In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, God appears in the form of that Victorian master of cricket W.G.Grace and instructs the motley crew of Python knights to seek out the Holy Grail with hilarious results.
The ghost of Grace may well have been frequenting Somerset before the start of the season too as Marcus Trescothick has failed by just a whisker from obtaining one of cricket’s Holy Grail’s – 1,000 runs in an English season before the end of May.
Trescothick’s glorious unbeaten 151 (off just 131 balls) helped Somerset chase down 228 to beat Yorkshire yesterday. It was Trescothick’s fourth hundred of the season and second in the match and took him to 978 first-class runs for the season – just a tantalising 22 runs short of immortality.
Only eight batsmen in history have broken the fabled 1,000 run barrier before the end of May: Grace was the first to achieve the feat in 1895 and was followed by Tom Hayward (1900), Wally Hammond (1927), Charles Hallows (1928), Don Bradman (1930 and 1938), Bill Edrich (1938), Glenn Turner (1973) and Graeme Hick (1988).
Given Trescothick (and Somerset’s) shambolic start to the season, the former England opener’s haul is all the more impressive. Somerset were thrashed in their first two games with Trescothick contributing just 18, 5, 4 and 21 as his side were defeated twice by an innings.
But since then Trescothick has hit 227 and 23 against Hampshire, 31 and 23 against Worcestershire, 144 in his only innings against Durham, 63 and 79 at Hove versus Sussex and finally 189 and 151 not out against Yorkshire.
Unfortunately, Somerset don’t have another First-Class match before the end of May, so for Trescothick it is a case of so near, yet so far – just like the Pythons, whose quest for the Holy Grail memorably ended with arrest by the police.
If you like this, follow us on Twitter @thereversesweep