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.