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Rain frustrates Somerset and Essex on day one

Rain washed out play with only 27.5 overs bowled on the opening day of this Specsavers County Championship match between Somerset and Essex at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The home side had progressed to 75 for four after winning the toss, James Hildreth making 32 and skipper Tom Abell 24 not out.

Sam Cook had figures of two for five from 8.5 overs, reward for two probing spells from the Somerset Pavilion End, while off-spinner Simon Harmer bowled ten overs from the River End, taking two for 24.

Somerset were at 14 for two as Cook made early inroads. His first over saw Murali Vijay brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Adam Wheater low down, diving in front of first slip.

Opening partner Steve Davies departed lbw in Cook’s second over, leaving Abell and Hildreth to lay the foundations for a decent total.

At 27 for two after eight overs, the floodlights were turned on and Essex introduced Harmer.

Hildreth’s response was typically positive and, with Abell showing sound technique, the pair brought the fifty up.

The total reached 61 for two in the 21st over when Hildreth, who had hit five fours, was trapped lbw.

Two balls later Tom Banton was beaten and rapped on the pads in front of his stumps to give Harmer, then bowling over the wicket, another success with Somerset on 61 for four.

Abell continued to look at ease as Essex briefly tried spin at both ends, with Aron Nijjar sending down two overs, before Cook returned.

George Bartlett then battled hard to help Abell chisel out 14 runs before the rain came.

Umpires Rob Bailey and Alex Wharf took the players off at 12.15pm, quickly announcing an early lunch, and what started as light drizzle soon became persistent rain.

At the start of the lunch interval former Somerset Chief Executive, Peter Anderson made a special presentation to Marcus Trescothick to mark his 27 years with the Club.

The former England opener announced some time ago that he would be retiring at the end of the season. He received a framed collection of photographs to warm applause from an appreciative crowd.

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