Lunch report: Lancashire v Somerset 88-2 (32 overs)

Lunch on the first day (Somerset won toss)
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Lancashire cricket manager Mike Watkinson hoped his team would use their missed opportunities in the field at the Oval last week as a wake-up call after Surrey's powerful batting line-up made them suffer.

He will have been less than pleased, therefore, with an opening session here in which former England opener Marcus Trescothick was dropped three times on the way to a half-century.

Dozy Lancashire, who let centurion Mark Ramprakash off the hook without a run to his name last week, allowed Trescothick to escape on 10, 32 and 46 this morning after Somerset had decided to bat first on a green-tinged strip.

Skipper Stuart Law committed the first clanger, spilling an edge at second slip off England's James Anderson.

Then in was Andrew Flintoff's turn to be frustrated as Law's fellow Australian, Brad Hodge, fielding at gully, missed the second chance to see off the dangerous left-hander, although his was a more difficult one, the ball coming at him so hard above his head that he did well even to get a hand to it.

But Simon Marshall probably should have held on at point as Trescothick continued to attack anything wide of his off stump. Again Flintoff was the unlucky bowler, his annoyance compounded when the Somerset run machine crashed the next ball through the off side for four, his eighth of the session, to complete an 82-ball half-century.

Glen Chapple claimed both Somerset wickets to fall, trapping John Francis leg before with a full delivery in his third over, and striking a significant blow when Somerset skipper Justin Langer top-edged a pull shot, Saj Mahmood appearing to pick up the ball late but making up ground to take a fine tumbling catch at deep backward square.

Lancashire preferred leg-spinner Marshall to left-armer Gary Keedy in their XI, in which Anderson made his first appearance of the season in place of an injured Oliver Newby.

Somerset had Francis in for Neil Edwards, who was missing on compassionate leave because of a family illness. Former Test bowler Andrew Caddick, who took 70 wickets as Somerset won promotion last season, is still missing after back surgery.