Trescothick faces up to defeat
Marcus Trescothick insists Somerset will take yet more Friends Life t20 misery “on the chin” – even if the deeper reasons behind it continue to elude him.
In losing to Leicestershire by 18 runs at Edgbaston last night, Somerset had to settle for the runners-up prize for the third year in a row.
Given that Somerset came second in the LV= County Championship and lost the Clydesdale Bank 40 final last year, they are in danger of being remembered as the perennial bridesmaids of county cricket.
Captain Trescothick, whose disappointment at another agonising near miss was tinged with black humour, is adamant that will not be the case.
“I’ve got no idea (why we keep losing),” he admitted. “I’d love to be sitting here now having won the trophy and I’d love to say we’ve learnt things from every time that we’ve lost.
“But we’re still in the same position where we haven’t got anything, and until we do we’ll be asking ourselves the same question all the time.
“We’ll come back, there’s no doubt about it. We’ll take it on the chin, wind down and get back up again on Monday (when Essex visit Taunton in the Clydesdale Bank 40).
“We’ll keep being strong in what we do and we’ll keep doing the hard work – and eventually we’ll get to the point where we win the trophy.”
That Somerset were many people’s favourites to be crowned champions made Leicestershire’s triumph – their third in this competition (no other side has won it more than once) – all the more remarkable.
Indeed, Trescothick and company – when the pain has eased a little – can take great credit for the part they played in a finals day that defied belief as much as expectation.
Both semi-finals were settled by one-over eliminators after the scores were tied – Lancashire and Hampshire missed out – before Leicestershire produced a near perfect blueprint for defending a modest total.
Led by Claude Henderson, whose left-arm spin cost just 11 runs in four overs on a pitch that resembled Eden Gardens rather than Edgbaston, and featuring Josh Cobb’s haul of 4-22, they bowled with a nerveless discipline and scampered like scolded teenagers in the field.
“With our batting line-up you back yourselves to knock off anything,” said Trescothick, referring to Somerset’s pursuit of 146 to win.
“We’ll go into it in a bit of depth and look at what has gone on, but they outbowled us – they bowled pretty well. The seamers took the pace off and it was hard work.
“They put us under pressure pretty quickly, didn’t allow us to get going in the powerplay and made it quite hard work for us. I’m not surprised at all; we were very aware of what they could do.
“I don’t think we choked. They just performed better than we did on this occasion and in these conditions.”
Some comfort for Somerset came in their form of a place in the Twenty20 Champions League qualifiers in India next month – both finalists will take part – while they remain in with a shout of LV= County Championship and CB40 glory heading into what promises to be an enthralling end to the season.
“It’s a bit of a consolation prize to walk away with,” Trescothick said of the Champions League and the potential riches that go with it, although he confirmed he will not fly out due to the depression which afflicts him while away from home.
“The competition was fantastic the last time we went and the lads will be looking forward to it, no doubt. But we’d have liked to have gone with the t20 trophy.”