Surrey v Somerset, Royal London Cup, The Oval August 20, 2014

Lights go out on Somerset's hopes


Surrey 284 for 9 (Kapil 59, Davies 50) beat Somerset 267 (Trescothick 80, Hildreth 53, Ansari 3-38) by seven runs D/L

Halfway through the second innings there was a power surge through SE11. It took the floodlights out for 20 minutes and knocked out Somerset too. Pursuing a revised 275 in 38.2 overs to be sure of going through, their spark faded.

Somerset's equation was dictated by events at Trent Bridge, where victory for Nottinghamshire would require Somerset to overhaul Durham's net run-rate. The initial task to do so was 285 in 42.1 overs but the loss of four overs for a floodlight failure stiffened the requirement and on resumption they lost their way to lose a third straight game after qualification looked comfortably within reach.

It appeared Somerset's man-made power surge was leading them through. Marcus Trescothick's renaissance in the County Championship has not extended to the one-day arena this season. His form slipped to such an extent that he was dropped from the T20 side. He chose an opportune moment to regain his touch and bludgeoned 80 from only 54 balls - just his second limited-overs half-century this season.

He began with an edged cut over the slips before carving a more deliberate stroke wide of third man for another boundary. The first of his four sixes was a slap over Tim Linley's head into the pavilion in the ninth over.

Nineteen came from the next. He reached outside off stump to heave George Edwards for six over extra cover, took more runs to cow corner and through the off side yet again, before sending a length ball into the seats over deep midwicket.

The innings looked to have set his side up for a dashing chase to pip Durham into fourth place in Group B but a jolt of electricity after 24.1 overs had an undesired effect. On resumption, 129 were needed in 14.1 to be sure of going through but as Nottinghamshire suffered a Powerplay disaster, suddenly any victory would send Somerset through. The tenth wicket did their best to at least win the game with a stand of 34 but Nottinghamshire's eventual victory rendered the effort worthless. And a superb run-out by Aneesh Kapil saw Surrey win by seven runs anyway.

Somerset struggled to regain momentum after Zafar Ansari won two lbws against Trescothick and Johann Myburgh in consecutive overs. The lights went on and off. Alex Barrow then swung wildly at Robin Peterson and was stumped. Lewis Gregory became the fifth lbw on the card. James Hildreth kept Somerset in the game with a half-century but when he slapped Ansari to extra-cover, Somerset were slipping out.

Surrey could sit back and giggle at the events having not won a single match in the competition - in stark contrast to their T20 form. Jason Roy led their charge to NatWest Blast Finals Day but failed here, following a morning of much media attention. He struck the first ball of the match for four but, to the 11th, was pinned in the creased by Gregory and lbw for 10.

Instead, Kapil took his chance to prove why Surrey have offered him a contract until the end of 2015. Released by Worcestershire at the end of last season, Kapil's capable all-round ability has been recognised at The Oval and here he made a 52-ball fifty in just his sixth game for Surrey.

Rory Burns made his way to a steady 40 in 48 balls before falling to a leading edge trying to work Jack Leach to leg - part of a tidy 2 for 55 for the slow left-armer. Gary Wilson was the fourth player to pass forty without making his tally innings-defining. He was smartly run out by Craig Overton from deep square leg.

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • J on August 23, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    Agree that somerset have been massive underachievers over the past few years given the talent at their disposal. They were way ahead of the other sides inT20 (apart from maybe hants & notts) but unfortunately most sides have now caught up. It was clearly a mental thing getting over the line & surely with such a big backroom team that shouldve been addressed. The most disappointing thing about nosworthy is how negative the tactics are. The run rate in some of the cc games is dreadful. You at least want to be entertained if you're losing. Even in the T20 its been far too negative and defensive. It was only in the final game when a decent run rate was required that they went out aggressively and posted a decent score. Would love to see langer back to provide the mental aptitude guidance & attacking approach required to deliver the trophies this side is undoubtedly capable of. Anyway rant over. Cheers

  • Martin on August 22, 2014, 10:45 GMT

    Really disappointing to see our season fizzle out like this - we knew the four games in ten days would be crucial and somehow we managed to lose 'em all. A very poor effort in my opinion - two 1-day thrashings at Taunton, a championship loss to Warwicks without their best four seamers, and a defeat to a county that had yet to win in the competition.

    And I certainly don't agree that we had no right to qualify with our squad; compare Tres, Comp, Trego, Hildreth, Thomas, Groenewald plus our good young seamers and spinners with the squads of Derby, Glouc and Kent, who all qualified.

