Yorkshire come out on top against Somerset in thriller
Half centuries from Adam Hose and Steve Davies couldn’t prevent Somerset from suffering the narrowest of defeats against Yorkshire in the Specsavers County Championship at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
Ryan Sidebottom finished with match figures of eight for 115 as Yorkshire pulled off a nerve-tingling three-run win.
The veteran left-arm seamer took three of the last four wickets to fall as the home side, chasing 262 to win, were dismissed for 258.
Hose and Davies battled hard to try and ensure that Somerset recorded their first Championship win of the season but in the end it was a day that ended in frustration for Matt Maynard’s team.
Yorkshire’s fielders raced around the outfield in elation when the last wicket fell as they took 20 points to Somerset’s four from a memorable game that continually swung to and fro.
Starting the day on 101 for four, requiring a further 161, Somerset reached lunch on 205 for six, thanks largely to their two overnight batsmen. Hose and Davies batted comfortably through the first hour against mainly seam bowling. Both were watchful and advanced the total slowly at first.
Hose went to his maiden Championship half-century off 103 balls, with five fours and a six, showing commendable maturity in a pressure situation on his debut in the competition. Davies then brought up his first fifty since joining Somerset from Surrey during the winter. The experienced left-hander had faced 109 deliveries and struck six fours. The stand was worth 118 in 39 overs when Hose drove a wide, flighted ball from Karl Carver in the air to Peter Handscomb at short cover.
Lewis Gregory has been in good form with the bat lately and was soon on the attack, launching two boundaries off successive Adam Lyth deliveries. He and Craig Overton, celebrating his call-up to England’s T20 squad, were unbeaten at lunch with 57 still needed, Overton having struck a straight six off Lyth.
The afternoon session saw Overton smack his second six, this time depositing a Carver long-hop over wide long-on.
With 40 needed, Yorkshire skipper Gary Ballance recalled Ryan Sidebottom into the attack and it proved a match-winning decision. His first over back saw Overton edge to third-man for four. The second saw Gregory, on 26, chase a wide one and drive a catch to cover where Carver took the ball with both hands above his head. The stand with Overton had added 42 in 13.5 overs, but 31 more runs were still needed.
Overton was then joined by twin brother Jamie. Craig played and missed twice in Sidebottom’s last over, persuading the left-armer not to take the new ball when it became due. It proved a good decision as Craig drove at a wide one and nicked a catch behind to give Sidebottom his second wicket.
Jack Leach edged Lyth just short of second slip as the tension grew. Then Sidebottom struck again as Leach swung across a full length ball and departed lbw for a single.
With 12 needed, Jamie Overton hit Lyth for six and two before chipping the off-spinner to mid-wicket where Carver took the catch to spark wild Yorkshire celebrations.
After the match Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard said: “It’s obviously a very quiet dressing room at the moment and when we get the chance we will talk through it and see where we could have done a little bit better. To be fair Ryan Sidebottom bowled an impressive spell and got the old ball reversing and didn’t give us anything.
“It’s easy to look back and say we could have done this or we could have done that but we are a young side and a young batting group so to get so close was a great effort from them. The top order has been a problem for us over the year. I can’t put my finger on why that’s the case but we don’t seem to be able to get to 50 or 60 without losing a wicket at this stage.
“We’ve got a lot of hard work to do obviously. It would have been brilliant to have got the first win and Adam Hose had a good debut. We are not far away from securing a couple of results and we know what it’s like if you get on a run because you start winning those tight games. So we just have to keep on working hard.”
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