 26 fours in reaching 150 and made 156 in all. The explosion of boundaries in the partnership of 275 in 52 overs between him and Matt Machan, whose maiden century came from 138 balls, was owing to some ineffectual change bowling.

Yardy reached the 20th century of his career when he pulled Jamie Overton for four soon after the resumption of play. Machan, whose previous highest first-class score was 99 against Oxford MCCU, was missed on 84 at short extra cover, but otherwise appeared thoroughly competent and confident.

He will drop out of this match when Ed Joyce appears, at the same times as Dockrell, which is all very bizarre and baffling insofar as the uninformed spectators were concerned.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 9, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    'Perhaps worthier of comment is the fact that Somerset are permitted to play a seam bowler for the first two days and replace him with a spinner for the third and fourth days'.

    Fat lot of good it's going to do them since their will hardly be a 3rd and no 4th day.The dodgy practice of promoting Enschede up the order backfired as well..

  • Peter on July 9, 2013, 22:29 GMT

    For the past decade-or-so, Trescothick's plundering of county attacks has been a major factor in Somerset's rise to being consistently amongst the best in all formats. This year he's struggled, and he's had a disastrous time of it recently. It's about time others weighed-in with consistently big performances. Tresco is now 37, and he can't go on forever. Come on guys, stick your hands up and help out your captain!

  • Mark on July 9, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    Just about the only good thing to come out of this match is that Somerset's rivals are doing no better and, in some cases, even worse. Only Warwickshire seem likely to come out in credit and even they have had their victory charge slowed to a crawl. Derbyshire look condemned to a massive defeat and only a super-optimist can see Surrey avoiding defeat, although they did scramble to a second bonus point (as against Somerset's four). Incredible as it may seem, Somerset should actually come out of this game with a small points advantage over Derbyshire and Surrey.

    Sad to see Marcus Trescothick struggling. I have been following his career closely since he was an England U19 cricketer. Great servant of the county. Did great things for England. It's sad to see his so out of sorts.

  • NIall on July 9, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    It isn't baffling to uninformed spectators, because they were informed, it is however bizarre to say the least that the teams are allowed to chop and change half way though.

  • Antony on July 9, 2013, 20:01 GMT

    Matt Machan "will drop out of this match when Ed Joyce appears, …which must mean he is the only cricketer to have been omitted by his own side in the same match in which he reached a maiden century."

    Didn't the same thing happen to Kevin Innes (playing for James Kirtley) back in 2003?

  • Michael on July 9, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    What is "bizarre and baffling" about the procedure for nominating replacements for players on international duty? Perhaps worthier of comment is the fact that Somerset are permitted to play a seam bowler for the first two days and replace him with a spinner for the third and fourth days.

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