EletiofeBob Willis Trophy: Somerset beat Worcestershire to reach final...

Bob Willis Trophy: Somerset beat Worcestershire to reach final – live!


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Let me give, belatedly, some attention to Glamorgan and Durham. And, lo, they’re battling hard. Durham double figures all down the order, bar one, to frustrate Notts: 278 for 7, a lead of 150 with just a session and half an hour left. Will Notts have to wait another season for a first-class win? Glamorgan need a nominal 189 , but Selman is still there, 60 not out in 250 minutes, six wickets left.

Surrey beat Sussex by six wickets

A win, a win, a palpable win! The first Bob of the season for injury-laden, talent-heavy Surrey, though they still manage to finish bottom of a south group topped by Essex.

Down by the temporary away dressing room, between a rogue kit bag and the white painted brickwork of the ground, Somerset captain Tom Abell and coach Jason Kerr, chew the cud.

Abell, in socks and sliders: “I have huge faith in our attack…. Tom Lammonby’s innings was far beyond his years, showed such temperament and skill… I have to try not to run Craig [Overton] into the ground … but not possible without the efforts of all the boys. We pride ourselves on our team effort. Playing Essex is not so much about revenge, though it hurt last year, this is a new competition and a new challenge. We want to back ourselves against the best.”

Kerr, with a beer bottle nearby. “We have improved on where we were last year… Lammonby: I’ve seen a lot of cricket and in the context of the game, that surface, it is one of the best innings I’ve seen.”

And with that they return to the dressing-room and the sound system, while three men and a machine collect up the boundary rope.

The sun has just reached my right elbow and it is delicious. The two sides bump fists to say goodbye. Derbyshire have lost three quick wickets at Aigburth so, barring miracles, it will be Somerset v Essex at Lord’s.

Somerset beat Worcestershire by 58 runs to reach the Lord’s final.

Caught behind! And that, my friends, is that. Somerset can buy their tickets to Lord’s for the final of the Bob Willis Trophy.

A wicket! Another lbw, the fifth of the innings. Pennington, shuffling down the pitch, is caught on the legs. And with that, in comes Josh Tongue. Worcestershire 184-9 and Ben Cox somehow has to conjure 61 more.

Oh dear, just in front of us, Ben Green drops Cox off Davey. A tricky one, that flew quickly to him and he somehow misjudged it with his end of his fingertips.

Brian Withington warns. “Just make sure that it’s a floating fantasy house down by New Road …” This is true. Perhaps I’ll have fantasty weather too.

The ball after an lbw shout is turned down, Leach sends Brooks spinning through the onside as he whizzes on to 17. And now he’s gone!!! To one that cut back a bit. Another lbw! Somerset needed that. Worcestershire 176-8. In perfect afternoon sunshine.

Two consecutive boundaries by Joe Leach, a pull for four and a huge swipe off a half volley from Lewis Gregory. Blessed are all those who never see the Championship because of Covid and yet they still believe. Or something like that.

At The Oval, Surrey have lost Burns and Jamie Smith, but they only need another 25 for victory.

Whisper it, but the Worcestershire target has tiptoed under 100. Ben Cox glides Overton down for four, lovely shot. A white butterfly idles by.

Yorkshire beat Leicestershire by ten wickets

Headingley: Yorks (252 and 37-0) , Leics (124 and 161). Their third win in five games, despite the best efforts of the Headingley weather. They are currently top of the North Group, and could well stay there depending on events at Aigburth. But they won’t make it to Lord’s on September 23.

Of all the county grounds where I might buy a fantasy house, Worcestershire would be high on the list. The river, cruel looking swans, a cathedral to toll my mood, gentle Championship cricket (well, for now) and beautiful houses. A lunch-time walk by the Severn and a Nature Valley bar does that to you.

And, with only another six added to the score, Craig Overton persuades Ed Barnard that edging to third slip for a straightforward chance is the right answer on a suddenly glorious afternoon. At 133-7, the Worcestershire dream edges slowly stage left.


Lunchtime scores:

North Group:

Aigburth: Derbyshire (195 and 56-2) need 325 to beat Lancs (219 and 356-6dec)

Trent Bridge: Notts (422) trail Durham (294 and 226-4 by 98 runs.

Headingley: Yorks (252 and 4-0) need 30 to beat Leics (124 and 161)

Central Group:

Cardiff: Glam (203 and 69-2) need 262 more to beat Warwicks (186 and 347-7 dec)

Worcester: Worcs 200 and 126-6) need 119 more to beat Somerset (251 and 193)

South Group:

The Oval: Surrey (388 and 100-2) need 56 to beat Sussex (415 and 128)

As Overton moves in to bowl, Ivo Tennant of The Times mutters, “they need another wicket.” And there it is, with the last ball before lunch. Overton accelerates into a long-legged celebration in the covers, and a disappointed D’Oliveira trundles off, lbw for 28. And that’s lunch, with the pendulum swinging Somerset’s way. Scores on the doors to follow.


Leicestershire are all out, five wickets for Jordan Thompson. Yorkshire must just trot out a quick 34 to win before lunch.

Charles Sheldrick asks, “..so what happens if the light meters (and or rain) make it a draw between the Cidermen and Pears (should we call them the Perrymen)? Could Derbyshire then go through if they draw or win? What happens if a crossbow bolt lands on the square?”

I feel safe in saying that a draw is enough for Somerset, if Derbyshire (51-2 needing another 330) don’t win. If they do, rip up your homework and feed it to the dogs.

