Victory for Somerset against Yorkshire

A century from James Hildreth and four wickets each for Craig Overton and Jack Leach were the highlights on the final day as Somerset clinched a first Specsavers County Championship win of the season against Yorkshire at Scarborough, winning by 179 runs.

Yorkshire’s pursuit of 337 in 90 overs hit the buffers quickly as they slipped to 12 for three, with Alex Lees, Harry Brook and Peter Handscomb all falling for ducks. They were later bowled out for 157 inside 39 overs.

Overton claimed career best match figures of nine for 134, including four for 47 in the second innings.

Somerset claimed 21 points and Yorkshire have now lost two of their last three.

Somerset dominated from the moment tenth-wicket pair Overton and Tim Groenewald shared 61 to recover from 207 for nine in the first innings. From then, they claimed a first-innings lead of 55 and declared their second after just 4.3 overs of the day four on 281 for four having added 47 runs.

James Hildreth completed his first century of the season, finishing with 101 not out off 120 balls. He had started the day on 85, with the declaration coming immediately after he reached three figures.

Overton was Somerset’s standout performer, and he built on his first-innings five-for as the visitors made almost the perfect start with the ball. Lewis Gregory bowled Lees in the first over before Overton had Brook caught behind with a brute of a delivery in the fourth – Steve Davies completing an excellent one-handed catch high above his head.

The very next ball, Australian Test batsman Handscomb was lbw for a golden duck. Tom Kohler-Cadmore hooked Overton for six in the eighth over, but he fell next ball for 13 caught at third slip as the score fell to 36 for four.

Gregory then bowled Adam Lyth for 37 off an inside-edge in the 18th – 67 for five. Yorkshire reached lunch at 78 for five from 22 with Tim Bresnan and Adil Rashid at the crease.

Runs came in the first two overs of the afternoon, but it was only brief respite for Yorkshire, who lost captain Bresnan when he was bowled by a peach of a delivery from left-arm spinner Jack Leach for 25. It pitched outside leg and hit the top of off – before he struck again in his next to get Rashid caught at slip, leaving the score at 92 for seven.

When Andrew Hodd fended at an Overton short ball and was caught at mid-wicket in the 28th, Yorkshire had lost three wickets in 16 balls and were 96 for eight.

Lyth came out as a runner for Plunkett, nursing a groin injury, and he added 37 in seven overs with Ben Coad – the highest stand of the innings. Coad (17) even hit Leach for two sixes over long-on, including one into the press box windows before miscuing the same bowler to point with 133 on the board.

Plunkett did the same to Leach, also hitting the press box with a straighter blow on the way to an innings-high 39.  However, his three sixes were nothing more than consolatory, and he fell to Leach – caught at slip – to end the match midway through the afternoon.

Somerset captain Lewis Gregory said: “It’s been a tough year, and there’s been some tough words said. It’s brilliant to get that first win on the board, and to put in a performance like that is very special.

Regarding the captaincy he said: “I think I’ll call it quits there and just go with the 100 percent record! It’s a newish experience for me. I haven’t done it for a while, not since 19s stuff. We’ve got a great bunch of lads who made it pretty easy for me. When you’ve got big lads like Craig running in and putting in performances like that, it makes it very easy.

“Some people speculated over the choice to bat first. We’ve struggled with runs, but some young lads have put in some really good performances. To get 260 on the board in the first innings was a really good achievement. What we’ve done with the ball this year has been really good.”

Craig Overton said: “I didn’t get many runs in that partnership (61 with Tim Groenewald in first innings), but it was crucial we got them. The way I bowled, it was the sort of wicket I’d like to bowl on every day. It had that bit of pace and bounce. It was ideal for me and nice to get the wickets.

“At the start of the first innings, I didn’t feel like I was at my best. But that’s the way it goes. Lewis probably bowled the best I’ve seen him bowl and didn’t pick up many rewards. It was nice that we all contributed in the second innings.”

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