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Five wickets for Dom as match ends in a draw

Dom Bess took his wicket tally to 35 in six Specsavers County Championship appearances as Somerset and Surrey battled out an inevitable draw on the final day at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The 20-year-old off-spinner claimed five for 101 in a Surrey first innings total of 345 all out that saw Mark Stoneman celebrate his England call-up with a score of 67.

That was in reply to Somerset’s 436 in a rain-affected match, including a third-day washout. The hosts took 13 points from the match whilst Surrey collected 11.

The day began with Surrey on 69 for one with Stoneman unbeaten on 34. He soon moved to his half-century off 86 balls, with nine fours.

Bess struck for the first time with the total on 99, Scott Borthwick mistiming a drive to short cover where Somerset skipper Tom Abell took the catch.

Jason Roy began positively, lofting Bess over long-on for six. He looked in decent touch moving to 26 but then fell in a similar manner to Borthwick, with Jack Leach the successful bowler. It was 138 for four when Stoneman became the third Surrey batsman caught by Abell attempting to drive through the offside, Bess striking another blow for the hosts. Aaron Finch survived a tough caught and bowled chance to Bess on 16 and hit a straight six off Leach as lunch approached.

Surrey lost another wicket when Ben Foakes was caught behind for 20 attempting to pull a delivery from Craig Overton and the lunchtime score read 183 for five.

The visitors required 287 to avoid being asked to follow on and had advanced their score to 208 when Finch (39) offered a simple catch to short-leg, edging a sweep off Bess.

Sam Curran contributed 32 before Bess removed him by taking a sharp return catch with the total on 243. The second new ball was taken at 256 for seven and Rikki Clarke almost immediately deposited it into the River Tone with a big six off Leach. It was 284 for seven at tea.

The final session saw Clarke caught behind off Tim Groenwald for 33 with the technicality of the follow-on figure having been passed. Abell then produced a direct hit at the bowler’s end to run out Tom Curran for 35, attempting a quick single off Groenewald, and ensured his side of maximum bonus points.

Surrey lost out on a fourth batting point by five runs when Bess tempted Stuart Meaker with a wide one and Steve Davies completed the stumping to end the game. It was the fifth time in his short career that Bess had claimed five wickets or more in a Championship innings.

Afterwards Matt Maynard said: “We can most definitely take a lot out of this game. To get 400 in the first innings is something we have been struggling to get this year. Then to get full bowling points and restrict Surrey to 345 on a docile wicket was a great effort.

“Tom Abell has found his form playing for the Seconds and brought that into this game. To come in on a hat trick and apply himself as he did was great and more like the Tom Abell of old. He looked very calm at the crease and just picked out the bad balls. I though that he looked really good. It was great to see him play an innings like that with five games to go. Steve Davies played a lovely knock as well. We know the quality of both players so it was great to see them performing in this game.”

Regarding Dom Bess Matt said: “We should rename the honours board at the club the Bess Board because every time he plays he is on there! He’s having a great run of form and I just like the way that he goes about his game. During the second evening of this game he sat and chatted with Gareth Batty about spin bowling for at least an hour which was just great to see. He’s got that drive and that focus to not just learn from himself, but to use the experience of other players around him and it’s great that Gareth talked with him like that.”

The match scorecard can be viewed here

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