Throwback Thursday: Four centurions
This week’s throwback Thursday sees us going back to 2007 and a match which saw no fewer than four Somerset batsmen pass the 100 mark in one innings.
Somerset welcomed Leicestershire to the Cooper Associates County Ground on June 6th 2007 for this County Championship Division Two match that would live long in the memory.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat but Darren Robinson was soon regretting his decision as he was caught by Peter Trego from the bowling of Charl Willoughby for two to leave his side on six for one. Andy Caddick then trapped John Maunders lbw for a second ball duck and Leicestershire found themselves in trouble on 15 for two.
Tom New and Hylton Ackerman steadied the ship by adding 45 for the third wicket before the latter was caught behind off the bowling of Steffan Jones with the score on 60. New then fell just six runs later as Caddick claimed his second wicket. An excellent spell by Jones then also accounted for Arno Jacobs, Jim Allenby and Paul Nixon as Leicestershire slumped to 124 for seven. Caddick then claimed his third lbw of the innings as Stuart Broad came and went without troubling the scorers. It was then left to Jones to clean up the tail which he did with aplomb as the visitors were all out for 168.
Jones really ripped through the middle order and finished with an impressive six for 61 from his 13.2 overs.
Somerset openers Marcus Trescothick and Neil Edwards made short work of the Leicestershire total and had a first innings lead on the board shortly after tea. Both players passed the century mark and they scored quickly at nearly six an over. Edwards was the first to three figures from just 114 balls and Trescothick followed shortly after from 111.
Edwards was eventually dismissed for 133 with the score on 233 but Trescothick remained unbeaten and at the close of an amazing first day Somerset were 357 for one.
On day two Trescothick resumed on 153* whilst James Hildreth returned on 55*. The pair put on 175 for the second wicket and Somerset’s England opener went on to make 182 from 185 balls before falling to David Masters with the score on 408. Hildreth was joined at the crease by Cameron White and the two batsman both reached triple figures in their partnership of 202. White was caught behind off Broad for 114 with the score on 610 and Hildreth fell in exactly the same fashion for 163 just 15 runs later. A rapid 36 from Craig Kieswetter brought about the declaration with the scoreboard showing 675 for five.
Any encouragement that the Leicestershire batsmen got from watching their opponents score freely soon evaporated as they slipped to 85 for six. Charl Willoughby tore through the top order and only Jim Allenby (43) and Mansoor Amjad (46) prevented Somerset from wrapping up the match in two days. At the close of the second day Leicestershire were 188 for eight.
On day three Broad made a stubborn 35 but it took Somerset just 13.1 overs to finish the game as the visitors were dismissed for 248 to give Somerset the win by an innings and 259 runs. Willoughby was the pick of the bowlers with five for 82 whilst Andy Caddick also took three for 38.
This result is still Somerset’s largest margin of an innings victory and beat the previous record set in 1927.
It’s not often that four batsman score 100′s in an innings and it is a match that Marcus Trescothick remembers fondly. “Four of us getting hundreds is pretty unique,” he said. “Getting over 600 after bowling them out for 168 was a pretty good effort! We almost approached it like a one-day match. After we got them all out for that score we knew that we could get past it if we took the sting out of their bowlers quickly. We were able to do that and then we could just dominate. We got past the new ball, Neil and I got a good partnership going and it just flowed from that point on. I’d like to say that all the damage was done by the batsmen but the bowlers played a big part too. Steffan and Charl did a decent job and Andy always got wickets when we needed them.
“I think that game sums up the style of positive cricket that we were playing at the time. Our batting line up was strong and we had four international players in our top six. We knew that we could go out and be really positive and aggressive. That was the brand of cricket that we were playing at the time and it obviously worked because we went on to win the Second Division title that year.”