Trescothick and Rogers provide Banger for Somerset's Buck
Lancashire 493 for 9 dec (Livingstone 108*, Croft 94, Petersen 83) drew with Somerset 313 (Hildreth 130, Rogers 55, J Overton 51) and 229 for 2 dec (Trescothick 129*, Rogers 75*)
It is Somerset Day next week. May 11, if you should like to mark the date. It officially commemorates the day King Alfred gathered the West Saxons together before the Battle of Edington in 878, although it has only been in place for a year and some might be inclined to think of it as a marketing gimmick by the local tourist board.
There is a Yorkshire Day and a Lancashire Day, of course, probably one or two others as well, so who is to begrudge them? People will come together next Wednesday to talk about their Somerset heroes over a pint of scrumpy and, depending on how Somerset's game against Warwickshire at Edgbaston is going, there might be discussion of the cricket. Marcus Trescothick's name is bound to get a mention.
In some ways, every day is Marcus Trescothick Day at the county ground in Taunton, so greatly does his spirit seem to animate the place. There is the Marcus Trescothick Stand over by the river and, in time, there might well be a Marcus Trescothick Pavilion (they do like a pavilion here). There can't be many sportsmen who have experienced the feeling of playing in front of a section of the ground with their name already on it - the renaming of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand at Old Trafford a few years ago is the only comparison that springs immediately to mind - but it is a regular occurrence for Trescothick.
There was a 60th first-class hundred to salute on this occasion, his second in as many weeks, as Somerset fought their way to a third successive draw in the Championship. For the last two or three seasons, Somerset have ended up grappling at the wrong end of the table - it took successive scores of 153, 210 not out and 87 from Trescothick last year to help ease fears of relegation - but they can take something from managing to remain unbeaten at the start of this one, despite having yet to play their best cricket.
It was not a vintage innings but Trescothick's unbeaten 129 had value far beyond its technical merit. Somerset had begun the day following on 180 runs in arrears but their former captain batted through until the teams shook hands, spending most of it in the company of his successor, Chris Rogers, who added a second half-century of the match. For the Somerset members basking in the uninterrupted sunshine, there was plenty of Banger for your Buck.
The way Trescothick moves forward to leave these days is like a man setting himself against the back of a grand piano, ready to heft it up another flight of stairs. His cut may not emit the same sonic boom as it did a decade ago but the ball still flies off the blade; he sweeps as if trying to chop down a tree with one fell swing of the axe. The hands are still soft enough to cover for what the eyes - now peering out from behind spectacles - occasionally miss.
He has agreed a contract to play red-ball cricket only and he may have some heavy lifting to do if Somerset's start to the Championship is anything to go by. But he still has the appetite for it and, at 40, he is a couple of years younger than, for instance, Mark Ramprakash was when he finally hung up his bat. If the trend for flatter pitches continues and Trescothick remains fit, Harold Gimblett's first-class runs record for Somerset - some 4000 in the distance - might creep into view.
Things could well have been different in this match if Lancashire had experienced a little more fortune but - on Star Wars Day, appropriately - the force was with Trescothick. An edge down the leg side did not quite carry to wicketkeeper Alex Davies on 7 and plenty of his early runs came from nicks and nudges behind square; later in the morning session, on 42, a forward defensive bounced back towards the stumps, necessitating a hasty flick away (with the bat, of course). He survived a direct hit from midwicket on 85, legs pumping after being called through for a single by Rogers.
Twice during an over after lunch, James Anderson threw his head back in disgust as controlled outside edges flew low through the cordon. There were no observations forthcoming from the bowler, just a look to the ground and a slow walk to retrieve his sweater from the umpire. "Anderson doesn't look happy," was the succinct view up in the Marcus Trescothick Stand. Their man was not going to be budged.
At the other end, meanwhile, was a batsman with 73 first-class hundreds to his name. Together, Trescothick and Rogers have amassed more than 48,000 first-class runs and they formed the perfect old (rear)guard for Somerset, putting on an unbroken 168 before everyone agreed to call it quits. Not that Trescothick will be going anywhere else anytime soon.
Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick