Roelof impresses on day one

It was a bright but very breezy morning that greeted the players on day one of this three-day pre-season match between Somerset and Warwickshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

After an uncontested toss, Warwickshire’s Will Rhodes and Dom Sibley opened the batting for the visitors, but Lewis Gregory made an immediate breakthrough to give the hosts the upper hand early on. Rhodes was the man to go when he was bowled off only the second ball of the day with no score on the board. Sam Hain joined Sibley in the middle and the pair brought up the visitor’s 50 in the 19th over. By the lunch interval they had taken the score to 88 for one.

Gregory once again struck early in the session. Sibley was the man to go for 49 from the fifth ball of the second over after lunch. Roelof van der Merwe took the catch at short mid-wicket for the addition of just two further runs to the total. Sam Hain retired out on 66 at 126 for three. The 150 came up in the 48th over but van der Merwe was brought into the attack and he struck with his fourth ball as Tom Banton took a sharp catch at short leg. Marchant de Lange then trapped Dan Mousley lbw, and when van der Merwe accounted for Michael Burgess, Warwickshire were 173 for six. At the tea interval, the visitors were 190 for six.

In the evening session, Chris Benjamin and Danny Briggs took their side past the 200 mark. Van der Merwe claimed his third wicket when he trapped Benjamin for lbw for 31, and then Lewis Goldsworthy accounted for Briggs with his very first ball to leave the visitors on 230 for eight. The declaration came one run later.

Warwickshire made an early breakthrough when Tom Lammonby was lbw to Oliver Hannon-Dalby for 0 to leave Somerset on six for one.

By the close of play Somerset were 23 for one.

Following the day’s play, Roelof van der Merwe, who claimed three for 27 from 12 overs, said: “It was a good day in the field for us. I think that this is the best that we have bowled with the new ball. The boys really stuck to their lengths and there was real consistency with the bowling as a whole today.

“It’s always nice to pick up wickets and I’m happy with how the ball is coming out at the moment

“This game is a real opportunity for guys to show exactly what they’re about. We’ll be going out there again tomorrow with a competitive mindset and we’ll be trying to beat them. Winning becomes a habit and you can’t just switch it on next week for the Hampshire game. We’ll be looking to score some runs tomorrow and bowl them out in their second innings. Then we’ll see where we are on day three.”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground