Nottinghamshire v Somerset, YB40 semi-final, Trent Bridge

Nottinghamshire have a Ball to reach final

Jon Culley at Trent Bridge

September 9, 2013

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

Nottinghamshire 122 for 2 (Lumb 46, Patel 43*) beat Somerset 119 (Ball 4-25) by eight wickets
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Jake Ball cut through Somerset's lower order to end with four wickets, Nottinghamshire v Somerset, YB40 semi-final, Trent Bridge, September 9, 2013
Jake Ball ran through Somerset's lower order to finish with four wickets © PA Photos
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The whiff of relegation hangs in the air for both these counties in the Championship, rather strongly for Somerset, who will not have the consolation of a Lord's final a week on Saturday to take their minds off their troubles. In a contest trimmed to 35-overs per side, they batted for only a little over 25 overs as they were soundly thrashed by Nottinghamshire, who will be favourites to beat Glamorgan on September 21.

Jake Ball, a 23-year-old right-arm seamer who has yet to play Championship cricket, took 4 for 25, his best figures in senior cricket, as Somerset were dismissed for their lowest YB40 total of the season - by some distance - and provided a familial link with Nottinghamshire's last appearance in a Lord's final, when they beat Essex by three wickets in 1989.

That match was famous for Eddie Hemmings hitting the winning boundary off the last ball of the match. At the other end was Bruce French, whose sister, Debbie, became Debbie Ball and would a couple of years later give birth to Jake.

Peter Trego hit 40 off 53 balls to offer some substance to Somerset's cause but once he had been out-thought by Steven Mullaney, who drew an ankle-height return catch from a slower ball, they lost their last six wickets for 28 in an abjectly dispirited display. Mullaney finished with 3 for 35 as Somerset were dismissed in just 25.4 overs, their total of 119 some 103 runs fewer than their previous lowest in this year's competition, their form in which - until this performance - had been the highlight of a dismal season.

Nottinghamshire lost Alex Hales in the second over of their reply but once Michael Lumb had imposed his presence by hitting 46 off 38 balls, including 10 boundaries, before he top-edged Jamie Overton to be caught behind, the result was not in any doubt.

With the freedom to let rip, Samit Patel completed the night's work by smashing an unbeaten 43 off just 26 deliveries - including three fours in one over off Overton, who was released from England's one-day squad to take part - as Nottinghamshire passed their target in a mere 16.2 overs.

Young Ball's career has not progressed as quickly as it seemed it might when he made his first-class debut against MCC in Abu Dhabi in 2011 but on the basis of this performance is surely worth another look.

Unlucky not to strike with his first delivery, which beat Trego all ends up but somehow missed the stumps, he conceded 13 runs and bowled a wide in his second over, at which point he was taken out of the firing line. When he came back, for one over, he took out James Hildreth's middle stump, before a third spell yielded the wickets of Piyush Chawla, Alfonso Thomas and Jamie Overton, the last-name pair off consecutive balls before Steve Kirby survived the hat-trick attempt.

It was a pretty poor effort by Somerset, whose decline this season has been quite startling given that between 2009 and last season they were runners-up twice in both the Championship and the 40-over competition, and three times finished second in the Twenty20.

Put in by Nottinghamshire with cloud and rain about - the start was delayed by 50 minutes - but on an essentially good wicket, they lost Marcus Trescothick to the fourth ball of the match when the skipper thin-edged pushing at Harry Gurney, but Trego and Craig Kieswetter made decent progress until the latter, having just launched Ajmal Shahzad over cover, bottom edged an attempted pull and was caught behind. Nonetheless, 41 for 2 was a decent platform at the end of the seven-over Powerplay.

But Nick Compton gave his wicket away carelessly, attempting to hit Mullaney out of the ground in an over that had already yielded 10 runs. Without Jos Buttler, away on England duty, they needed Compton or Hildreth to deliver but Trego, who has made more than 1,000 runs in white ball cricket this year, was their only serious contributor, and Craig Meschede tried gamely to add runs in the closing stages, none of his lower-order partners lasted more than six balls.

The trip to Lord's gives Nottinghamshire a chance to add a late shine to a season in which they lost in the quarter-finals of the Twenty20 and have not won a Championship match since May. The quality of their batting line-up, in particular, with six internationals in their top seven, demands a trophy win, which may now come.

Director of cricket Mick Newell described the night as "an excellent all-round performance".

"We may have neglected one-day cricket in the last few years as we have concentrated on the four-day game but I identified this competition as one we could do well in as I think we now look a decent one-day side," he said.

"We've played well in both white-ball competitions this year and it is nice to have gone one step further and reached the final in this one."

