Nottinghamshire v Somerset, YB40 semi-final, Trent Bridge September 8, 2013

Strugglers seek one-day solace

Les Smith

Glamorgan, to the surprise of many, have secured their place in the final of the Yorkshire Bank 40 and, on Monday, they will discover their opponents as Nottinghamshire and Somerset meet at Trent Bridge in a match that provides both sides with a last opportunity to grab something rewarding from the season.

Both counties have struggled in Division One of the County Championship, and neither is safe from relegation. A place in the final at Lord's on September 21 offers the chance of redemption and, even though Glamorgan's displays have demanded respect, the winners of this second semi-final can expect to be installed as favourites.

Somerset are in greater peril of relegation in the Championship, and they could be forgiven if in Nottingham they have half a mind on their crucial meeting with Surrey at Taunton two days later.

Nottinghamshire cruised through their qualifying group and Mick Newell, their director of cricket, is aware of the significance of the semi-final in the context of his team's season.

"We're looking forward to the challenge", he said. "There were a couple of blips towards the end of qualifying but we played very well though the first half of the competition. James Taylor played excellently, as did Alex Hales and Samit Patel. We had a little stutter but you're not going to win 12 out of 12 so I think winning nine was a pretty good effort."

Newell had high expectations of Nottinghamshire in one-day cricket at the start of the season, but they succumbed in the Friends Life t20 at the quarter-final stage. To falter again would be a frustrating end.

"We've achieved a minimum," he said. "I felt from early in the season this was a good one-day team, and that the minimum requirement was to make a home quarter and a home semi. We've done that now so if we win I'll be very pleased that we've achieved more than the bare minimum and if we lose we'll look back and think that wasn't really quite good enough for this team."

Nottinghamshire expect a close contest with Somerset. "They're similar to us," Newell said. "They'd probably say they're a better one-day side rather than four-day side. They played a lot of good, dominant cricket in their group. They're a good batting side in particular, very explosive, but with someone like Jos Buttler missing I hope that would swing things in our favour."

Buttler is away keeping wicket for the England one-day team but Somerset will have Jamie Overton available; he has been released from the England squad for this match but will return ahead of the third ODI. Somerset will be hoping that Craig Kieswetter can put behind him the demons of his last match, when he conceded 41 byes in a two-wicket Championship defeat to Derbyshire at Taunton.

Lurking in the background will be the debate over whether Hales and Michael Lumb, in demand for their T20 prowess, should be allowed to enter the auction for IPL next year. Nottinghamshire were unwilling to let them go last year, but they are pressing for a change of heart and talks have begun.

"The phrase 'showdown talks' was slightly exaggerated," Newell said, with a smile. "I had a meeting with Michael Lumb's agent and I'm expecting to have a meeting with Hales's agent at the end of the season.

"We said when we said 'no' in January that we would review the whole situation at the end of the season because the IPL is such a fluid event in terms of when it takes place, and where, and who's in charge so we'll have some more chats then we'll make a decision that is right for the cricket club."

He has no worries about the issue being a distraction for the pair. "I'd like to think the issue won't hang over the players on Monday. Hales and Lumb are excellent white-ball players so their focus, I believe, is all about getting us to Lord's."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on September 10, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    @Derek Grabham on (September 9, 2013, 19:48 GMT) Have posted plenty on it - both on this thread and (hopefully published) on the other thread. On this occasion I'm not AS down about this game as I have been previous big losses as this was a game where I felt we were up against it from before we started. I do however seriously fear for the future of Somerset CC as it seems that our brightest star will be taken from us. One thing I've learnt is to hope that Somerset players get overlooked by the England selectors in the future

  • John on September 10, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    @markatnotts - Notts would have been heavy favourites going into the game regardless but to say that Jos would not have made one jot of difference I feel is unjust. The difference in batting skills between Lewis Gregory and Jos Buttler is absolutely massive. I don't even know why Gregory is seen as an all rounder. Mechede is much better but even he is miles behind Jos in terms of skill/threat. Also as posted on the other thread which will hopefully be published it affected our balance.And you surely must remember how Jos and the WI KP came in when Somerset looked dead and buried in that T20 QF 2 years ago and turned it around.Jos has done this often. Somerset don't have the game changing batsmen that Notts have. I'd say this season you'd only say Craig,Pete and Jos compared to Lumb,Hales,Hussey,Patel and Wessels so it affects us more than you.Notts had Mullaney in at 8 who is better than our no 6.Losing Jos and the gulf in class widens much further

