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Specsavers County Championship

Somerset CCC v Lancashire CCC, Cooper Associates County Ground

Somerset CCC Som
V
Lancashire CCC Lancs
335 all out
133 all out
First Innings
69/3
269 all out
Second Innings

Lancashire CCC - Specsavers County Championship

  • Day 1

    Report: Somerset v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship

    Steve Davies hit his second century for Somerset on an absorbing opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match with Lancashire at Taunton.

    The experienced wicketkeeper-batsman was dismissed shortly before the close for 111, having faced 174 balls and hit 12 fours in what could prove a key contribution to his side’s relegation battle.

    Davies shared a fifth-wicket stand of 119 with skipper Tom Abell (46) as Somerset posted 330 for nine on a turning pitch after Lancashire had exercised their option to field first.

    Young leg-spinner Matty Parkinson had figures of four for 68 from 17 overs, recovering from a wayward start to provide a stiff test for the home batsmen on a turning pitch.

    Eddie Byrom batted through the morning session as Somerset posted 103 for three by lunch from 30 overs. The 20-year-old left-handed opener was unbeaten on 38 at the interval, having shared stands of 39 with Marcus Trescothick and 46 with James Hildreth.

    Trescothick, dropped before he had scored by wicketkeeper Alex Davies, diving in front of first slip off Ryan McLaren, progressed to 25 before falling lbw to Tom Bailey.

    George Bartlett, on his second Championship appearance, had made only three when leg-before moving across his stumps to Kyle Jarvis and Hildreth was bowled off an inside edge by McLaren, having moved effortlessly to 25.

    When Zimbabwean Byrom fell for 38 in the first over after lunch, the hosts were in trouble at 105 for four. But Davies and Abell patiently rebuilt the innings before being parted just before tea when Abell was caught at slip for 46 off Parkinson, pushing forward to a leg-break.

    The Somerset captain had faced 103 balls and hit six fours in a solid contribution. Davies was unbeaten on 78 in a total of 229 for five at tea. At that point McLaren was the most successful Lancashire bowler with two for 44 from 12 overs.

    The final session saw 20-year-old Parkinson bowl with increasing confidence once Peter Trego, on 17, had given away his wicket, stumped advancing down the pitch to a wide delivery.

    Craig Overton went in similar fashion to Abell, edging a turning ball to slip having made only four, and Dom Bess was well stumped down the leg side by Davies after matching Trego’s score.

    Davies, who survived two tough chances before he had made 50, batted with increasing assurance to reach three figures off 160 balls, with 11 fours.

    After a poor start to his spell with Somerset, it was the former Surrey left-hander’s second hundred in as many Championship home games.

    He and Jack Leach brought up a third batting point after a short rain break, which Leach celebrated by lifting Parkinson over the short boundary on the town side of the ground for the first six of the game.

    At 312 for eight, Lancashire took the second new ball. It proved a wise move as Bailey bowled Davies off an inside edge onto his leg stump with the score on 322.

  • Day 2

    Report: Somerset v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship

    Lancashire endured a difficult day at Taunton after being made to follow on having been bowled out for 133 with Jack Leach taking five wickets.

    Replying to the home side's first-innings 335, the red rose county saw their hopes of overhauling leaders Essex and claiming the title all but vanish as they were dismissed for 133 inside 58 overs.

    Slow left armer Leach inflicted much of the damage on a pitch offering turn, claiming 5-47 to help the home side forge a meaningful first-innings lead of 202. Needing to win one of their final three games to catch either Middlesex or Yorkshire and avoid being relegated to the Second Division, Somerset enforced the follow-on and Lancashire reached stumps on 28 without loss, still 174 behind.

    Once Somerset had added five runs to their overnight tally, their focus switched to applying pressure with the ball, and Craig Overton effected an early breakthrough, inducing Alex Davies to edge a routine catch to Marcus Trescothick at second slip.

