Graham Rose, the tall all-rounder now in his 10th season in the West Country after two years at Lord's, gave a masterly and miserly display of medium-fast seam and swing bowling. On Thursday he equalled his career- best six for 41, an analysis he first achieved on his 1985 debut, and yesterday he went one better. With his second ball of the morning, a lively lifter outside off-stump, he induced a rabbit's reaction from the Nottinghamshire tail-ender David Pennett, and Shane Lee stretched high at second slip to assist Rose to match figures of 13 for 88.
The wicket prepared for last week's Surrey match here could have hosted a timeless Test, but it would unfairly detract from Rose's determined, line-and-length effort to imply that the groundstaff had leaped to the other extreme. After all, there were three international quick bowlers operating on the same track - Lee, Andrew Caddick and Chris Cairns - sharing a handful of wickets for a hatful of runs.
No, this was one of those warming occasions when a whole-hearted, experienced stalwart, assisted by a nostril-dilating gadget he'd seen used in rugby league's World Cup, and which might now receive a little respect in the Somerset dressing-room, earned his moment in the sun. Rose has remodelled his action, like Ian Bishop, to relieve pressure on the lower back, and has found early reward.
Nottinghamshire started yesterday at 236 for nine, a scant 128 in credit, and added only two before Rose's final success. The visitors' skipper, Paul Johnson, given little choice, attacked the bat when Mark Lathwell and Peter Bowler set off in pursuit but Somerset, Bowler in particular, are full of runs at present and the 130, mainly in boundaries, came in 75 minutes. Afterwards Rose, the match hero, confirmed that the Somerset squad are in better shape than for many an underachieving year, and cider with Rosie seemed a suitable toast.Reuse content