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Lower order secure vital batting points on day two

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Some excellent lower order batting saw Somerset secure what could be vital batting points on a wet day two of this LV= Insurance County Championship match against Surrey at the Oval.

Roelof van der Merwe and Ben Green, along with Jack Leach and Marchant de Lange ensured that the visitors passed the 400 mark on a day that was curtailed by rain.

Resuming on 280 for six, the visitors eventually posted a total of 429 all out in their first innings.

Afternoon rain resulted in the loss of the last 37 overs of the day with Surrey’s openers Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman taking the hosts to 24 for no wicket.

Somerset’s lower order coped admirably with the spin trio of Ravi Ashwin, Amar Virdi and Dan Moriarty on a slow surface, with Indian Test off spinner Ashwin toiling through 43 overs in all for his eventual one for 99.

The overnight not out pair of van der Merwe and Green took their seventh wicket stand to 61 in 28 overs before Virdi made the breakthrough when he turned one to have van der Merwe adjudged caught off bat at short leg for 41.

Green also batted with great self-discipline for 43, from 114 balls, before Virdi had him caught at slip and, soon afterwards, Jack Leach advanced to hit Virdi high over long on for six.

There were also two legside sixes from Marchant de Lange, launched powerfully off Ashwin and Moriarty, before on 29 he edged left-arm spinner Moriarty to give Rikki Clarke his second catch of the day at slip.

It was close to 3pm when Somerset’s first innings finally closed, Jack Brooks mishitting Moriarty to Ashwin at point to go for nine. Leach remained unbeaten on 28, a stout 67-ball effort, but there was only time for six overs of Surrey’s first innings before the rain came.

When play was eventually called off for the day, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “We are in a strong position and we have to ensure that our mindset is that we are trying to win the game over the next two days. Yes, a draw would be good enough for us to qualify for Division One, but whatever happens in the rest of this game it is imperative that we remain focused on trying to win because that will also prepare us for the divisional phase later in the season.

“It’s a wicket where we will have to be patient with the ball, but with 429 on the board we are happy at this stage and I thought Ben Green, having come into the side in a very different role, batted brilliantly today to help us to get beyond 400.”

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Next MatchSurrey V Somerset

05/08/2021 11:00 - The Kia Oval