  • John on August 22, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    @Pelham_Barton on (August 22, 2014, 7:12 GMT) Fair enough - I should have put that if it was 50 overs they'd have needed 13 off the last 2. So let's just say my point is that a 50 over game could have been completed and that is a case of cricket not doing the fan any favours

  • Pelham on August 22, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    @JG2704 on (August 21, 2014, 21:11 GMT) : I accept that your main point is that the playing conditions could have been written so that D/L was not needed. I have already said that I have a lot of sympathy for that position. After the rain delay, which must have delayed the start of Somerset's innings by about 10 minutes, there was certainly enough daytime left for Somerset to bat a full 50 overs. If you had left it at that, I would have no quarrel with you.

    However, you have again included, as a minor part of your posting, a statement that I cannot leave unchallenged. You say "they needed 13 off the last 2 overs". This is simply not true. There were no "last 2 overs" to bat. At the end of 48 overs, Somerset still needed 3 runs, but with no overs left. This is because - in line with the current playing conditions - Somerset's innings was reduced as soon as the start of the innings was delayed. Therefore, Somerset played their whole innings as a 48 over innings.

  • Derek on August 22, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    I echoed what Paul_Somerset have been saying about the sudden gradual decline of Somerset CCC since Noseworthy took over. Since he took over, we hardly challenge for any trophy for the past two years. Once we have reached the finals of one day competitions in the past, the other counties start to show some respect to us. This year, we have lost two matches to the basement teams in the group rounds (Surrey in 50 over, and Middlesex in T20). Until Nosey goes, Somerset CCC will NOT improve. For that to happen (Nosey leaving Somerset), we need to be relegated in the CC which the Somerset cricket management will take notice and sack Nosey accordingly and re-appoint Brian Rose or Justin Langer.

  • John on August 21, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    @Pelham_Barton on (August 21, 2014, 14:58 GMT) My pure point is - not who would or would not have won that game but why they could not get a full 50 overs in? The stand was going strong at 103 and they needed 13 off the last 2 overs

    Yes I can see how my post came across like I meant that the game was just called off at 6.30 and I know that was not the case but my only real gripe is that why was the game reduced in overs at all at that stage when in good light a game at that time could comfortably have gone on til 8.00? So my gripe is not with DL but why there was any need for DL when a full 50 overs could have been completed shortly after 6.30.

  • Paul on August 21, 2014, 21:04 GMT

    This is not the "usual" conclusion to a Somerset season. Until Nosworthy was imposed on us the usual conclusion was reaching Finals in all formats and fighting for the Championship until the last match of the season.

    The decline over the last two seasons under Nosworthy has been startling. The Trescothick/Compton/Trego/Hildreth/Thomas group never saw their seasons end in August until this man arrived at Taunton.

    The worst of it is that he was given a three-year contract.

  • Pelham on August 21, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    @JG2704 on (August 21, 2014, 12:22 GMT): I did not see the report or comments on the Somerset-Kent match until after comments had been closed, so hope that I can respond here to your remarks about that match.

    I have a lot of sympathy for the idea that there should be some slack time in the group stages of this tournament. What I cannot accept is your view that D/L favoured Kent in that match. Your claim that Somerset's innings was reduced by 2 overs at 6.30pm does not reflect the reality, which is that the reduction in overs was applied before Somerset started batting - see the match report and commentary.

    Somerset were thus able to pace their innings knowing that they only had 48 overs. If Somerset had reached 371-8 after 48 overs and the innings had truly been curtailed at that point, my information is that the par score would have been 367, so Somerset would have won by 4 runs.

    The important feature of D/L is that it takes account of when the reduction in overs is made.

  • John on August 21, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    May I also add that I hope we don't get a repeat of the Kent scenario again - regardless of whether or not Somerset are involved.

    DL favoured Kent in that game and I'm not begrudging that. What I am begrudging is the fact that the full 50 overs could easily have been played when for some reason Somerset's inns was reduced by 2 overs in apparantly very decent light at 6.30pm. Surely we get enough weather to hamper/curtail games in this sport so surely when we can get a full game in we should get a full game in? If floodlights failed in a winter evening game of football and they could get back out 15 minutes later they'd play a full game - right? They wouldn't cut the game to 75 mins. Let's have some commons sense in future

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    @ JG, totally agree. Another disappointing season draws to its usual conclusion. Would have been nice to keep the fire of hope burning for a few more weeks but the reality is we are not going to be involved in sort of final or last week winner takes all scenario.

    I think it is time for a shuffle in the squad. The bowling looks quite strong and has some depth to it with the purchase of Groenwald and hopefully a revitalised Joverton next year? Leach will probably usurp Dockrell in the spinners position which means we will have an Irish international on the bench. What is threadbare is the batting. Jones going is actually a positive as he was never good enough and everyone can move on rather than throwing bad money after good at the bloke. Barrow, unfortunately is in the same boat for me. Needs to show a huge improvement in the last few games to warrant being the first reserve batter. Abell s promising but perhaps a little way away from a regular starting birth? Tres has done well tbc

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