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From the Archive: Botham's Best

In conjunction with Cooper Associates, Somerset County Cricket Club regularly delve into our extensive Club Archives to look back on some of our proudest moments.

In this edition, we go back to this very day in 1980 to shine the spotlight on one of the finest individual First Class innings that The Cooper Associates County Ground has ever seen.

On May 24th 1980, Ian Botham scored an outstanding 228 in the County Championship derby fixture against local rivals Gloucestershire.

Brian Rose won the toss and elected to bat.

The Somerset skipper and Sunil Gavaskar, who was making his debut for the County, shared an opening stand of 78 but the home side slipped to 119 for three.

Enter Mr Botham!

The England all rounder took the attack to the Gloucestershire bowlers and by the time he was finished, he had smashed his way to a sublime 228.

His sensational innings saw him smash the ball to all corners of the ground and lasted 184 minutes and included 27 fours and 10 sixes!

During his mammoth innings, Botham shared a fourth wicket stand of 310 with Peter Denning which is still the Club’s highest ever fourth wicket partnership.

Somerset eventually posted a total of 534 for six from 100 overs.

In reply, Gloucestershire could only make 239 all out and were forced to follow on.

The visitors fared rather better second time around and centuries from Zaheer Abbas and Alastair Hignall ensured that Gloucestershire salvaged a draw, but all the talk was of one man: Ian Terrance Botham.

That score of 228 was the highest First Class score of his illustrious career, and certainly one that would remain at the forefront of the memories of those lucky enough to have been at Taunton on that day.

In total he played in 172 First Class Matches for Somerset, scoring 8686 runs at an average of 36. He also made 16 hundreds and claimed 489 wickets.

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