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Craig reflects on record figures

There were conflicting emotions for Craig Overton at the climax of Somerset’s recent LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Essex at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The 28-year-old dropped to his knees as his side fell to the narrowest and most dramatic of defeats under the hot Easter weekend sun in Taunton. The reason for his emotion was that he had almost spearheaded one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of the domestic game.

Craig secured career-best figures during the match and gave those gathered at the CACG one of the most sensational displays of bowling that the famous ground has ever witnessed.

His performance in claiming 13 for 87 will certainly live long in the memory despite the result.

After a few days to reflect, Craig was in philosophical mood when we spoke to him before boarding the coach to Surrey.

“It was ultimately very frustrating,” he said. “We got so close to winning the game and although not many people gave us a chance, I always felt that we were still in it. We gave it absolutely everything and fell just short, but that just goes to show the character that we have in the side. To almost pull off a win like that just shows that we need to keep sticking to the process and it will eventually come.

“Lewis (Gregory) didn’t get the rewards that he deserved in the game. Everyone was playing and missing him, but that can happen sometimes in County Cricket. If he’d have had that little bit of luck we would probably have won the game. These things happen and we will keep going and pushing hard to get that win.

“We’ve lost a few games in a row, but the fight that we showed last week was incredibly pleasing. That fight was massive and it shows the belief we have in the side. That’s something that we’ve had in the past and it was great to see that spirit again. We were bowling well and their was a real buzz in the field. To be working so hard for each other was really special.

“The way we fought goes to show how committed we all are to winning games of cricket for Somerset.

“The main thing for me at the moment is to be performing as well as I can be each week. I want to be putting in performances that win games for Somerset. We were so close against Essex and I’m going to make sure that I’m sticking to what works for me.”

Has Craig ever bowled better than he did against Essex?

“Probably not,” he said. “The figures suggest that I probably haven’t. There have been days when I’ve felt good but not got the wickets. To get 13 is pretty special and something that I’ll remember for a long time.”

Craig is once again impressed by the quality of the Somerset attack in 2022.

“For the last few years the bowling group has been one that tries to lead from the front and this year is no different. Bringing Peter Siddle in adds another dimension to the unit. To win games of County Cricket you need a strong unit because it’s a long season and people will pick up injuries. You need strength in depth and youngsters coming through, and that’s what we have at the moment.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Kasey (Aldridge) and Ned (Leonard) over the last couple of years. I see a part of my role being to help them develop. As a unit we are always trying to help each other and it’s going to be great for the younger guys to see how Peter Siddle goes about things.”

This week sees Somerset travel to the KIA Oval to take on Surrey, which is a match that could see Craig line up against his twin brother, Jamie.

“It will be quite a strange feeling playing against him. We’ve spoken about it a lot recently and we both want to win games of cricket, so we’ll just be treating it like any other game. If we treated it any differently we would definitely get a telling off from dad!

“I’m not sure who mum and dad will be rooting for. I think they’ll just want us both to do well. We’ll both be competing as hard as we can to win the game for our team and hopefully Somerset will come out on top.”

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