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Patchy Somerset show sums up season so far
OUR performance in the LV= County Championship Division One draw against Somerset was similar to how the season has gone so far.
I thought we were good in parts but there were areas we could improve on — we have been solid but not spectacular.
It’s been a strange year so far and we have lost a lot of time to the weather which we haven’t done in previous seasons.
We have drawn five of our seven Division One games and we only drew one in the whole of last season.
I think we have been a bit more solid without performing well enough to force any wins. We have also been in decent positions when the rain has intervened but the weather has saved us at times as well.
We need to be more consistent rather than playing well for two-and-a-half days out of the four. We need to play well in all four with the bat and ball.
On the first day against Somerset we batted extremely well and only losing three wickets was exceptional because Somerset bowled well.
We applied ourselves brilliantly and Phil Hughes and I put on a good 100 partnership early on. But I thought Vikram Solanki was our stand-out batsman. It was good for him to get a few runs and hopefully he can continue on from that.
Against Somerset, I thought we started pretty well with the ball first time around but we drifted in and out, sometimes we bowled well and other times were pretty ordinary.
For me, Jack Shantry was the stand-out bowler, he was the one who was consistent and got the rewards with his five wickets.
With the game heading for a draw, Somerset captain Alfonso Thomas and I had a couple of conversations to try and set up a result on the final day but it was difficult to come up with something.
I offered him a target of 340 in 75 overs but he wasn’t happy with that and didn’t come back with an alternative offer and talks stalled.
Now we turn our attention to the one-day format and the Clydesdale Bank 40, starting at Lancashire today.
It has been a good competition for us so far with two wins from our first three matches.
The Holland defeat was disappointing, when we got hit by the Duckworth-Lewis method, but in the other two matches the performances have been exceptional.
We completely outplayed Essex and Middlesex, bowling and fielding very well, while the guys have performed well with the bat.
Phil got a century against Middlesex and you need big contributions from the top of the order.
Hopefully we can get on a bit of a run in the competition and, come the last two games, we want to be in with a chance of qualifying.
Lancashire are a stern test for us while Holland, who we play on Friday, have started well and will be another tough game. Then we host Gloucestershire on Sunday and we want to win that one as well.
We need to build on the start we have had in the one-day format and hopefully pick up a few wins in the second half of the four-day season.