Hildreth can't prevent innings defeat

Surrey replaced Somerset at the top of the Specsavers County Championship today after an innings victory on day three at Guildford.

Jade Dernbach and Morne Morkel shared eight wickets as Somerset, who had followed on 279 runs behind, were bowled out for 210 in 61.2 overs to give Surrey victory by an innings and 68 runs.

James Hildreth, offered valiant resistance and finished unbeaten on 89.

The home side set up victory by taking five wickets in the first hour as Somerset, who resumed on 18 without loss, slipped to 69 for five.

Morkel made the breakthrough with his first ball of the day, trapping Matt Renshaw lbw for two. Dernbach then picked up the first of two wickets in his opening spell when George Bartlett (7) was caught behind.

Eddie Byrom fell to Morke whilst Dernbach trapped Tom Abell lbw. Rikki Clarke had Steve Davies held in the gully at which point Somerset had lost five wickets for 51 runs before Hildreth and Lewis Gregory dug in either side of lunch.

The pair added 62 runs to raise Somerset hopes of a fightback before a short ball from Morkel broke the stand as Gregory edged low to Clarke at slip.

Dom Bess lost his off stump to Clarke but Josh Davey gave Hildreth good support in an eighth wicket stand of 62.

Hildreth pulled off-spinner Amar Virdi into the adjoining road for six and coped well with Morkel’s pace but he ran out of partners. Davey (21) eventually gloved Dernbach to wicketkeeper Ollie Pope and Tim Groenewald played on without scoring.

Morkel applied the final touch when Max Waller, batting as concussion replacement for Jack Leach who had been struck on the helmet by the South African on the second day, edged to Pope.

In yet another impressive innings, Hildreth hit 13 fours and faced 127 balls.

After the match James Hildreth said: “It’s obviously disappointing, and probably down to a mixture of bad batting by us and some good bowling by Surrey.

“They kept coming at us and Rikki Clarke, in particular, has become a really good bowler in the last few years. We will just have to regroup and get back to it against Essex on Monday. Jack Leach won’t play because of the concussion protocol, he is out for seven days but he’s okay.”

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