Somerset suffer first red-ball home defeat since 2017
Somerset suffered a first red-ball home defeat since 2017 as Gloucestershire secured the local bragging rights on the final day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
James Bracey impressed again as the visitors won by eight wickets.
The 23-year-old left-hander added 83 not out to his first innings century and shared a match-clinching second-wicket stand of 79 with Kraigg Brathwaite to help his side to victory.
The visitors reached their target of 153 off 41.1 overs just before lunch, with Tom Lace unbeaten on 20, and took 22 points, to Somerset’s six.
Gloucestershire began the day on 28 for one, needing 125 more for victory, with nine wickets in hand whilst the home side were hoping a couple of breakthroughs in the opening overs would create nerves in the Gloucestershire dressing room.
While Overton and Lewis Gregory beat the bat on occasions, Bracey and Brathwaite were soon confident enough to play their shots.
The West Indies captain struck four boundaries in his 62-ball innings before aiming a fifth off a wide ball from Marchant de Lange and getting an inside edge onto his middle stump.
By then, Gloucestershire only required 64 runs. But de Lange, boosted by the wicket, summoned up pace and bounce to test new batsman Lace.
Bracey kept the momentum of the innings going with a swept four off Jack Leach, who found little assistance in the surface for his left-arm spin, and went to his fifty off 84 balls, with eight boundaries.
Somerset turned to the wholehearted Overton for one last throw of the dice. He beat Bracey’s outside edge, but to no avail.
It was Gloucestershire’s first Championship win at Taunton for 28 years and the winning runs, a Bracey boundary off Leach, sparked jubilant celebrations. It was the 13th four of his 122-ball innings.
At the end of the match Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “It’s a long time since we lost a red-ball game here and to do so against our local rivals hurts.
“The lesson to take is that we have to be on our A game all the time. Against Middlesex that wasn’t the case, but we managed to pull off a superb win.
“This time we have paid the penalty, but it is only two games into the season and I am certainly not panicking.”
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