Somerset v Worcestershire, Flt20 Mids/West Group, Taunton July 14, 2013

Trescothick finds form but Somerset falter

Worcestershire 168 for 7 (Kervezee 53, Arafat 3-29) beat Somerset 160 for 8 (Trescothick 49, Leach 3-20, Shantry 3-34) by eight runs

A return to form by Marcus Trescothick and some six-hitting by Jos Buttler entirely in keeping with his reputation should have resulted in a reasonably straightforward victory by Somerset. That Worcestershire won by eight runs emphasised how lesser talents, through the eternal values of line and length and competent catching, can still prevail.

Needing 169 to win, Somerset needed 70 off 43 balls - virtually ten an over - when Trescothick was dismissed. His 49 from 38 balls had satisfied requirements, but throughout the innings only Buttler managed to pose the same threat.

Trescothick was on the back of four ducks, a fact that led him to respond to mild Taunton barracking in the Championship defeat against Sussex by raising his bat in acknowledgment, encouraging fanciful theories that he might be about to enter retirement.

He played more confidently here, not least against Gareth Andrew, his former team-mate. One six over long on smacked of timing of old and a chipped four over the head of extra cover off Moeen Ali was calculated through precise knowledge of the field placings.

The Somerset captain had been stoutly defended on Twitter in the morning by Andy Nash, the Somerset chairman who, unusually for a cricket administrator, is prepared to vent his feelings on social media. "Don't you dare write off Tres," he threatened any critics. "The man is a legend and has my unconditional 100 per cent support. Period."

The danger with such comments is that they raise more questions than answers, particularly when he says he would rather Somerset were relegated from the first division of the Championship with him than stay up without him.

But it was a pointless debate. Nobody could seriously have doubted that Trescothick's form would pick up. He had made struck six fours and that six when he was caught at deep cover off Jack Shantry.

Craig Kieswetter had gone in the first over, caught at short third man, and Nick Compton, whose technique, as we know, is not suited to this form of the game, was held at deep mid wicket. The catching and athleticism of Andre Russell, who caught both Trego and Compoton, was inspirational throughout the innings.

Two sixes off Andrew by Buttler, one whistling past a balcony window in the Ondaatje Pavilion, brought the asking rate down to 34 off three overs, which was feasible if Buttler stayed in. For once, though, one of his scoops did not come off and James Hildreth went in the same over, to Joe Leach's medium pace.

The centrepiece of Worcestershire's innings was 53 off 42 balls by Alexei Kervezee, who struck Steve Kirby for six over long on. Wickets fell about him, but Moeen Ali always appeared elegant, even when having to beetle on. Max Waller - surely his leg spin should be utilised more often, especially now the pitches are dry - bowled Daryl Mitchell with what appeared to be a top spinner, and had Russell caught at deep square leg.

Somerset, at any rate on paper, have a considerably more powerful batting line-up than Worcestershire, and it did not seem to make sense to have Compton coming in at a stage of the innings when the scoring rate had to be improved. In other words, have him opening or held back to stave off a collapse. Somerset of yesteryear - and there have been many good ones - surely would have won this match.

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  • John on July 16, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    @Munkeymomo on (July 15, 2013, 12:58 GMT) Re Trego. Last season he seemed to go through a phase of being fairly pedestrian with the bat. Then early this season in the YB40 he was (as you say) Brutal in some of his YB matches but he seems to be back in oedestrian mose at the moment. Vs Glamorgan he just about scored at a run a ball 40-50. Trego at his best would be scoring at a SR of at least 150 after that amount of time at the crease. Also do you or does anyone know what's happening/happened re Alviro?

    I looked on the Somerset website today and he was in the squad for Worcsand Nick wasn't. Yes looking forward to Rehman returning - is he taking over from Alviro in the T20s or just for the YB matches?

  • Brian on July 15, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    I wonder if Trescothick's past problems (especially ahead of the 2006-7 Ashes) shed any light on these curious comments that he'd rather Somerset were relegated with him in the side than stayed up without him. Trescothick's clearly been a force to be reckoned with for Somerset for many years, but I wonder if this is another case of him placing an unhealthy amount of pressure on himself and focusing too narrowly on his own performance

  • Ben on July 15, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I find this report a little unbalanced. Worcestershire of yesteryear often steamrollered Somerset. Ask any Somerset supporter over 30 whether they used to enjoy watching Graeme Hick bat against their county, for example.

  • Mark on July 15, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    Well played Worcestershire, though we would get there comfortably, but some tight bowling by the sounds of it. Really pleased to see Tres getting some runs after the 4 ducks in a row and only 5 at Cardiff. He will always be the absolute favourite at Taunton. Sure Trego and Buttler are great for us but Tres is the epitome of the club. Will be a sad day when he calls it time, I hope it isn't for many years.

    @JG: Trego has played some pretty brutal innings in the YB40. Alfonso's death bowling has dropped though you are right. He doesn't seem to be bowling to his sweepers anymore, and his yorkers have gone. Looking forwards to Rehman coming and the rest of the YB40 campaign.

  • John on July 15, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    @Simon Woods on (July 15, 2013, 4:47 GMT) You're right - and thanks for pointing it out. I somehow missed the article which I'd liked to have commented on. I still think Nick should have come in after James and Jos and (if still behind on RR required) CM. I think it proves that batting wise in T20 - when we have just one absentee we are significantly weakened

  • Dummy4 on July 15, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    @JG2704 Pretty sure Arul has retired through knee problems, so he couldnt have played anyways. @ Nutcutlet yep a good book and well said.

  • John on July 14, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    Well played Worcs.

    Disappointing to lose 2 in 2 in T20.

    A few points I'd like to make

    1 - What's happened to Alf's economy over the last year or so 2 - What's happened to Trego's SR? He seems (by his stats) seems to be trying to play too sensibly. Surely he's better when he's trying to blast it all over the place? Ok early inns you play yourself in but after 20+ deliveries your SR should have increased significantly 3 - Why no Alviro and if so I'd say Suppiah is a better bet in this format as he can bowl some overs. I'd have played him at number7 below Hildreth , Jos and Mechede

    I thought the pre tourn heavy favourites tag was unwarranted but (no disrespect) I expected Somerset to beat Worcs at home

  • ian on July 14, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    @SamWinton92: the premature end to Tres's (Test) career is explained in full, honest & painful detail in "Coming back to me", his prize-winning autobigraphy, written with the assistance of Peter Hayter. I thoroughly recommend it to you, especially if you are a little dismissive of people, even alpha-male sports stars, suffering from various forms of depression. If ever you thought that depression was a rather convenient excuse for ducking out of stuff, then this read will change your mind. It is as much an education as it is a cricket book. All the IPL easy money in the world would not make any difference to Tres, because, contrary to some people's understanding of the world, earning megabucks is not, nor ever will be more important than other matters, like mental & physical health, & for those blest with such, home & family.. Cricket is truly rich in genuinely well written books & through them I find that I understand more & more about the bigger picture. BW & good reading!

  • Sam on July 14, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    I've always been a fan of Marcus Trescothick. He's had a premature end to his career due to reasons which I never understood. He was an outstanding player & even now still has a lot to offer. When KP became captain in 2008 he requested him to return & again when Strauss became the captain in 2009 he also requested him to return. But on both occassions he declined. He certainly misses out on playing in lucrative leagues like IPL. He could have easily become world's one of the best batsman in every format.

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