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A mixed bag

Posted in Domestic Cricket

Both myself and Somerset have had a really indifferent start to the LV= County Championship season.

We played well in our first match to beat Middlesex but last week we paid for a poor first innings at Edgbaston and lost to Warwickshire. We need to pick ourselves up at Trent Bridge this week.

Before the season began we talked about the importance of starting strongly - something we haven't done in previous years - but we got it right against Middlesex.

Our overseas player Vernon Philander was awesome in the first innings and took five wickets. He's had a sensational start to his Test career and I can see why.

He swings it both ways, gets some nibble off the seam, is really accurate and - despite an easy run-up - he gets the ball down at a good pace. You always think he's going to take a wicket.

We ended up chasing down 72 to win by six wickets. I was there at the end with 37 alongside Jos Buttler. Sometimes it's hard to know what to do when you have such a small target but we tried to be positive which, although we lost four wickets, meant we won quite comfortably.

Against Warwickshire we were always up against it after being bowled out for 147 in the first innings.

The pitch looked really good so we decided to bat first. In hindsight it might not have been the correct decision as the ball moved around a fair bit but we did not bat well enough.

We managed to give ourselves a sniff by setting them 259 to win and when they were eight down at lunch on the final day we were confident of winning.

Unfortunately for us their overseas player Jeetan Patel played a few shots to win the game. On another day any number of his boundaries could have gone straight up in the air.

James Hildreth

I'm hoping to get my season started with a big score in our next LV= County Championship game against Nottinghamshire

Tomorrow morning we have a coach trip to Nottingham, which is always a tough place to go. It's a lovely ground but it can be hard for batsmen, especially early on. You need to survive the new ball and then cash in later on, which is what I did last year in making a hundred.

I like batting there even though the ball does move around. Hopefully I can get another score this week to make up for a mixed start with the bat.

It's about five hours from Taunton to Nottingham, which is normally a good chance to chill out watching a film or playing PlayStation. I normally end up sitting next to Arul Suppiah which means listening to his interesting conversations or watching him fiddle about on his iPad.

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