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Bowlers dominate on day one

SCORECARD

It was very much a case of ball outdoing bat as thirteen wickets fell on the opening day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match Between Leicestershire and Somerset.

Although Lewis Hill posted his fourth half-century in as many innings, Leicestershire were made to struggle after electing to bat first to bat first as they were dismissed for 233.

Craig Overton took three for 39, Jack Leach two for 26 and Lewis Gregory two for 39 as Somerset’s strong attack dominated the hosts early on.

Australian Test opener Marcus Harris could make only 19 on his debut in English domestic cricket and Leicestershire were 74 for five at one stage.

However, the hosts fought back as Somerset lost their first three wickets for 39 before closing on 53 for three.

Harris and Hassan Azad made a confident start as they teamed up for the first time after Colin Ackermann won the toss, but four wickets in the second hour swung the opening session squarely in Somerset’s favour as Leicestershire slipped from 40 without loss to 68 for four at lunch.

The Australian caught the eye with a couple of nicely-timed off drives but played on off the bottom edge when Gregory tempted him with some width outside off stump.

Gregory claimed his second success with an lbw verdict against Harry Dearden before Marchant de Lange had Ackermann plumb in front.

Azad, fresh from an unbeaten 144 at the Oval, made 36 but chased a short and wider ball from Somerset skipper Tom Abell but was caught behind. Leicestershire’s troubles continued after lunch as Harry Swindells was caught at slip as he tried to get out of the way of a short ball from Overton, leaving them 74 for five.

However, Hill hit 10 boundaries before Overton had him caught behind square on the leg side for 68, top-edging an attempt to clip the ball off his legs. He added 59 with Ben Mike before the latter was leg before to Leach’s first ball and 47 for the seventh wicket with Callum Parkinson, who finished unbeaten on 27 after surviving a chance on seven, and useful runs from the tail swelled Leicestershire’s total, the last three wickets adding 48.

It was then Somerset’s turn.

After a loose first over that conceded 17 runs, Chris Wright gave the home side a boost as Tom Lammonby was lbw after failing to go through with his intended stroke, and then Dieter Klein, producing some good swing, had Tom Banton leg before and James Hildreth caught at second slip.

At the close of play, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “It was one of those days where it was fairly even. It’s a really good surface. If you hit good areas it’s difficult to score, but if you miss, you get punished quickly and the outfield is rapid. Par is probably around 300, but to get there you have to play well and it’s about how you apply your skills.

“As a bowling unit we got back to what we do really well. We asked a lot of questions, certainly with the new ball. We didn’t get the rewards initially, but we were really patient and it showed how quickly things can turn if you keep applying that pressure, because suddenly they were 60 for four at the break.

“As for the batting, with younger players you get that bit of inconsistency but we set a high bench mark and though we’re still looking for that consistency I’m not worried about it at this stage.”

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Next MatchGloucestershire V Somerset

20/05/2021 11:00 - Bristol County Ground