Again the day dawned overcast with the prospect of floodlights from an early stage but the strong breeze blew the clouds away and we were soon bathed in occasional sunshine but the fresh breeze meaning finding protection from the wind is the order of the day.
Surrey progressed albeit a bit slowly to 293/8 at lunch; Curran went for 80 but not until he had damaged the Pavilion sight screen. Anticipation was high as to how it would be fixed mid-match but clearly it’s been done before so the ‘sight screen mending stick’ was all that was needed!
The new ball was the deciding factor as all three wickets fell since it was taken. Siddle – he of the Aussie beach bum haircut – has taken four to date.
The prospect of Overton vs Overton came to fruition! It’s quite clear all those ‘test matches’ in the back garden were just a precursor to ‘proper’ cricket!
Where is this game going? Eighteen wickets in seven sessions – all but two have been caught – indicating that 22 in the next five may be a bit too much…but who knows? Surrey need to take the next bonus point in the next 13 overs and Somerset the one wicket for theirs.
Well, that didn’t last long. Surrey 308ao, Siddle mops up to take 6/51. Of the 20 wickets to have fallen, 18 have been caught. Just not sure about this pitch…not quite so green but green nonetheless. The third innings is key – Surrey need wickets fast(ish); Somerset fast(ish) runs but also enough time to bowl Surrey out (hoping that Leach can work his magic). I think chasing 250 could be a challenge but…we’ll see!
The afternoon session raised lots of unanswered questions – are Surrey one if not two bowlers short? Curran didn’t bowl yesterday or so far today…either he’s strained his long term injury, or the ECB has said he’s done enough in this match already? And Taylor doesn’t appear to be on the field – he had a long period off the field on Thursday so is there a fitness/injury issue? If only the PA worked you could know if they told you!
Who’s the more annoying bat – Burns with all his mannerisms or Lammonby? The latter stayed longer in the second innings but his ‘process’ between each ball – walk to square leg and back, touch right knee, left knee, left thigh pad, box and right pad and then face must be really annoying but it seems to work for him.
And…why does Ben Foakes need a drink every 20 minutes or so? Stopping play, he’s the only one! Not only today but each day so far!
But back to the match – and another unanswered question – when will Somerset declare? By tea they’ve reached 123/2 – a lead of 152. Abell approaching his 50 (and yet to be out in this match) and Banton 33 in an 80 run partnership. Surrey don’t look like taking a wicket with this attack – Topley has reverted to form after his excellent spell on Thursday, Clark and Overton straining but with no success. How much time do Somerset think they need?
It’s clear ‘I know nothing, nothing’ as Manuel claimed in Fawlty Towers! As the final session progresses the clouds come over more frequently and the lights go on…and so wickets fall. Within an hour Somerset lose five wickets for only a few runs as the temperature drops, the lights take over and Clark and Topley find ‘the spot’ from the Vauxhall End to try and scupper Somerset (again mainly to catches…an extraordinary percentage in this game!).
At the close, Somerset have a lead of 225 and one wicket to fall with a day to play, it’s clear the third innings has played its role. Surrey with their limited bowling attack have done very well but Somerset probably have a better one? A result looks likely but who will win? Another unanswered question but this will be answered!
PS – apologies dear reader, there’s no cricket blog for the rest of this match; am out tomorrow looking for buffalo in deepest darkest Essex!