Somerset CCC: Brian Rose takes the positives from a testing month
BRIAN Rose is happy with the April his Somerset side have had – despite battling against the elements and losing a bunch of key players to injury.
Somerset, who saw the final day of their LV= County Championship clash with Lancashire washed out yesterday, are third in Division One after four matches.
They have also lost skipper Marcus Trescothick and seamers Steve Kirby, Adam Dibble and Gemaal Hussain to injury.
But director of cricket Rose can see the positives from a testing month, during which batsman Nick Compton's 715 first-class runs at an average of 143 saw him earn an England Lions call-up for next month's match against West Indies.
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"If you tied the Lancashire game in with the previous three matches, then I think we've had a very good April, considering the weather conditions, the wickets and the loss of four senior players to injury," said Rose.
"It hasn't been easy, but we are coming to the end of April in third place in the Championship. I think we'd have taken that at the start of the season, particularly if you'd have told us we'd have lost four players."
Somerset secured maximum bowling points from the Lancashire game – wrapping up the visitors' innings on Saturday morning when Vernon Philander claimed his fifth wicket of the match to remove Simon Kerrigan for one.
The South African has taken 15 wickets – at an average of 16.93 – in three matches for Somerset, with innings figures of 5-43, 2-38, 2-47, 1-55 and 5-71.
Lancashire had progressed from their overnight 395-9 to 400 – securing maximum batting points in the process – when Arul Suppiah caught Kerrigan in the gully.
In Somerset's reply, stand-in opener Lewis Gregory was out for 15 when he edged Glen Chapple to Paul Horton at first slip, before Suppiah (five) was bowled to become Chapple's second victim.
At that stage Somerset were 28-2, before James Hildreth and Compton added 53 for the third wicket, which fell when Hildreth, who had scored 30, was leg-before to Luke Procter.
The in-form Compton (30 not out) and Craig Kieswetter (four not out) had taken Somerset to 87-3 when rain brought a halt to play on the third day – with yesterday's final day being completely washed out.
Somerset are not in County Championship action this week but face Surrey in their opening CB40 game at the Kia Oval on Friday (3.40pm).
Rose said: "I think the break has come at a very good time for us. We have done pretty well in the games we have played, but now it gives Vernon Philander, for example, more than a week off, because he is not going to play the one-day game at Surrey. It's certainly a good thing to have a few days off after the couple of weeks we have had."
The LV= County Championship Division Two match between Gloucestershire and Glamorgan was abandoned without a ball bowled after overnight rain further saturated the County Ground, Bristol.
It was the first time a Championship game at Bristol had been totally washed out since Gloucestershire were due to play Sussex in June 1985.
Results – LV County Championship – Division One, Taunton: Lancashire 400 (S J Croft 113, A G Prince 96, K R Brown 50, V D Philander 5-71) v Somerset 87-3. Somerset (6pts) drew with Lancashire (9pts). The Kia Oval: Surrey (3pts) drew with Durham (3pts). Hove: Warwickshire 545 (I J L Trott 178, V Chopra 105, R Clarke 78 no, T R Ambrose 75) v Sussex 80-5. Warwickshire (8pts) drew with Sussex (5pts). New Road: Nottinghamshire 243 (R A Jones 4-76) & 88-2 v Worcestershire 157 (A R Adams 5-62, H F Gurney 4-40). Worcestershire (6pts) drew with Nottinghamshire (7pts).
LV County Championship – Division Two Chelmsford: Essex 54-6 (J A Brooks 4-22) v Northamptonshire. Essex (3pts) drew with Northamptonshire (5pts). Bristol: Gloucestershire (3pts) drew with Glamorgan (3pts). The Ageas Bowl: Leicestershire 234 (G P Smith 68, L A Dawson 5-29) v Hampshire 217-4 (M A Carberry 84 no, S M Katich 54). Hampshire (7pts) drew with Leicestershire (5pts). Canterbury: Yorkshire 247 (M T Coles 4-70) v Kent 350-9 (B P Nash 132 no). Kent (10pts) drew with Yorkshire (7pts).