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Will reflects on his outstanding performance

Will Smeed played the biggest innings of his life so far when he scored his maiden century for Somerset Second XI in their Championship match against Sussex at Taunton Vale on Thursday.

The 16-year-old, who has just completed his GCSE exams at King’s College, and is currently on the Somerset Academy, walked to the wicket with the score on 153 for two at the end of the 38th over.

By the time he returned to the pavilion 61 overs and almost four hours later he had helped Somerset onto 416 for five and scored 116 off 191 balls with 16 fours and a six.

During his innings the right handed batsman added 92 for the third wicket in 19 overs with Marcus Trescothick, who was making his comeback after being out of action with a foot injury. He also shared partnerships of 70 with Ben Green in 18 overs for the fourth and 101 in 24 overs for the fifth with Dom Bess.

We spoke with him shortly after the close of play and he was understandably delighted.

“It felt pretty good out there today,” he said. “It was brilliant to be out in the middle with Marcus when I started my innings because he was just so calm. He was really helpful and got me through a bit of a sticky start.

“It was such a great help to have him in my ear and to keep me going. It was really interesting to stand at the other end and watch how he goes about things as well.

“I then had a partnership with Ben Green and afterwards Dom Bess, who is really positive. He scored the main bulk of the runs and let me score at my own pace which was nice.

“This is the best hundred that I have ever scored because this is the highest level of cricket that I’ve played for Somerset. This is the hardest I have had to work to get a hundred so far. I haven’t had a great start to my season, so it was good to go out and bat like I did.

“This is probably my fifth game for the Seconds, and I’ve also been 12th man in several games, so it’s good to be around the pros at the Club and I’m really enjoying it.”

Certainly, Will’s century was praised by all who saw him and one of those was Marcus Trescothick who stood at the opposite end for the first 19 overs of it.

The former England opener said: “Will played really nicely and it was good to get the chance to bat with him for a small part of his innings. He adapted to the situation very well and it’s great to see young players like Will coming through.

“To see him making his first century for Somerset at this level is a really special moment for him and the Club.”

Marcus added: “I think Will has got a big future ahead of him in the game and we have all said that he has got a very good chance of going all the way. It’s just so good to see when young lads like Will come through the system and play like he did!”

Regarding his own performance after so long out through injury Marcus said: “It felt ok for me batting again and there was nothing that we weren’t expecting today, although I felt pretty tired at the end. It’s now about building up the resilience to it more than anything else.

“There’s another Second XI Championship match next week against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl. If I continue on this pathway then it’s up to the selectors to decide whether they want me to play or not. I can only put myself into contention by getting runs for the Seconds and doing what I need to do.”

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