Marcus Trescothick: It was exciting to watch Manny bowl in such perfect conditions
ABDUR Rehman's fantastic nine-wicket haul against Worcestershire at Taunton this week brought back memories of my very first County Championship appearance back in 1993. It was against Lancashire at the County Ground and, while I didn't make the most auspicious of starts, the game was rendered unforgettable by Andy Caddick taking 9-32 in the second innings to bowl our opponents out for 72, chasing only 88 to win.
Until Tuesday I had waited the best part of 20 years to see a Somerset bowler claim nine wickets in an innings again.
And it was just as exciting watching Manny, as we call him, rip through the Worcestershire batting.
There were similarities in the two performances, not least because on both occasions the bowler concerned has exactly the conditions he relished most.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
The pitch Caddick bowled Lancashire out on offered pace, bounce and seam movement, while the one at Taunton this week turned from the first morning of the game.
It wasn't extravagant turn and later in the day Arul Suppiah and I were able to put together an unbroken stand of 142, which put the wicket in perspective.
But Manny is quicker through the air than most spinners and therefore only requires the ball to deviate marginally off the pitch to put top batsmen in trouble.
He gets edges and bowls opponents simply because his pace doesn't give them time to readjust to the slightest turn.
When the ball spins as early as it did in the Worcestershire game there is always the worry that the pitch inspector is going to become interested.
But, while Moeen Ali turned some balls for them, I think our score at the end of the first day indicated that it was a decent enough surface.
Manny is a world-class bowler and he has been an absolute credit to himself and Pakistan cricket during his short time with Somerset.
I would love to have him back with us next season, but whether that can happen will depend on the extent of his international commitments.
The dedication he showed by playing for us at Hove last week, having appeared in a one-day international for Pakistan in Sharjah the previous evening was extraordinary.
That's not all. You want your overseas player to be a model for the youngsters in the squad and Manny has spent a lot of time in the nets with Max Waller and Jack Leach, sharing his knowledge of spin bowling.
He has certainly made a lot of friends with his bright personality and already regards Taunton as his second home, so, hopefully, something can be worked out.
The prospect of Manny and George Dockrell bowling in tandem is really exciting, especially for me standing at slip where a fair few catches would be guaranteed to come my way.
The end of an eventful and injury-plagued season draws near for Somerset and, while the loss of key players for long periods has hit us hard, I think it is important that we don't hide behind it too much as a reason for not winning a trophy.
The big positive has been the number of opportunities the injuries have provided for our young players and you can't buy the experience they have gained this summer.
We have been more inconsistent this season than in recent years, which is partly down to disjointed team selection, but there are areas I feel we can still improve on when we sit down to discuss the season in detail.
Losing the first four games in the CB40 was very disappointing. We are better than that as we showed by winning six group games on the trot when it was too late and even a reasonable start would have seen us qualify for the semi-finals.
An even bigger disappointment was our performance at the Swalec Stadium in the Friends Life t20 semi-finals where we failed in another high profile game.
We pride ourselves on being the strongest one-day side in the country so, even allowing for injuries, we should have done better in the two domestic limited overs competitions.
In the LV=County Championship we have done well to keep ourselves in contention for runners-up spot, but there is no doubt in my mind that Warwickshire are worthy champions.
They have been dominant in all aspects of the game, which is something we must aspire to. They have strength in depth with their bowling attack and their top seven batsmen, with a player as good as Chris Woakes coming in at eight, is one hell of a line-up.
We must improve to challenge for a first title next season, by which time, of course, we shall have a new man in charge of the cricketing side of the club,
That will mean new ideas and fresh challenges. In the meantime, I am going to be very busy over the coming weeks in my role as a pundit with Sky TV.
I shall be involved in their coverage of the CB40 final and then a lot of the T20 internationals in the World Cup. It's something I really enjoy, so I'm afraid you will be seeing my mug on the screen for a good chunk of the winter.
The rest of the Somerset players will have a month off and then get down to the business of preparing for next season.
It has been a pleasure to write this column again this summer. I wish all our supporters a good winter and look forward to seeing you back at the County Ground in April.
Interview: Richard Latham