Lewis impresses on day one
Lewis Gregory took three wickets as Somerset enjoyed the better of the opening day of this Specsavers County Championship clash at Hampshire.
Gregory, along with Craig Overton, Tim Groenewald and Jack Leach who celebrated two wickets each, seemed to enjoy bowling with the pink ball – which failed to offer any great assistance for much of the day.
The quartet battled through a seemingly flat track, which seemed to grow livelier in the evening and night sessions, to give the bowlers the advantage.
Only a promising partnership between Liam Dawson and Jimmy Adams plus James Vince’s 47 handed the hosts any positives during the maiden day of day/night Championship cricket.
Hampshire eventually declared on a modest 211 for nine before bowling six overs at Somerset – who reached 18 without loss.
Hampshire won the toss and elected to bat in the warm afternoon sun, with a wicket appearing primed for high scoring batting.
Adams and Dawson made that early pitch prediction seem correct as they blustered through the opening exchanges. The pair, who scored 10 of the day’s 19 boundaries between them, looked comfortable with driving through the covers a common sight. They had reached 74 for 0 at lunch.
However, after the interval, Somerset turned the screw to gain control of the game.
Overton, who missed out on making his England debut in the Twenty20 series against South Africa, was the first to eke life out of a flat wicket. The fast bowler broke the 84-run partnership between Adams and Dawson in the fourth over after lunch, when he had the former caught at first slip by Hildreth.
While the ball to get that wicket had jagged away slightly, the delivery to see off Rilee Rossouw was a standard short delivery. The out-of-form South African top edged before Steven Davies pulled off a wonderful diving catch to hold the steepling chance – Rossouw has now scored five ducks in his last eight Specsavers County Championship innings.
Dawson, who returned after his stint in the England team, appeared in complete control as he was promoted up the order to open – with the out-of-form Michael Carberry dropped. He patiently reached a 132-ball half century before Gregory got one to keep low and move in to see the England International trapped lbw.
Captain George Bailey soon followed when he clipped a Groenewald delivery off his legs to Overton at midwicket – who struggled to keep out the action in the session. The Australian’s wicket saw Hampshire fall from 84 without loss to 132 for four and after supper the collapse would continue.
Sean Ervine got tempted into a late cut to Leach and feathered behind before James Vince reached a sluggish yet classy 47 before attempting to tickle the spinner around the corner, but only found the gloves of Davies.
Groenewald took his second wicket when he cut Ian Holland in two with a sharp in ducker.
Hampshire appeared in danger of missing out on a batting point entirely when Gregory had Gareth Berg leg before and Lewis McManus bowled with the score on 198 and 199. A hoick into the leg side from Kyle Abbott secured a point before Bailey decided to declare and have a short burst at the Somerset batting.
— Somerset Cricket (@SomersetCCC) June 26, 2017
Marcus Trescothick and debutant Eddie Byrom saw out the remaining overs under the floodlights.
After the close of play Craig Overton said: “They played pretty well in the first session. They were none down at lunch but after lunch we tried to keep it dry and I got the rewards.
“The ball was strange. It swings and then goes really soft. It didn’t really do much. There was maybe a little bit in it for the bowlers but because it is so soft and slow it is tough to score on. We knew it was going to be tough batting under lights so it is perfect to be nought down with Tres and Eddie.”
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