Specsavers County Championship Preview: Hampshire v Somerset


Somerset return to Specsavers County Championship action again tomorrow (Monday) when we travel to the Ageas Bowl to face Hampshire in their first ever day/night match, where the game gets underway at 2pm.


You can follow the match via the Match Centre section of this website and live updates will be posted on our Twitter page


The two sides have met on 197 occasions in the Championship. Somerset have won 50, Hampshire 65, 82 of the games have resulted in a draw and one has been abandoned.

When the two sides met at Taunton last month it was Hampshire who won by 90 runs.

Batting first Hampshire were bowled out for 162, both George Bailey and Kyle Abbot scored 49 runs each while Jack Leach took six for 78 and Dom Bess three for 45.

In reply Somerset were dismissed for 197, Dean Elgar making 60 and Tom Abell 40. For the visitors both Liam Dawson and Abbot claimed four wickets each.

Batting for a second time Hampshire made 293 of which Michael Carberry hit 51 and Gareth Berg 49. For Somerset off spinner Bess claimed seven for 117.

Chasing a target of 259 for victory Somerset were all out for 168, of which Elgar made 60 and Marcus Trescothick 34, while for Hampshire leg spinner Mason Crane took five for 40 and Dawson four for 66.


Somerset will be without Dean Elgar who has teamed up with South Africa whilst Eddie Byrom is included in the squad for the first time.

The full squad is: Marcus Trescothick, Eddie Byrom, Tom Abell, James Hildreth, Adam Hose, Steve Davies, Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Josh Davey, Dom Bess, Jack Leach and Tim Groenewald.


Looking ahead to the game Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard said: “This is going to be an interesting game for us with the pink ball and played under lights which many of our guys have never done before. To have day/night cricket in the four day game is really exciting and who would have thought a few years ago that this would ever happen. I suppose it shows just how much the game is changing.

“Just after the longest day of the summer it will be interesting to see just how much the ball is affected and I’m sure that later in the summer it would be different. It has been very hot so the wicket might be very dry and we will need two spinners, but it might be a wicket that looks like it will crack and go up and down like Edgbaston last year, so we need to cover all eventualities with our team.

“I think above all we need our batsmen to start scoring runs. We won’t be signing a replacement for Dean Elgar for the two Championship matches he misses. We have weighed up whether or not it is viable and whether or not they will give us value and decided that as a squad we have to pull ourselves out of the situation we are in. Dean Elgar has been brilliant for us but we still haven’t managed to register a win because we haven’t batted well as a group. His absence will give someone an opportunity to put their name forward for the rest of the season.

“It’s really exciting from a head coach’s perspective to see the talent we have on the staff here and to be able to give one of our younger batsmen- Eddie Byrom an opportunity. Our problem is that with the batting group as a whole. We need to be replicating the way that we batted at Middlesex where even though we were 84 for four we managed to get to 400.

“Last year we had a turning point when we started to focus on batting for 100 overs and once we had that we had a change around and the partnerships were better. That is where we need to get to this season, so a lot of stress has been put on that over the last few days so the guys can prepare for the challenge of batting for 120 overs as a unit.”

Matt added: “We will be travelling down on Sunday afternoon and practicing on Sunday evening between seven and nine under the lights, which will be the same time as the last session. That will be interesting and will help the guys get used to finishing at that time of night.”

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