Somerset 321 for 5 (Bartlett 110, Trescothick 100) vs Lancashire Scorecard
Until just before three o'clock on the first day of this game one of England's best and best-loved cricketers was enjoying yet another lovely afternoon. Once again Marcus Trescothick
was holding a Somerset innings together. He had batted with increasing assurance against a Lancashire attack including Jimmy Anderson and was only five runs short of his 96th century in all top-level cricket. Then Trescothick played defensively to a ball from Matt Parkinson and collapsed at the crease with what was later confirmed as a broken fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot.
Scarcely half a mile from the other Old Trafford he had sustained an injury made famous by one of English football's more famous sons. Though we didn't know it, Banger had become Becks.
After treatment on the field Trescothick carried on batting and managed to garner the runs he needed for his hundred. However, clearly tethered by pain, he was caught at the wicket off the very next ball and hobbled off Emirates Old Trafford accompanied by his runner, Matt Renshaw, and the good wishes of everyone in the game.
"Marcus will be out for the foreseeable future but it's too early to say whether he'll be back later in the season," said the Somerset coach Jason Kerr. "We need to get clarity on the extent of the fracture. If it's a clean break, it's just a few weeks' recovery and then we'll get him back on his feet. He's broken his metatarsal so we'll be calling him Beckham from now on."
Yet while this day will undoubtedly be seen as an unpleasant setback in the late career of one of Somerset's most steadfast servants, it might be scarcely less significant in the development of one of the county's youngest talents. Barely two hours after Trescothick had left the field George Bartlett
was celebrating his maiden century in only his 11th first-class innings.
Having added 134 for the second wicket with his very senior colleague, Bartlett took on a more dominant role, first by lifting Matt Parkinson straight for six and then by accumulating the runs which took him to three figures in 189 balls. It was tempting to think that a mantle was being passed from one generation to the next.
The long-term consequences of Trescothick and Bartlett's experiences at Old Trafford this lovely Friday afternoon have yet to unfold. For the moment they have certainly put their team in a commanding position in this game. Although Bartlett was eventually brilliantly caught by second slip Liam Livingstone off Joe Mennie for 110, his team ended the day on 321 for five, their satisfaction only slightly impaired by the dismissal of Steve Davies, who was caught down the leg side off Jordan Clark's final ball of the day.
The loss of Matt Renshaw for 21 and James Hildreth for five could be viewed as acceptable damage. Only the persevering Mennie had taken more than one wicket. Anderson had dyed his hair some variety of blond and bowled from his own End but had really made no other impression on events. The Somerset skipper Tom Abell finished the day on 48 not out and his confident side clearly have power to add.
As the day ended it was testing to recall that it had begun with the news that Haseeb Hameed had been dropped for the first time in his Lancashire career. But while Hameed was adjusting to not appearing in what would have been his 47th first-class match, another England opener, Trescothick, was preparing for his 378th. You do not need to hail from Combe Florey or Stogumber to hope that there are still a few more to come.
Paul Edwards is a freelance cricket writer. He has written for the Times, ESPNcricinfo, Wisden, Southport Visiter and other publications