Bad weather means Somerset risk missing out on victory by 2 wickets, for the 2nd week running amid ‘Bad Light’ farce at Taunton.
Overnight rain caused a wet outfield, then afternoon rain restricted the Somerset v Gloucestershire fixture for only 90 minutes of continuous play late on Day 3 at Taunton.
The early evening rain brought what we thought would be the close, but at 18.05 it was deemed light enough to play. Ten minutes later apparently not so.
Somerset still took five wickets through Josh Davey and Craig Overton, but will fear a repeat of last week’s Edgbaston frustrations where rain stopped them from a near certain victory.
385 runs was the required figure for a Gloucestershire victory. The wet conditions prompted no Bristol-based player to emerge from their changing area until George Hankins and Graeme van Buuren were forced to pad up after tea on Day 3.
Meanwhile Worcestershire were racking up maximum batting points at home to rivals Warwickshire, widening the gap between the Pears and Somerset at the top of the Bob Willis ‘Central Group.’
Play finally got under way at 4.01pm with Gloucestershire 14-3, 38.4 overs the optimistic number of overs scheduled before close.
Craig Overton did not need long to add to the wickets he and Josh Davey took yesterday evening. Hankins’ middle and off stumps were uprooted to see the right-hander depart for 5.
A top edge from Ryan Higgins for six off Craig Overton took them to 41-4, and just two balls later Graeme van Buuren was dropped by Jamie Overton at second slip off Davey.
Wicket number two of the day, and five of the innings, fell when van Buuren wafted needlessly at a wide one from Davey and was held comfortably by Steven Davies to depart for 15.
Gareth Roderick came and went for a duck, when he chipped a leg stump half-volley from Davey straight to the waiting Eddie Byrom at square leg.
After an initial three-wicket earning spell, Davey and Craig Overton were replaced by Jamie Overton and Jack Brooks, Jamie’s rockets and Brooks’ accurate dobbers proving an equally tricky partnership to face as the first two.
George Scott looked solid in defence, though he nearly played on to Brooks’ first ball of the day, and was then struck right in the midriff next ball when he was only on 3.
Just before 5.30pm rain stopped play for what we thought would be the day done. But at 18.05 they returned, for Craig Overton to have Ryan Higgins lbw for 21 from the last ball of the first over after the resumption.
Craig Overton made it 4-25 with David Payne caught by James Hildreth at slip, then came one of the worst bad light calls of a summer seemingly sponsored by them.
Twelve minutes after they had resumed after the rain break, clouds were less grey than before, brighter if anything than when the umpires allowed play to resume after the rain….
Cricket shot itself in the foot again. “Farcical” the word on everybody’s lips.