  • Mark on September 9, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Well, all done and dusted. Good on you Notts, and I don't think Buttler would have made one jot of difference. I still can't believe we stood up in a knockout for once. Anyway the general theme in comments about this match was about the lack of Josh but I actually think it has more to do with the suddenly found belief at Notts and the toss. I have been working fairly near the ground today and seen a fair bit of rain. It gets cleared up at TB fairly quickly but still it was a good toss to win. If we had have batted first I think we would have got more than 119 but our bowling would have found it hard anyway as conditions eased.

  • Pundit on September 9, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    Oh well all those people who were critical of Patel on this portal, what can I say. Bowled well and batted very well. Strike rate 165 and took England hopeful Overton in fast bowling conditions apart! Selectors support who they want to. As i said before some are selected grudgingly and do not have ongoing support to do well. Well done Notts. another future England player on show Mechreds!

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    Well, another disaster season for Somerset beckons especially if we do get relegated in the CC. Today's game against Notts was in no doubt the poorest that Somerset had played in a pressurised game. Questions must be raised about the team efforts, the heirarchy of the club, coach, captain, director of cricket. It will need some tough decisions to make. WE have NOT won a trophy since 2005, eight seasons ago, we should have won at least four in the past few seasons. JG2704 your comments??

  • John on September 9, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Now the toss also goes against Somerset - I'm starting to wonder why I came back from sunny Dartmoor especially early.

    I was going to say - before he got out - if it might not be such a bad idea to have Tres coming in at 5 or 6 so that we have experienced powerful batsmen both opening and in the middle of the order. As I type we have our 2 best shorter format batsmen (available) at the crease and I fear that if one goes in the 1st 20 overs then our chances receed considerably. Presuming they're not anticipating much spin - wondering if Waller should not have been included

  • stuart on September 9, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Hope they are able to play soon.just listening to Bob Willis on Sky makes me wonder what it is with old English Fast Bowlers.He is the new Fred Trueman. Who do we think will this this generations miserable git of a commentator? Dear Sky.I love your cricket coverage but please Bob Willis,just no.Its wrong.He is to the Sky commentary team what Dernbach is to an England bowling attack

  • John on September 9, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    @Derek Grabham - So England are releasing Overton to play in the Surrey game then? I suppose that's some good news although I'd rather Jos was available for today's game. I'm not really sure what Somerset can do in terms of drastic action. It seems counties have zero input with the national selectors otherwise Jos would be playing today and Carberry would have played for Hants on Saturday. Part of me thinks Somerset should not have allowed Jos to play in this series. It seems he sees himself as more of an Eng player than a Somerset player but then if that had happened would Jos have given his all. Maybe the 75 was thee worst thing from a Somerset point of view. Maybe if he had looked ungainly making a single figure score Eng just might have released Jos for this game thinking that he could get a knock to get him into nick which would benefit England. The fact that he scored 75 (which to me still looked scratchy at times) means Eng have nothing to gain....

  • Gwyn on September 9, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    Notts have got into the unfortunate habit of losing games they should win on paper. Over recent seasons they have been deprived of Broad, Swann, Lumb, Hales, Patel & Taylor for key games in all competitions so to hear cries of unfair is somewhat shortsighted. Mick Newell has been a supporter of the English cause and that is partly the reason players like Swann Broad and Taylor have come to Trent Bridge and flourished. It'll be close tonight, I hope Notts do it but will be chewing my fingernails to the end. Just hope the weather doesn't stuff it up.

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    As a Lancashire fan I can view the semi-finals with some neutrality and I also agree that the non-availability of Carberry and Buttler for the SEMI-FINALS devalues the YB40 competition. Whilst the England team management are not without blame here surely a good deal of kicking needs to be headed in the way of the schedulers - I mean why on earth are the SFs being held in the middle of the ODI series with Australia? The non-release of Buttler seems absurd given that Nottingham is only a 90 minute drive from Manchester. The Carberry situation is even more frustrating as I had him in my fantasy XI. Grrrr.

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