Junior Reporter Match Report
Aaron Woodruff, 16, was selected as the winner of the Junior Reporter Competition that we ran in conjunction with the Somerset County Gazette.
Here is his match report from our recent NatWest T20 Blast match against Kent Spitfires:
Chris Gayle hit an astonishing unbeaten 151 for Somerset- only to fall three runs short of Kent’s 227, in what was a high scoring NatWest T20 Blast match in Taunton.
Because of Gayle, Sam Northeast’s terrific 114 went somewhat unfairly under the radar. Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard gave him and Kent credit though: “Sam Northeast played a sensational innings. Kent do play an exciting, fearless brand of cricket so full credit to them.”
Northeast was victorious at the toss and chose to bat first- a decision which paid dividends. Although Kent lost Joe Denly for 2 when he was run out by Max Waller, Daniel Bell-Drummond and Northeast added 94 runs for the 2nd wicket. They were running well- and putting the bad balls away and took the Spitfires onto 105.
Waller broke the partnership when he had Bell-Drummond held in the deep, handing the spinner a deserved wicket. Sam Billings (24) and Darren Stevens (22) added handy cameo’s to support Northeast, who reached his century of 51 balls with a four before a cluster of wickets fell in the last over thanks to Alfonso Thomas.
Stevens was caught by Waller off the captain’s bowling and Thomas went on to bowl Northeast (his innings included 16 fours and 2 sixes) and Matt Coles (0) after Gregory had run out Fabian Cowdrey (0) in the final over also. Thomas concluded with 3-46, as Kent finished on 227-7 off of their 20 overs.
In reply, Somerset lost Marcus Trescothick early on for 7 with the score on 22. Two deliveries later, Peter Trego was bowled by Coles without scoring and this left Somerset in some trouble. However, 113 runs were added between Gayle and James Hildreth before the latter was caught by Denly off the bowling of Stevens for 29. The overseas star did have a life before reaching fifty as Denly failed to hold a catch coming in from the deep. He punished that error though, as in the 14th over, Gayle went to his hundred off 45 deliveries when he pushed a single into the leg side.
Jim Allenby and Tom Cooper both scored a brisk 12, which included a six apiece as Somerset looked to close in on the victory target. However, when Lewis Gregory was bowled, Gayle was struggling to get on strike. Kent looked to be restricting the hosts well. In the penultimate over though, Gayle looked to set the victory up. He launched Coles for 3 sixes and a four to leave 14 runs required from the last over.
Of the first ball of the over, Tanvir picked out Coles on the fence; failing to ensure that the batsmen crossed left Gayle helpless at the non-strikers end. Jamie Overton got the single next but Gayle was left with too much to do by this stage, although he did reach 151 off the final ball as he sent the ball out of the ground. Kent’s Mitchell Claydon finished with 2-23 off of his four overs- sensational bowling to restrict Somerset at the death as well as being tight in the early overs. Somerset’s 224-7 gave Kent the victory by 3 runs and consequently the 2 points from this match.
Gayle’s magnificent knock of 151 not out came off 62 balls and included 10 fours and 15 sixes, but it wasn’t enough to get Somerset home on his first match for Somerset at Taunton. The West Indian said: “It was a great innings, but the only thing that spoilt it was being on the losing side. After a missed chance you don’t want to give them another sniff and make them pay the price.”