Centuries for Marcus and Pete as Somerset fight back
Marcus Trescothick became the second highest century maker in Somerset history when he passed three figures on day three of the Specsavers County Championship game against Middlesex at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
The 40-year-old left hander reached three figures for the 48th time for Somerset in First Class cricket as Somerset rescued what appeared to be a desperate situation at lunchtime.
With Middlesex having established a first innings lead of 145, thanks in the main to a ninth wicket partnership of 162 between James Fuller (93) and James Harris (78), Somerset slipped to 59 for 3 in their second innings and at lunch the home side were 69 for 3, still trailing by 76.
It called for a Trescothick masterclass and the former England opening batsman duly obliged. On a wicket that was green in appearance, but far from troublesome, he added 67 for the fourth wicket with Jim Allenby before joining forces with Peter Trego in a fifth wicket partnership of 181. By the close of play, Somerset were 203 runs ahead, on 348 for 6.
Trescothick’s innings was one of sublime quality and patience to boot. With wickets falling around him, he kept his cool, avoided unnecessary risks and left Middlesex to wonder what might have been. The visitors, who progressed their overnight total of 361 for 8 to 381 all out, used five bowlers in a bid to prise Trescothick away from the crease. The left-hander was rarely in trouble as he reached 50 off 115 balls, with nine fours, and posted three figures, for the fourth time this season, off 184 deliveries with 18 fours.
It was his 48th First Class hundred for Somerset and the 62nd of a First Class career dating back to 1993. His latest landmark moves him ahead of Sir Viv Richards and leaves him just one century behind the great Harold Gimblett. At the other end, Trego, in his own inimitable way, punished anything wide and full and reached his half century off 61 balls with seven fours and one six. His second 50 came off 69 balls with another 10 boundaries. It was Trego at his best.
When Trescothick finally departed, pushing forward to Harris, for 124 at 307 for 5, Middlesex sensed an opportunity to once again turn the screw. Craig Overton (2) edged Harris to wicket keeper John Simpson at 315 for 6, but Trego (115 not out) and Alex Barrow saw the host county through to the close.
After the close of play Marcus Trescothick said: “I’d still love to be out there and feel very disappointed not to see it through, but it was a big partnership to put us back in the game. We knew we just wanted to get a partnership going on a pretty good pitch. That is the job we do and you have got to get through the tough times. That’s what it is all about.”
Regarding his 48th First Class century for Somerset Marcus said: “It’s very nice but it’s all part and parcel of what is going on. The milestones are there and they come along and they are nice to get past but you tend to get sidetracked and focus on the job you have got to do.”
Peter Trego, who celebrated his 200th First Class game with that century today said: “It was a tough period when I first went out and we both talked about it darting around out there a little bit. It’s great that I’m celebrating my 200th game and I never thought I’d get there so I’m super proud to put a performance in on a special day for myself and my family. Gone are the days when I can go in and score a dashing 30 or 60, I’ve got to start batting like Marcus and digging in for the team and hopefully that’s a performance along with others this summer to give me the confidence to play really long innings. I need to show that again in the morning.”
Summing up Marcus said: “I still think that we have got a lot of work to do tomorrow. We are by no means in the box seat at the moment. We have got a decent lead on the board and it’s a long day tomorrow and we know that we need to continue on the work we have done tonight. We have put in a good shift and hopefully we can carry it on tomorrow morning.