Somerset wrap up victory on day three
Somerset’s seamers bowled their county to an 83-run Specsavers County Championship victory over Worcestershire with more than a day to spare at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
Set 279 to win, the visitors were bowled out for 195 by mid-afternoon, Lewis Gregory (three for 35), Tim Groenwald (three for 51) and Josh Davey (two for 49) doing most of the damage.
Only Tom Fell, Josh Tongue and Ed Barnard, who had earlier completed match figures of 11 for 89, offered much resistance, contributing 41, 34 and 45 not out respectively.
Somerset took 20 points from their opening match of the season, while Worcestershire had to be content with three.
The day began with Somerset 255 for nine in their second innings. The second ball of the day saw Groenewald bowled by a full-length ball from Barnard, whose return of six for 37, like his match figures, were a career-best.
Soon Somerset’s seamers were proving that there was still plenty of assistance in the third-day pitch. With only four on the board, Worcestershire opener Daryl Mitchell had his off and middle stumps removed by Gregory.
It was 16 for two when Brett D’Oliveira fell lbw for five, pushing forward to Josh Davey, and 25 for three as a Gregory inswinger pinned Joe Clarke leg-before for seven.
Tom Fell and Travis Head took the total to 58 before the latter flashed at a short, wide ball from Groenewald and edged through to wicketkeeper Steve Davies.
George Rhodes was taken at third slip by Matt Renshaw off Groenewald for a duck and just before lunch Fell departed lbw to Gregory, having batted better than most for his 41.
With the scoreboard reading 85 for six at the interval, Worcestershire were staring down the barrel of a second defeat in as many Championship games.
They progressed to 103 in the afternoon session before Ben Cox (23) played a ball from Davey onto his stumps, looking to withdraw the bat.
Visiting skipper Joe Leach could contribute only six before edging Groenewald to first slip where James Hildreth pouched a comfortable catch.
Tongue and the impressive Barnard added 43 for the ninth wicket before Tongue was caught and bowled by Craig Overton, mistiming a shot off the full face of the bat.
It was all over at just before 3.30pm when last man Steve Magoffin was run-out by Renshaw’s throw from the extra cover boundary after being called for a second run by Barnard.
After the victory Lewis said: “We are delighted to get off to a winning start. We learned from the first innings and bowled better today. Tim Groenewald produced a superb spell just before lunch and we all chipped in.”
Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “We are very pleased with the result. Obviously the build up wasn’t ideal as we haven’t played a huge amount of cricket but the guys responded brilliantly to get the first win in our opening game.
“It was obviously a challenging wicket and on the first day we saw a lot of lateral movement. The way Matt Renshaw batted enabled us to post a score over 200 which was really important.
“Both Matt and James Hildreth both played brilliantly and they doubled the value their runs given the conditions. Hildy played a very different innings in the first to the second but both were very positive in challenging circumstances.
“The important thing is for us to enjoy this victory. We played very well, but there are lessons to be learned looking ahead to Yorkshire next week. We need to take it game by game, concentrate on the processes and deliver our skills day in, day out.”
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