Somerset 202 & 227 Lancashire 248 & 122-0: Somerset say farewell to their title ambitions
Saturday 27 September 2008
It all went wrong in the finishing straight for Somerset. Perhaps they were spooked by the unfamiliar territory: their customary position is among the pack, usually not so much chasing as being tailed off.
Since being Championship runners-up in 2001 they have spent five seasons in Division Two and their form in these climactic weeks of 2008 has been of that standard.
Somerset were as pedestrian and floundering yesterday as they had been on the first two days. They lost three wickets in the morning when they needed to keep intact the eight still remaining if victory and rapidly receding aspirations to have the Championship pennant flying above a refashioned ground, were to retain a semblance of realism. In the afternoon they lost the other five.
The batting was careless and careworn. It was not as if Lancashire, at the close of yet another profoundly disappointing summer, were full of the joys of spring.
Gary Keedy found some turn, if hardly bite, but his opponents played him in a cavalier fashion. They were hardly much better against Oliver Newby, the rangy fast bowler, who returned the best match analysis of his career. Ian Blackwell played with some gumption for his seventh fifty of the season but with no gumption at all with the waft which ended his stay. He was angry, swishing his bat as he turned to go, because he recognised his familiar folly. But he had plenty of assistants of unseemly method. The title, what title?
Keedy had Zander de Bruyn caught behind pushing forward, Peter Trego caught at cover playing a daft cross batted shot, Andrew Caddick lbw despite a big stride and Steffan Jones held at the wicket essaying something unfeasible and Alfonso Thomas reverse sweeping at the last. What a mixed, untidy bag. Craig Kieswetter batted with something approaching diligence.
There was some talk of a turning pitch possibly holding up Lancashire. Rubbish, of course. Lancashire positively raced to 122 from 30 overs, their highest opening partnership of the summer in which Mark Chilton looked as fluent as he can have done for many a summer. Somerset's maiden title must wait.
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head