Somerset v Worcestershire: Preview
Somerset travel to play against Worcestershire at New Road on Sunday, where they will looking to notch up their victory of the LV= County Championship season.
Looking ahead to the match Matt Maynard the Somerset Director of Cricket said: “This is a big game for us as they all are in this division and we were disappointed with the result of our last game. However I took a lot more positives out of the Middlesex match than the first game.”
“We had a good practice with the players on Friday to go through the last game and where we need to improve. I think its important also that they guys coming back into the squad (Craig Overton and Alfonso Thomas) are aware of where we fell short against Middlesex and what we need to do to improve. I thought the feedback at our meeting was terrific and there was a nice lot of honesty from the players. They know that we are not far away but there are areas we need to work on such as developing partnerships lower down the order.”
The DOC added: “Lewis Gregory has been absolutely fantastic but he hasn’t quite been backed up by the other bowlers and that’s an area we need to focus on and improve upon.”
Marcus Trescothick was in vintage form with the bat in Somerset’s most recent match against Middlesex in which he scored 140 and 76 and will be hoping for more of the same at New Road. Looking forward to which the skipper said: “We have got to keep on putting in performances and improving on what we did in the last game. I thought that we did a lot of good things right but we can still get better and improve upon those good things to put ourselves into winning positions.”
Ahead of Sunday’s match James Hildreth who hit a sparking 187 followed by 86 in the last home game said: “The beauty of the season is that the games come thick and fast and although two defeats in our two games is obviously disappointing, Sunday allows us to get back on the horse straight away and put things right. We are all excited by this opportunity to turn our fortunes around. I am feeling alright and hitting the ball nicely so I’m hoping to stay in this purple patch and keep scoring runs whilst hopefully contributing to some victories for Somerset. There are a few things we need to look at and bowling sides out twice is a big area for us and obviously getting those late order runs to get us past 550 to put pressure on the opposition.”
All rounder Peter Trego played a number of Second XI matches for Worcestershire a few season back and is looking forward to returning to New Road: “With two disappointing results behind us we need to get back on the bike quickly,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for us to go to a ground which has been good to us from a results point of view in the past. Personally I have got some fond memories of playing there and of successes with Somerset so hopefully we can make some new ones on Sunday.”
The last time that the two sides met was at the end of the 2012 season at Taunton when Somerset triumphed to consign Worcestershire to Division Two, from where they gained promotion at the end of last season.
Three seasons ago Somerset’s trump card was spinner Abdur Rehman took a career best nine for 65 in the first innings which he followed up with five for 36 to give him match figures of 14 for 101.
The Pakistani Test bowler is back at Somerset this season and would dearly like to repeat his match winning feat this time around as he explained: “In the last game against Middlesex I got a few wickets and got back into my rhythm so I will be trying to go to Worcester, get more wickets and bowl well for my team.”
With Jamie Overton injured, fit again Alfonso Thomas comes into the squad as does all rounder Craig Overton who has recovered from his ankle injury.
Johann Myburgh’s wife has had their first baby so he comes back into the squad in place of Tom Abell who has to complete his studies at Exeter University. Tim Groenewald is rested and left arm spinner George Dockrell, who has enjoyed success with the Seconds, is also included for the first time this campaign.
The Somerset squad for this game is: Marcus Trescothick (capt) Jim Allenby, Alex Barrow, Tom Cooper, George Dockrell, Lewis Gregory, James Hildreth, Johann Myburgh, Craig Overton, Abdur Rehman, Alfonso Thomas and Peter Trego.