Lewis and Steve see Somerset home in dramatic style
An 86-run seventh wicket partnership between Steve Davies and Lewis Goldsworthy saw Somerset to a dramatic win on the final day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match against Middlesex at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
It was a dream First Class debut for Goldsworthy, who also hit the winning runs shortly after the lunch interval.
The 20-year-old Cornishman finished on 41 not out with Davies unbeaten on 44, while Tim Murtagh had figures of four for 53 at the end of an absorbing contest, sadly played out in front of empty stands.
Somerset took 21 points from the match, while Middlesex take seven.
The home side began the final morning on 104 for four, needing a further 103 to win. Tom Abell, unbeaten on 43 overnight, got the run-chase underway with a two through mid-wicket off Murtagh. George Bartlett then launched his innings with a sweetly-struck off-side boundary in Tom Helm’s opening over.
On 47, Abell survived a confident shout from Murtagh for lbw, umpire Ian Gould remaining unmoved.
Bartlett’s second boundary was another well-timed stroke, this time pulling Helm through mid-wicket.
Abell edged Murtagh just short of second slip before Gould upheld a second lbw appeal from the same bowler, with the Somerset skipper one short of a half-century and 89 runs still needed.
Murtagh’s next over saw Bartlett depart in the same fashion for 12, playing across the line, and at 123 for six Somerset looked in trouble.
It was another major test for the temperament of diminutive debutant Goldsworthy as he was joined by the experienced Davies.
As in the first innings when coming in at 98 for four, the youngster passed with flying colours, getting into line with solid defensive technique against some probing seam bowling.
Murtagh completed a fine eight-over spell from the River End before Davies lifted some of the pressure with two cover-driven fours in the same Martin Andersson over.
Goldsworthy produced the shot of the day, savagely pulling Steve Finn to the mid-wicket boundary for four, with the sound of a pistol crack as bat met ball.
Both batsmen demonstrated the patience to await a loose delivery and, while each played and missed occasionally, they gradually sucked the life out of the Middlesex seam attack.
Goldsworthy brought up the fifty stand with a boundary to third-man off the returning Murtagh and by lunch the partnership was worth 65, leaving Somerset within 19 runs of what for more than two days had seemed a highly unlikely victory.
After the break, Middlesex turned to leg-spinner Luke Hollman in a last throw of the dice.
However, Davies and Goldsworthy remained unperturbed and the latter sparked loud celebrations on the home dressing room balcony when striking the winning boundary off a Hollman full-toss.
At the close of play, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “At the moment we are winning ugly, finding a way to come out on top from tough positions without playing our best cricket throughout a game.
“Craig Overton will soon be playing for England again on his form in this match and Lewis Goldsworthy enjoyed a fantastic debut. His first innings runs were vital and today he has again demonstrated how calm he is under pressure.
“Steve Davies’ experience was there for all to see in the stand with Lewis. When we do get our act fully together this season, we are going to be some team.”
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