    Having batted for more than an hour and faced 56 balls in scratching four runs, England batsman Haseeb Hameed was lured into uncharacteristic indiscretion by a short-pitched delivery from Peter Trego, top-edging a miss-timed hook to George Bartlett at fine leg. Haseeb's place on the plane to Australia for this winter's Ashes tour is by no means guaranteed and this dismissal will scarcely aid his cause.

    Introduced as early as the 13th over, Leach claimed his 150th first-class victim when Liam Livingstone, pushing forward tentatively, edged low to first slip where Overton stooped to conquer as the visitors slipped to 39-3.

    Veteran campaigners Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Steven Croft set about repairing the damage, advancing the score to 61-3 by lunch, at which point the heavens opened. By the time conditions eased and play could resume, Somerset's bowlers were left with a minimum of 38 overs in which to further impose themselves.

    Leach accounted for Chanderpaul on 17, tempting the West Indies batsman to play round the corner and pop a straightforward catch up to Trescothick via bat and pad with the scoreboard on 84. Lancashire were only two runs better off when Croft, nine short of a half century, was left by an Overton away-swinger and nicked a regulation catch behind.

    Dane Vilas fell to a poor shot, pouched by Steve Davies off the bowling of Tim Groenewald for eight and Leach registered his hundredth wicket in matches at Taunton, bowling Stephen Parry for one.

    Devon-born off spinner Dominic Bess then accounted for Tom Bailey, expertly stumped by Davies, while Leach had Kyle Jarvis caught at the wicket and pinned Ryan McLaren lbw for 30 as Lancashire nose-dived.

    Lancashire coach Glen Chapple said: "I don't think we can look back and say we played particularly well, but Somerset did play well. It was almost a case of what the ball might do with the dismissals and it was doing a fair bit.

    "If we look back on our dismissals, it should give us the encouragement we need to go out there and play a bit better tomorrow and make a bigger score. Game-plan and method are key on that pitch and you have to make up your mind what you are good at and decide how you are going to play against their bowlers. The longer you stay in, the more you get used to the pitch and the bowler.

    "If we can get two or three big partnerships, we can test them a bit, post a total that takes us past Somerset and then set them a target. We'll be looking to lay a foundation in the morning knowing that the pitch will get worse in time."

  • Day 3

    Report: Somerset v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship

    Spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess bowled Somerset to the brink of a crucial victory on the third day of the Specsavers County Championship match with Lancashire at Taunton.

    Left-armer Leach followed up his five first innings wickets with four for 79 from 47 overs as the visitors, who began the day on 28 without loss following on, progressed to 247 for eight by stumps, a lead of just 45.

    Bess offered good support on a pitch offering only slow turn and had figures of three for 85 from 38 overs at the close. Craig Overton was the other wicket-taker.

    There were half-centuries from Haseeb Hameed and Liam Livingstone in a more convincing Lancashire batting effort. But from 144 for one, their score was another disappointment.

    The visitors extended their opening partnership to 82 before short rain-break disrupted Alex Davies’ concentration. The third ball after the resumption saw him offer a return catch to Leach, aiming through the leg side, having made 49.

    It was 89 for one when another shower forced an early lunch. On a pitch offering little assistance to seam or spin, Somerset’s bowlers had their work cut out.

    Hameed reached a studious 151-ball half-century, with 6 fours, but on 62 drove Leach to cover where Tom Abell took a straightforward catch.

    Steven Croft fell cheaply to Bess, lbw trying to sweep a full-toss, and the young off-spinner went on to remove Shiv Chanderpaul for nine, bowling the veteran West Indies star through the gate.

    At tea Lancashire were 175 for four and required a further 27 to make Somerset bat again. The final session saw the hosts take the second new ball and Overton broke through with it as Dean Vilas, on 14, feathered a catch behind.

    Livingtone went to an excellent fifty, made off 153 balls, with 3 fours and a six, before falling on 57.

    He was given out caught behind off Leach, although wicketkeeper Davies removed the bails and appeared to appeal to the square-leg umpire for a stumping.

