Somerset v Durham: Royal London One-Day Cup Preview
Somerset entertain Durham in the Royal London One-Day Cup at the County Ground tomorrow (Wednesday) starting at 10.30am.
Durham launched the defence of their RLODC title on Saturday when they won at Northants by 54 runs, since when their home game with Worcestershire on Monday was abandoned without a ball bowled.
Somerset’s only game in the competition was a rain affected 14 overs per side match with Derbyshire on Sunday that ended in defeat.
Last year’s game between these two sides in the competition saw Somerset win by five wickets. Chasing 311 for seven, Somerset found themselves 105 for five before an unbroken sixth wicket partnership of 209 between James Hildreth (who made an unbeaten 146) and Lewis Gregory (who ended unbeaten on 105, his maiden century) saw the hosts to victory with 20 balls to spare.
Looking ahead to the game Director of Cricket Matt Maynard said: “Durham are a very good team and won the competition last year. They had a good start with a win at Northamptonshire where Paul Collingwood did the business again for them and Phil Mustard batted well so we know they are a strong side.
“What we need to do is keep up what we have been doing in the field because we have been happy with that and although the results haven’t changed that’s more down to our batting. We need to get the batting right and hopefully in the 50 over game we will be able to do that and get the batsmen to bat deeper in our innings.”
Matt also talked about some of the specific improvements in Sunday’s fielding performance. “When the ball was hit into the ring the guys were attacking the ball and trying to throw the stumps down,” he said. “If they make a mistake doing that then I don’t mind. I would rather that than sitting back and letting the opposition get an easy single.
“If you attack the ball and try to throw the stumps down, even if the batsman is just home he might think about it the second time and you start saving runs. If we do that collectively as a unit it can result in saving 10 or 15 runs over the course of a game and that can be the difference between winning and losing.”
Talking about the batting Matt said: “Its hard to gauge in a 14 over game reduced to 10 but in the 50 over game its about being positive and playing in your style. Some guys will go out there and bat at a strike rate of 95 whilst others will be at 120 and someone else will be 85. It’s just about having that balance, knowing those individuals and knowing what they can do. “We need to establish partnerships, even small ones of 20 and if we can get that going then hopefully we will be able to turn things around.”
Somerset will select their final line up from the following squad: Jim Allenby (capt), Tom Abell, Michael Bates, Tom Cooper, Lewis Gregory, Tim Groenewald, James Hildreth, Adam Hose, Jack Leach, Johann Myburgh, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Peter Trego and Max Waller.