Craig optimistic after day one
Craig Overton is confident that Somerset can come out on top against Hampshire after a frustrating opening day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
The England all rounder top scored with 44 in Somerset’s first innings and he believes that his side are very much still in this game.
“I think it’s been quite a good day,” he said at the close of play. “There’s plenty in the wicket for the seamers and we could easily have had them two or three down. They scrapped through to the end of the day and are none down and that’s frustrating for us. Having said that, I think we can come back tomorrow and if we get a couple of early wickets, we’ll be right back in the game.
“I think we were pretty happy to get over 200 from where we were. Obviously, we would have liked 250-plus but there’s plenty in it for the bowlers and hopefully we can get a few early poles and right back into them. The wicket’s done a bit more than we thought it would, but we still feel that we’re in the game.”
Somerset won the toss and elected to bat, but the hosts were limited to 211 all out. Kyle Abbott, so often the scourge of Somerset of late, claimed three for 60, whilst there were two wickets each for Mohammad Abbas, Ian Holland and James Fuller.
Matt Renshaw, Tom Lammonby, Tom Banton, Steve Davies and Craig Overton all got starts. But Overton’s 44 proved to be top score.
By the close, Hampshire had faced 15 tricky overs under the lights and finished on 29 without loss, trailing by 182 runs.
There looked nothing wrong with the decision to bat first when Renshaw and Lammonby, fresh from century stands in the previous two games, made a solid start.
Abbott was introduced for the 13th over and beat Renshaw with his first ball of the game.
The Australian responded with two boundaries in the same over. But Abbott made the first inroad with the score on 37 when Lammonby, on 16, edged a full delivery to Liam Dawson at second slip.
Renshaw was looking in good touch, but having reached 27, he chased a wide delivery from Holland and presented a second catch to Dawson.
Somerset were 55 for three when Abell fell in unfortunate circumstances, defending a ball from Abbas and watching the ball trickle slowly back to remove his off bail.
An intense morning’s cricket ended with the hosts 58 for three off 30 overs at lunch.
During the interval, Matt Renshaw and Peter Siddle were presented with their County Caps by Marcus Trescothick and Andy Caddick.
James Hildreth could contribute only eight before falling lbw to Abbas pushing forward, the decision being made by his former Somerset team-mate Ian Blackwell.
Banton curbed his attacking instincts to play responsibly for 24 off 77 balls before being pinned lbw on the back foot by Abbott with the total on 94.
Lewis Gregory edged a third catch to Dawson, off Fuller, and Somerset were 113 for six.
Davies overcame an uncertain start to lead a mini recovery before becoming the first player in the match to succumb to spin, edging Dawson’s seventh delivery to slip and departing for 29.
At tea, the scoreboard read 154 for seven, with Overton unbeaten on 22. Josh Davey had hit Dawson for a straight six and the pair continued to be positive at the start of the final session.
Overton rode his luck at times, but also struck four fours and two big sixes in his breezy 54-ball innings before lofting Abbott into the on-side and falling to a catch by Felix Organ.
Jack Leach and Peter Siddle had their stumps disturbed by Holland and Fuller respectively, leaving Davey, who had looked as technically proficient as any of the players who went in ahead of him, unbeaten on 22.
Hampshire took to the field under the lights, and Somerset’s seamers went past the outside edge on numerous occasions without either Organ or Holland getting a nick.
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