Somerset on a roll with Roly
Posted in Domestic Cricket
The Friends Life t20 has started which means the textbook has been thrown away in favour of some mad, entertaining, care-free, no inhibitions cricket.
The old adage of chalking your elbow and biting your collar when you are batting no longer applies. Just go out there and have some fun.
I love batting in Twenty20. I normally take a couple of balls to play myself in and will try to hit conventional boundaries to start with. I know I'm not a slogger so if playing normal cricket shots doesn't work then I will need to revert to Plan B which means premeditating.
That means being inventive like running down the wicket, walking across my stumps, flicking the ball over fine-leg, reverse sweeps - that sort of thing.
Those might seem dangerous shots but because we have practised them in the nets so much they are relatively risk-free. They are your 'go to' shots if you get bogged down. All batsmen know what their strengths are so it's important you stick to them.
Despite losing our first game to Hampshire Royals, we are back on track after comfortable wins over Kent Spitfires and Middlesex Panthers.
Going to the Rose Bowl for our first game revived memories of Finals Day last year where we lost an amazing game to Hampshire off the last ball.
It was such a bizarre match and I still get annoyed thinking about it. Especially that final ball when we could have run out Dan Christian who had a runner. Still, people want entertaining cricket and anyone who watched that game can't say they weren't entertained.
We wanted to beat Hampshire this time around to help put that final behind us. Unfortunately Jimmy Adams and Lumby (Michael Lumb) played really well and they chased down our total pretty easily.
We lost our first game last season but with 16 group games you can shoot back up the table by going on a winning streak. We've done that with back-to-back wins.
Against Middlesex I sat with my pads on for about 18 overs whilst Tres (Marcus Trescothick) and Roly (Roelof van der Merwe) smashed it everywhere as we won by nine wickets.
Roly is our replacement for Kieron Pollard who misses our first eight T20 games. Those are pretty big shoes to fill but he's already scored 89 and 51 and shown he can hit the ball a long way. He is a really canny bowler too. He's made for Twenty20 cricket.
Tres is batting as well as ever. He's been awesome for us this year just as he was in 2010. He looks so comfortable at the moment.
We made a huge score against Middlesex - 235 for five - but at the halfway stage we knew we couldn't be complacent. Taunton is such a high scoring ground that teams can easily chase down 200. Fortunately we managed to remain focussed and won by 40 runs.
It was good to have Kiesy (Craig Kieswetter) back and he looked at his best with 59 off just 22 balls.
Our next game is against Kent on Friday which is the start of a run of five matches in eight days. It's a busy time and the games are mentally draining. On the plus side the benefit of this period of Twenty20 games is that you can rest on the morning of a match.