Somerset v Durham – Match Preview
Somerset return to championship action on Sunday when they head to the north east to face Durham who are riding high in Division One.
While the hosts currently occupy second place in the table with 90 points from their six matches, four of which have been won, Somerset are next to the bottom with 52 from the five they have played, with one victory, a draw and three defeats.
After losing their opening three matches in the four day competition Somerset travelled to Trent Bridge where they picked up an impressive victory and then drew with reigning champions Yorkshire in a game they were on top for long periods, so they will be very much hoping that their improved form continues at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Somerset batsman James Hildreth who just missed out on making 1,000 first class run by 85 said: “We feel we have been chasing it a little bit in the championship where we had a poor start, but now we have turned things around a little bit and we are playing some good cricket. A couple of the other guys are also starting to hit some good form with the bat which is pleasing.
“However Durham have had a good start to their season and are going to be tough. Conditions can be tough up there and will favour their bowlers, but we feel that we are now going in the right direction in the championship
Taking about missing out on the early season milestone Hildreth went on: “I certainly wasn’t thinking of a 1,000 runs in May when the season started! It was nice to get up close to it but the way the game against Yorkshire panned out it was never going to happen.”
He added: “As a batsman you try to get as many runs as you can every season because that is what you are judged on. However ultimately you want to win games of cricket and for Somerset to be pushing towards the top of the table so if I can get runs and we do that then that’s my goal. “
Craig Overton who heads the Somerset bowling averages with 13 wickets at 21.54 and is second in the batting with an average of 34.75 said: “I like going to play up there because I played there once and got a few wickets so hopefully I can do the same this time round and we can produce the form we did last time and get another win.”
“I have been going alright lately so hope I can keep that going for the rest of the season.”
Jamie Overton who made his one day debut at the Emirate ICG a few years back and who enjoyed success both batting and bowling in the last home game said: “It will be nice to be bowling with the red ball again it does a little bit more than the white one so its always nice to get that back in your hand.
“Durham is usually a bowler friendly wicket so hopefully if I play then I can get a few wickets. I always find it tough going there because I prefer a bit more pace on the ball so I will try to get my basics right and take a few wickets.
The Overtons have been bowling in tandem in the recent game with Yorkshire about which Craig said: “Its always nice for us to bowl together and we both enjoy it and it seems to work well so lets hope we can both stay fit and keep it going!”
The North Devon pair also shared a last wicket partnership of 74 against Yorkshire.
“It’s always fun batting with Jamie. He says he wants to go up the order, and as long as he doesn’t go above me that’s fine so hopefully we can score a lot more runs together.”
Craig added: “We know we didn’t get off to a good start, but you can’t reflect on the past, we have to look forward and Durham is a tough place to go and win but hopefully we can continue with our form and get another good result up there.”
Captain Marcus Trescothick said: “Winning up at Notts and then a good performance against Yorkshire here has given us a bit of a boost in our confidence.
“After a few T20 games we have to get our heads back into red ball pretty quickly against Durham who are flying high at the moment.”
The skipper added: “When we met down here we let the game slip after the opening day so if we can keep on improving on what we have achieved in our last couple of matches then hopefully we will see a different game.”
One notable absentee from the Somerset squad who fly north on Saturday is Alfonso Thomas, who is rested and replaced by Tim Groenewald.
Marcus Trescothick (c), Tom Abell, Jim Allenby, Alex Barrow, Tom Cooper, Lewis Gregory, Tim Groenewald, James Hildreth, Johann Myburgh, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton and Pete Trego.