Somerset batters return to form on day one


Club Captain, Tom Abell scored a fine hundred and in doing so passed 5000 First Class career runs as his side returned to form against Surrey at the Kia Oval on day one of this LV= Insurance County Championship.

After winning the toss Somerset opted to bat first on a green-tinged pitch.

Abell, who came in during the tenth over following the dismissal of Tom Lammonby, batted through the rest of an absorbing, hard-fought day to reach 121 not out as Somerset closed on 283 for six.

It was an outstanding effort by the 28-year-old who had to grind it out in the morning session but as conditions eased, he prospered. His most productive partnership was with James Hildreth, who passed 18,000 First Class runs in his 54.

They added 103 in 28 overs either side of tea at nearly four runs an over to secure Somerset’s first batting bonus point of the season and it was a surprise when Hildreth, who scored a hundred in this fixture last season, drove at off-spinner Will Jacks and was caught at point shortly after reaching his 80th First Class fifty.

A clip off his legs from Topley took Abell to his ninth First Class hundred and at stumps he’d batted for five and a half hours, faced 247 balls and hit 19 fours.

Earlier in the day, Lammonby fell to Reece Topley. The left-armer got a ball angled in to straighten and the edge was well taken low at second slip by Pope.

Surrey’s attack gave away only 62 runs in the morning session and their efforts were typified by Sam Curran, who was playing his first game of 2022 after recovering from a back injury. He bowled a six-over spell at a cost of nine runs and four more after lunch which went for eight runs.

Abell and Matt Renshaw put on 66 for the second wicket when Jamie Overton had Renshaw caught at second slip for 48 with the first ball of a new spell, and Somerset were 120 for three in the 53rd over after Tom Banton was drawn forward by Jordan Clark and got a thin edge to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

Hildreth’s dismissal came off the final delivery before Surrey took the new ball and Jordan Clark enjoyed immediate success with it, removing Steven Davies for a duck.

Craig Overton was caught at backward point when Topley dug one in short to pick up his second wicket and leave Somerset 237 for six and in danger of squandering their captain’s diligence.

However, Josh Davey helped Abell add an unbroken 46 for the seventh wicket and ensured Somerset enjoyed their best day of the season with the bat so far.

At the close of play, Tom Abell said: “We found it really tough to score in the morning but Hildy and Matt Renshaw were brilliant in helping me put together those partnerships we’ve been striving for and it was a pretty satisfying day for us.

“Personally, the most difficult thing is to trust in your process when it’s not going well, but the coaches have put countless hours in with me and the batting group to try and get us into a good place. The energy around us has been great.

“It’s so easy to dissect your game, but ultimately it’s just about accessing the ball and I’m glad it’s worked out for me and the team today. Despite the disappointing first two results we came into this game looking forward to the challenge and hopefully it will pay off.”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground