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Somerset dominate day two

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An incredible morning of cricket saw Somerset end day two in the ascendency in this LV= Insurance County Championship match against Leicestershire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

A career best 75 from Josh Davey plus hugely important innings from Roelof van der Merwe (76) and Marchant de Lange (75) took Somerset from a precarious 242 for seven to 461 for nine declared.

It was a day to remember for Davey who passed 1000 career runs in First Class cricket and shared century stands with both van der Merwe and de Lange.

Then Somerset’s seamers got to work, reducing Leicestershire to 60 for three in reply. They closed a final session curtailed by rain on 95 for three, with skipper Colin Ackermann unbeaten on 21.

The day began under cloudy skies, with van der Merwe on 18 and Davey on four. The former proved the aggressor, taking successive boundaries off Ben Mike as the total advanced to 272 for seven before the second new ball was taken.

It made little difference as van der Merwe moved confidently to fifty off 70 balls, with six fours and a six. He and Davey looked untroubled in extending their eighth-wicket partnership to 102.

Ed Barnes eventually had van der Merwe caught at long-on to end an innings that had transformed Somerset’s prospects. But if Leicestershire thought their troubles were over, de Lange was about to prove them wrong.

On no fewer than six occasions, the powerful South African swung from the hip to clear the ropes over mid-wicket. All the time Davey was patiently accumulating to reach his first Championship half-century for Somerset off 144 balls.

It was 408 for eight for lunch, by which time de Lange had reached a 38-ball fifty and the hosts were looking to bat only once in the game.

They had progressed to 446 when de Lange was caught at long-on off Callum Parkinson. It remained for Davey to go past he previous best first class score of 72, made for Middlesex on debut against Oxford University back in 2010.

At the declaration, the Scotland one-day and T20 international had faced 169 balls and hit 11 fours.

All the momentum was with the home side and they maintained it before tea, claiming the wickets of Lewis Hill, Rishi Patel and Marcus Harris to leave their opponents 60 for three.

Skipper Craig Overton dropped Hill on 14 at third slip off Jack Brooks, but responded by pinning the opener lbw with the first ball of the following over.

Brooks and Davey claimed a wicket apiece before Ackermann dug in, receiving solid support from Josh Inglis in an unbroken stand of 35.

The action looked set to continue beyond 7pm to make up for overs lost on day one, but rain set in and the umpires called play off at shortly before 6pm.

At the close of play, Davey said: “It was a good day for me and the team. At the start of play Roelof van der Merwe and I just looked to take it a bonus point at a time and see how far we could get. To get maximum points was very pleasing.

“We bowled pretty well and it’s a good wicket so we’re going to have to work hard to get our rewards. It’s going to be tough but we know how to take wickets. We need to be patient and get stuck in. We need to be really ruthless in our approach and build pressure with maidens.

“I still believe there is a batsman in me and it was nice to get those runs. Perhaps I haven’t put a big enough value on my wicket. Hopefully I can build on the runs I’ve got today.

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Next MatchSomerset V Derbyshire Falcons

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