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Specsavers County Championship Review: Part One

Whilst 2017 wasn’t one of our most successful seasons, it was certainly one of the more dramatic.

Over the next few weeks we will be taking a look back at our season in each competition and today we start with the Specsavers County Championship.

Somerset v Essex

The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, 14th-16th April 2017.

Somerset began the season by welcoming newly promoted Essex to the Cooper Associates County Ground on the April 14th.

Somerset Captain Tom Abell won the toss and elected to bat.

For the home side Dean Elgar shared half century partnerships with Marcus Trescothick and James Hildreth but Somerset were dismissed for 209.

Essex also made a steady start with Alastair Cook registering a half century but they then collapsed to 129 all out thanks to some disciplined Somerset bowling.

Batting again, Somerset looked to build on their lead of 80 but were dismissed for 174 as Neil Wagner claimed six for 48.

Set 255 to win and with the wicket having eased, Cook led the way with a century. He shared partnerships of 82 with Nick Browne (35) and 134 with Tom Westley to give Essex victory by eight wickets.

Lancashire v Somerset

Emirates Old Trafford, 21st-24th April 2017.

An extraordinary opening day saw 18 wickets fall. Lancashire were reduced to 42 for six but recovered to 109 all out. Craig Overton was the pick of the bowlers and finished with five wickets.

For Somerset Dean Elgar impressed again and carried his bat for 113. He found an able partner in Jack Leach with whom he put on 96 for the ninth wicket as Somerset’s spin king completed his maiden first-class half century. Somerset were eventually all out for 278.

Batting again, 169 in arrears, Lancashire’s second innings was based around a partnership of 245 between Alex Davies and Liam Livingstone. The home side reached 463 all out whilst Lewis Gregory took five for 74.

Set 294 for victory in 77 overs, Somerset were all out for 130 as Lancashire won by 164 runs.

Somerset v Warwickshire

The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton 19th-22nd May 2017.

With most of the first two days lost to the weather this match centred on two ex-England batsmen, Jonathan Trott and Marcus Trescothick. The former anchored the Warwickshire innings on his was to 175 as the visitors made 413 all out.

Somerset’s reply was centred around Marcus Trescothick’s 50th century for the County which saw him break the long-standing record of 49 set by Harold Gimblett. In the process he also passed 25000 first-class runs. However, Somerset were dismissed for 230. Following on, Trescothick and Tom Abell took the team to the safety of a draw with the latter finding some batting form.

Somerset v Hampshire 

The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, 26th-29th May 2017.

Somerset took control early on and Hampshire were all out for 162 with Jack Leach taking six for 78.

Somerset also found scoring difficult but Dean Elgar made 60 and put on 75 for the second wicket with Tom Abell as the hosts reached 197 all out.

When Hampshire batted again Dom Bess recorded career best bowling figures of seven for 117 but the visitors posted a total of 293.

Although Dean Elgar completed his second half century of the match, Somerset were all out for 168 as Hampshire won by 90 runs.

 

Middlesex v Somerset 

Lord’s, 2nd-5th June 2017.

After winning the toss Somerset were reduced to 80 for 5 before bad light and rain wiped out the second half of the first day. Dean Elgar (158) and Lewis Gregory (137) then set about repairing the damage and they put on a record sixth wicket partnership against Middlesex of 245 with Gregory completing his maiden first class century. Somerset eventually declared on 443 for nine.

Middlesex found run making difficult on the slow Lord’s wicket but half centuries from Adam Voges, who had to retire hurt, Nick Gubbins and Paul Stirling took them to within 85 runs of Somerset.

With considerable time in the match having been lost to the weather, the draw was inevitable but Somerset fans enjoyed seeing Tom Abell make an impressive 71 not out in his side’s second innings.

Somerset v Yorkshire 

The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, 9th – 12th June 2017

Yorkshire, who chose to bat on a used wicket, struggled against a disciplined attack with only Andrew Hodd passing 50 as they were all out for 202.      In reply Somerset were dismissed for 224, a lead of 22.

In Yorkshire’s second innings Dom Bess claimed five for 80 as the visitors were all out for 283.

Set 262 to win, Somerset lost four quick wickets before a fifth wicket stand of 118 between Adam Hose and Steven Davies gave the home side hope. They reached 231 for six before the guile of Ryan Sidebottom condemned Somerset to an agonising defeat by just three runs.

Hampshire v Somerset 

The Ageas Bowl 26th – 29th  June 2017.

Hampshire declared on 211 for nine in this floodlit match in order to bowl six overs at their visitors under the lights but Marcus Trescothick and Eddie Byrom made it through to the close of play unscathed.

In the little play that was possible on the second and third days Byrom (43) and Adam Hose (48) put on 77 for the second wicket before Somerset were all out for 147.

With a lead of 64, Hampshire lost wickets in pursuit of quick runs before declaring and setting Somerset a target of 161 in 31 overs.

Steven Davies (47) top scored for Somerset as the visitors finished on 88 for eight as the match ended in a draw.

Part two of our Specsavers County Championship review will be posted on this site in the next few days.

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