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Posted by JG2704 on (September 10, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

@ CricketingStargazer on (September 10, 2013, 15:36 GMT) I think Somerset fans - myself included - are doom and gloom about the future for a number of reasons. 1 - Our T20 form has gradually got worse. 2 finals day finals then last year it was semi finals and this year quarter finals 2 - Our CC form has deteriorated big time this year. Last year we finished 2nd and I felt we could have won it had we had more luck with weather not affecting so many games 3 - It looks like we've lost or are losing 2 huge players. Trescothick looks very near the end - I think either his eyesight or concentration is a little dodgy and he has been immense over the years and pretty much irreplaceable And Buttler may even have already played his last game for the club and I'd say he is irreplaceable in shorter formats. Alf and Kirbs must be getting there too although I'm more worried about replacing our batsmen as we seem to have some promising youngsters coming through in the bowling dept

Posted by JG2704 on (September 10, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

@ Tom_Bowler on (September 10, 2013, 8:42 GMT) Understand where you're coming from but I still feel Buttler could have played yesterday's game and Carberry could have played in Saturday's game - with Wright taking his place. It just seems wrong to organise a one day series to coincide with the semi finals of our only domestic OD comp. I may not feel AS nad had Somerset drawn Hants and both teams had been without their top batsman. Cook is different as he is a CC player. I don't even class CC players as county players as they're more guests than anything else. I realise Eng matches do clash with county matches etc but to organise the ODI series to clash with the YB40 and then not making provisions for letting these players play in the semis is wronging the counties/county's fans IMO

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 10, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

I am delighted for Nottinghamshire, who were worthy winners, but sad for Somerset. They utterly destroyed my own county in what was effectively a Quarter-Final match, but were woeful in this game and never at the races.

I do not hold with the doom and gloom that seems to be coming from some Somerset fans. A season where there is a Semi-Final and a Quarter-Final is not all disaster, especially if Division 1 status is retained. What there is seems to be a severe inconsistency of performance - Somerset were brilliant against Gloucs in the YB40 and brilliant against Middlesex in the Championship, but have been dire at other times. The side is in transition, with all the problems that that always entails and confidence seems to be shaky when things start to go wrong in a match. Samit Patel is doing what he needs to do to get his name back in the frame, not that it has ever been out of it. England are not often going to pick two spinners at home and Tredwell has really earned his chance.

Posted by Yevghenny on (September 10, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

I have a feeling a few of these somerset players are carrying scars from final defeats from the last couple of seasons. Also, the time may be coming to an end for Trescothick, who only a couple of seasons ago was smashing it to all corners

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (September 10, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

Without the money generated by the England team the counties in their current form would cease to exist overnight. To enjoy any level of success the ECB had to introduce central contracts, an independent coaching structure and age group teams as the counties had proven themselves incapable of producing international standard players. Given that English first class cricket could not exist without the England team and that the counties have spent decades contributing little to it losing players to international calls is a small contribution to the greater good in return for the annual cheques. As an Essex fan I would love to see Cook and Bopara adding a bit of punch to our rice paper batting line up against Kent tomorrow but they won't be there and the club will survive without them, without the ECB's yearly float it wouldn't.

Posted by doughyinperth on (September 10, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

Time for Trescothick to give it away. Just hope Sky TV don't give him a job if he does!!

Posted by JG2704 on (September 10, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

CTD - The lack of balance IMO also affected our batting performance.Somerset would dearly have loved to have had power up front and in the middle order but due to curcumstances beyond their control , when Tres got out they had a dilemma of either bringing Trego (the only other player who could take full advantage in the power plays) up and leaving the number 6 area exposed or leaving Trego down the order for later in the innings but Trego is less effective at 6 (I mean 5 forgetting how weak our batting was yesterday)

I said before that I think they should maybe have opened with Peter and Craig and dropped Tres down the order but I still think they made the right decision to bring Trego in at 3. However I think all the Somerset batsmen were torn in what their roles were. Trego looked torn between attack and defence and at times was playing unnaturally cautiously and Nick was at times playing unnaturally aggressively. Jos was a huge loss , not just as a player but to the balance

Posted by JG2704 on (September 10, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

Congrats Notts. Thoroughly deserved finalists as the group tables will show. Man for man they had a much better side and Somerset needed too many things to go for them. Aside from the Buttler absence which I have said enough about for the time being , the side looked very weak on the batting front and too dependent on miracles - like Tres rediscovering some form , and Trego and Kies and Trego to make big scores. Also think our best chance was to bowl first and hope to put some pressure on. But there are still things I don't understand. 1 - Am I the only person who thinks Meschede is a much better batsman than Gregory - so why is he coming in below Gregory? 2 - Why did Chawla not bowl an over? Sure he may not have looked that great so far but at least it's something different from our 6 medium/fast options and why is any specialist bowler not tried when defending such a small total?

Posted by JG2704 on (September 10, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

@Diaz54 on (September 10, 2013, 5:12 GMT) To be fair there is Ravi and Root who both have made decent contributions in the batting all rounder stakes so it's maybe not as black and white as all that. Anyway if I were a Notts fan - the way the international game works where counties become powerless over their players once Eng get their claws in - I'd be pleased that Patel,Lumb,Taylor and Hales have been overlooked for this series. Ask Somerset and Hants fans how pleased they are with their county's call ups

Posted by Diaz54 on (September 10, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

Ha ha,,where all those folks on this portal who had a go at Patel! He is a very good player only if he got the support from all concerned. Unfortunately there is bias and hatred. He is a genuine all,rounder but I am afraid England system and self importance and adulation from a number of England cricketers means that it is very difficult to settle into. Then there is the Odessa,

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