The Gillette Cup - 1979

Saturday, September 8th dawned bright and early. A great crowd had assembled in St John's Wood underground station and people made their way down to Lord's Cricket ground. Supporters of Northamptonshire joined me on the walk into the ground though they were very quiet. Inside the ground, programmes and scorecards were being sold and stalls selling fish and chips, souvenirs, beer, etc. were to be seen doing a good trade. As I made my way to my seat on the grass, the shout of "Somerset are magic" came up to greet the arrival of Northamptonshire supporters who shouted back and waved Northampton scarves. I sat down and got out my scoresheet; it was nearly ten-thirty, start of play. A small cheer greeted Northants, led by Jim Watts, followed by a loud cheer to greet the Somerset openers, Brian Rose (captain) and Peter Denning. After about 20 minutes and 34 runs, Sarfraz Nawaz the Pakistan quick bowler, pushed one through a bit quicker and Denning just touched it through to Sharp, the wicketkeeper. A cheer came up from Northants supporters which was to be weak compared to the arrival of Viv Richards, the West Indian. He began quite badly, but Rose played some good shots. He was bowled by Jim Watts for 41. Richards was the senior partner as the rest of the wickets fell at regular intervals. Botham thrashed about for a bit and in the end when Richards was bowled by Jim Griffiths, Joel Garner and Derek Taylor brought Somerset to 269-8 in their 60 overs.

Northants started badly losing Wayne Larkins, who played for England in the World Cup Final for 0 to Garner. In came Richard Williams, a Welshman noted to play for England and hit two glorious fours until he was out stepping on to his wicket, again to Garner. Here came a rally round by Geoff Cook and Allan Lamb putting on 113 in 30 overs. There was still a chance that Northants could win, but when Allen Lamb departed for 78, stumped by Taylor off Richards, the task seemed impossible. When last man, Jim Griffiths was out, thousands of people ran onto the pitch. It was a great day for Somerset, the first trophy ever won in their history.

SOMERSET269-8 (60 overs)
 (Richards 117, Rose 41)
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE  224-9 (56.3 overs)
 (one man unable to bat)
 (A J Lamb 75, Cook 44, Garner 6 - 29)
Somerset won by 45 runs
Man of the match : Viv Richards

J Daly 4B

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