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Five for Dom as late partnership keeps Somerset in the hunt

Adam Hose and Steve Davies shared a vital 5th wicket partnership to keep Somerset’s hopes alive against Yorkshire on day three.

Steven Patterson claimed three quick wickets as Somerset, chasing 262 to win, crashed to 49 for four before closing on 101 for four, needing a further 161 on the final day.

Gary Balance, unbeaten on 15 at the start of the day, held the Yorkshire innings together, showing the sort of application needed on a dry pitch offering just enough assistance to the spinners. He lost overnight partner Handscomb with the total on 158 as the Australian pushed forward to off-spinner Bess and edged to Marcus Trescothick at slip.

Bess quickly followed up by removing Jack Leaning to another Trescothick slip catch, this time tempting the batsman to drive at a cleverly flighted delivery wide of off stump. Balance went to his half-century off 98 balls, with 9 fours, and found a positive partner in Matthew Waite, who hit Bess for three boundaries in an over as the pair took the total to 213 for four at lunch.

That gave Yorkshire a lead of 191. But the early post-lunch session proved disastrous for them as four wickets fell for the addition of only ten runs.

The first ball after the interval saw Waite caught at short-leg off Jack Leach. The left-arm spinner also accounted for Azeem Rafiq and Patterson, while Bess pinned Andrew Hodd leg-before. Suddenly, at 223 for eight, the visitors looked vulnerable. But Ballance was still there calming any dressing room nerves and Karl Carver contributed 13 to a priceless ninth-wicket stand of 51.

Somerset delayed taking the second new ball with Bess and Leach bowling well in tandem. And when they did take it the only immediate result was an increase in the Yorkshire scoring rate. By the time Carver was run out by Leach’s accurate throw to the wicketkeeper after the batsmen had hesitated over a quick single to backward point, Yorkshire were 252 in front and looking favourites again.

Ballance had faced 230 balls, hitting 11 fours and 2 sixes, in an immensely impressive display of patience and sound technique when Bess claimed his fifth victim, last man Ryan Sidebottom falling lbw, much to his dismay.

Bess’s 30th Championship wicket in just five appearances was unlucky for Balance, who had just moved to 98 with an extraordinary uppercut six over third man off Jamie Overton.

But any disappointment in Yorkshire ranks was soon dispelled by Patterson, who had Dean Elgar caught behind down the leg side before trapping Tom Abell lbw pushing half forward. Patterson then had Trescothick caught behind for seven and James Hildreth fell leg before to Waite for a breezy 27.

Adam Hose, on his Championship debut, was then joined by Steve Davies and together they gave Somerset hope with an unbroken stand of 52 in 18.5 overs.

The match scorecard can be viewed by clicking here

Afterwards five wicket hero Dom Bess said: “Of course I am very happy with the performance but more happy with the position that we have put ourselves in to win the game.

“At the start of the day we said as a group that we had to bowl good overs and squeeze them because of we let it go out there they could score quite easily and they could have put 450 on us and place us in a position where we couldn’t win.

“Credit must go to all of the bowlers, not just me but Jack Leach who bowled brilliantly again today. Jamie, Craig and Lewis also bowled well so did Tom when he had the ball.

“Gary Ballance is a quality player and it showed today, and I have learned a lot from bowling at him today. It was a good challenge to me  to have to bowl at him.

Regarding the after lunch session when four wickets went down for 13 runs Dom said: “We went into that session trying to bowl our best ball and trying to control as much as possible. It just felt that in the situation with the wind and everything and the deck and the ball it just felt like we were on top and dominating and when that happens you have to try and take as many wickets as possible. After that they fought hard and got out of that situation.”

How did Somerset feel about chasing 262 to win?

“We were quite happy because we have got confidence in the changing room. Everyone is very confident in the changing room of our ability. Adam and Steve have battled and shown just what you can do. We need 160 to win and we feel confident and I am really backing our side.”

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