Worcestershire are working hard here here in their unlikely pursuit. A lovely straight drive by Wessels just misses the fingertips of Davey in his follow-through and goes for four. It feels like a question of time though. And as I write that he pulls the next ball to midwicket. 108-5 .A question from Romeo:

“According to the BBC, the final is due to start on Wednesday 23

September, but have you heard anything about how it might be televised or livestreamed (or both)? Playing at a neutral venue where the ‘home’ county are just tenants makes me wonder who’ll do it, MCC, ECB or Sky.”

It won’t be on television but it will be streamed. Not sure who yet, but I’ll keep you posted.


Another lbw shout, a half-appeal almost, this time against Haynes, who crawls off the pitch, the most disappointed man in showbiz. Somerset need six wickets , Worcestershire 149. Last time I sat in this press box it was Septembe 2018, when Worcestershire gave Surrey a run for their money in a championship game, back when they were in division one and Surrey were about to be crowned county champions.

A philosophical question lands. “Please help me make a pivotal life decision,” writes Finbar Anslow, “head for a river picnic and a possible last swim of the season, or watch my beloved Somerset combatting Worcs resistance armed with light meters. A live stream link could make the difference.” This is what you are after. Though as I sit here with my hood up on my fleece, don’t dismiss thoughts of that last swim. It is going to be a long winter.

Worcester having a real go at this, and it is not easy batting out there. Should you be in the New Road area, the restaurant of the Premier Inn has a lovely view over the ground…

Worcestershire County Cricket Club

This from Jack Haynes 🥰

Worcestershire 84/3 after 38 overs#WORvSOM pic.twitter.com/uKCjFBJ7yK

September 9, 2020

Around the grounds:

At Aigburth, Lancashire have declared after Danny Lamb collected his maiden first-class fifty. Derbyshire, hopes resurrected, maybe, by a kiss of life from the ECB’s technical committee, need to score 381 at 4.7 an over to win and be in with a chance of the final.

At The Oval, Sussex limped to 128, a career-best 6-70 for Dan Moriarty. Surrey need 156 for their first Bob win of the season. Their first non-Bob-defeat of the season, to be fair.

Glamorgan must gather a dreamlike 301 to beat Warwickshire (30-0); it is nearly over and out at Headingley where Leicestershire have only three wickets left and are still in arrears. Durham (158-2) are batting rather nicely at Trent Bridge to hold off Nottinghamshire’s first win for two years.

And there’s just been a wicket here at New Road, where the wind has picked up and Craig Overton is serving up impossible bouncers. Fell played across the line for 20, Worcs 76 for 3.

The boot studs echo down the pavilion steps and they’re back on – four overs have been lost from the day. Worcestershire 67 for 2.

The cathedral bell tolls eleven as the covers come off at New Road. The umpires pull on their coats and the stumps go in though, to be honest, it looks just as dark as it was when they went off.

They’re taking a reading for bad light…. and, after 21 minute’s play, off they come. Hmmmm, that’s thrown a match into the technical committee pyre. The covers are coming on and it really is dark.


A huge lbw shout against Fell from Overton, turned down in the gloom. We reckon the umpires might have been leaned on to takes their eyes off their light-meters. Worcestershire 67-2.

tanya aldred

The cathedral watches over events at New Road. pic.twitter.com/PeVoVTnq0R

September 9, 2020

A lovely drive from Haynes brings the first boundary of the day to rapturous applause from the Worcestershire players on the outside seats of the Graeme Hick pavilion. It is overcast and facing Craig Overton, ten foot tall in his flip flops, from the Diglis end is a terrifying prospect.

Ok, so… having chatted to the BBCs Kevin Howells and the rest of the Worcestershire press box:

If Somerset win, Somerset go through with Essex, unless Derbyshire can somehow beat Lancashire with a high run rate.

If Worcestershire win, and Derbyshire win, then three teams finish on 90 points. Then we have to wait for the ECB’s technical committee to meet and ruminate on whether the Covid game was “complete”. The tie breaker will then be wickets taken (“complete”) or net run rate (incomplete).


Good morning everyone and welcome to the final day of the Bob Willis Trophy group stages. For all but two counties, this is it, the end of the first-class season. We’re almost a hundred per cent sure that one of those two counties is Essex – subject to an ECB ruling at the end of the round on whether the Covid-related abandoned game at Bristol was “complete”. If not, the tie-breaker reverts to net run rate, though that only matters in the unlikely case that Derbyshire beat Lancashire. Got that? Good.

I’m currently on my way to New Road where the Championship’s most romantic sides clash swords for the other place in the final. Somerset will have slept easiest – for Worcester to win, they will have to canter to the biggest total made against Somerset this summer, and when bad light stopped play they needed another 187, with eight wickets in hand. The dream, though, is still alive.

As the green-seated train meanders through middle England, the countryside is on the turn. Leaves crinkle at the edges, trackside buddleias brown at the tips; it is the end of the party, the last few stragglers about to leave. The Bob has been great, better than we could have dreamed of in the strange unreality of May. Don’t blow out the candles just yet.


Yesterday’s news,

and the highlight from England’s T20 thrash against Australia last night. Take a bow, Adil Rashid.

The Googly

For obvious reasons, here at The Googly we love a googly… 👀

This, from Adil Rashid, is absolutely stunning! 😍

Doing the name proud.#ENGvAUSpic.twitter.com/rAJVH1y9MX

September 8, 2020

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