    Ryan McLaren battled hard for his 15 runs, but was then snapped up off bat and pad by Marcus Trescothick at short-leg to give Leach his fourth wicket.

    Bess then had Stephen Parry caught at silly mid-off stretching forward for 12 before Ryan Jarvis and Tom Bailey ensured the game went into a fourth day.

    With things going their way at The Oval and Uxbridge, Somerset could move out of the First Division relegation zone with victory tomorrow.

    It would be a deserved success. Their bowling and fielding in this match has been exemplary and they have not looked like a team bound for Division Two.

  • Day 4

    Report: Somerset v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship

    Somerset needed just over an hour of the final day to wrap up a seven-wicket victory over Lancashire at Taunton and confirm Essex as county champions for 2017.

    Needing a victory to keep their faint title hopes alive, the visitors lost their last two wickets for 22 runs as Craig Overton sent back Kyle Jarvis and Tom Bailey. Lancashire’s total of 269 left Somerset needing just 68 to ease their fears of Second Division cricket next season.

    They lost Eddie Byrom, Marcus Trescothick and James Hildreth, all to leg-spinner Matty Parkinson, in reaching the target, but still took 22 points from a convincing win to Lancashire’s three.

    When Tom Abell hit the winning boundary the Championship race was decided and the second relegation spot thrown wide open. Two games ago Somerset looked dead and buried, but successive victories have altered the picture dramatically.

    The hosts looked anything but a relegation side in this match, supporting their bowlers with excellent fielding and showing some steel with the bat that has been missing for much of the campaign.

    Overton ensured there were no last day traumas after skipper Abell had taken the decision to open with the tall seamer from the Somerset Pavilion end, rather than off-spinner Dom Bess.

    It proved a shrewd move. With the last ball of his first over, Overton uprooted Jarvis’s off-stump with a full delivery as he played down the wrong line.

    Jarvis had already survived a confident appeal for a bat-pad catch at silly mid-off from the first delivery of the day, bowled by Jack Leach. The umpires consulted before a not out verdict.

    Leach was deprived of his second five-wicket haul of the match when Overton struck again. Another full ball trapped Bailey in front and it looked a straightforward lbw decision.

    With the sun shining, Somerset could not have hoped for better conditions for their small run chase.

    But, having progressed comfortably to 19, they lost opener Byrom, bowled by a classic leg-break from Parkinson as he attempted to drive.

    It was Parkinson’s fifth wicket of the match and he might have proved a huge threat on the final day pitch had Somerset needed even 150.

    As it was, Trescothick, whose hopes of ever winning a Championship title with his beloved county, surely rest on avoiding relegation at the age of 41, survived a loud leg-before shout from Stephen Parry on a pitch offering considerable turn.

    The veteran former England opener took the total to 46 by lofting Parkinson over the short mid-wicket boundary on the town side of the ground, but in the same over departed for 21, caught at square-leg, aiming to sweep a low full-toss.

    Hildreth immediately followed to a low catch at gully and for the second time this season, Abell found himself walking out at Taunton to face a hat-trick ball.

    He steadied nerves by hitting it through the leg-side of three. At the other end England Under-19 batsman George Bartlett was showing the confidence of youth and together they moved Somerset towards victory.

    With nine needed, he smashed Parkinson (three for 37) back over his head for six to finish unbeaten on 27. Abell completed the job by sweeping Parry for four to spark celebrations on the other side of the country and genuine hope in the home dressing room.

    Lancashire skipper Steve Croft said: "Massive congratulations to Essex. That's eight games they have won, which is an incredible effort, and they are thoroughly deserving winners of the Championship.

    "We had a close game against them at the start of the season and a couple of other matches could have gone our way with a bit of luck. But it was a tough task staying close to Essex the way they have been playing and we will take a lot of positives out of the season.

    "We didn't bat or bowl well enough in the first innings of this game, but fought back well yesterday and had a couple of things go against us. Now our goal is to finish runners-up. We were written off by many at the beginning of the season, but emerged as title contenders."

 

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