British Summer Time may not be starting until Sunday March 25, when the clocks go forward an hour at midnight, but as far as the cricketers of Somerset and Glamorgan are concerned the summer started today on Monday March 19 when the two counties met each other in a two-day friendly at Taunton.
The past few seasons have seen county teams dabble with pre-season friendlies during the last week of March but no competitive match involving two county teams has ever taken place as early as this contest at Taunton.
Despite astrologers – and some meteorologists – still classing March 19 as winter or spring, the summer’s activities for the two counties began at 11.00am under clear blue skies at the County Ground with Marcus Trescothick and Arul Suppiah opening the batting against Graham Wagg and Huw Waters, and watched by a hundred or so supporters.
The visiting bowlers then fully vindicated Mark Wallace’s decision to bowl first as they dismissed Somerset for 137 in 34.2 overs with Wagg taking 3 for 53 and Waters 2 for 17. Jim Allenby also took 3 for 20 and came close to claiming the first hat-trick in March as he dismissed Jos Buttler and Peter Trego in consecutive balls, while Chris Ashling also claimed 2 for 44.