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SOMERSET ON TOP ON DAY ONE

Craig Overton and Dean Elgar were the stand-out performers on the opening day of this Specsavers County Championship First Division match between Somerset and Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Elgar battled his way to 66 from 151 balls, a number of which were hurled down by James Anderson and Ryan McLaren as Somerset reached  153 for eight at the close giving us a first innings lead of 44 runs.

The toss was uncontested and Somerset made a great start as both Alex Davies and Haseeb Hameed were removed for 0 to leave the Red Rose wilting at 1-2 as Josh Davey accounted for both openers.  Overton then removed Luke Procter, Rob Jones and Dean Vilas in quick succession to leave Lancashire 39 for five and then 42 for six after Tim Groenewald got McLaren.

Stand-in skipper Liam Livingstone remained not out at lunch, facing 70 balls for his 28 alongside Jordan Clark who hit a single from his 28 balls, but if shots were thin on the ground before the interval, the afternoon exploded into life as Livingstone began to let rip.

With Overton accounting for both Clark and Parry, the 23-year-old began to chance his arm with a succession of ramp shots and a huge straight six which cannoned off the pavilion balcony which helped Lancashire move to 109 all out by the time Livingstone holed out to Jack Leach to give Gronewald his third wicket.  Overton finished with five for 47 from 13 overs.

With James Anderson taking the new ball for the Red Rose all was not lost but despite some typically accurate swing bowling from England’s record wicket taker it was McLaren who made the breakthrough as Marcus Trescothick edged to Davies for 20.

The former England opener proved to be the first of four wickets for McLaren as he dismissed captain Tom Abell, Peter Trego and Overton as Lancashire battled back to restrict the visitor’s lead.

By the close of play Somerset had reached 153 for eight with Elgar unbeaten on 66 and Jack Leach not out on one.

After play Craig Overton, who passed the 150 First Class victims mark today, said: “It’s been a pretty interesting day for us.  The pitch was probably suited to bowling first so we decided not to toss and we stuck to our guns pretty well. Josh Davey got a couple of early wickets for us and then we just kept on going.

“This was my third five wicket haul in the Championship.  I seem to get a lot of four-fers but not many five-fers so it was nice to get another one.”

Regarding passing the 150 First Class wicket mark Craig said: “I didn’t know about that until after the close but it’s nice to pass another landmark.”

Talking about Somerset’s batting he said: “Dean has batted really well for us.  He has stuck around and been patient. He had a few played and misses but he has played really nicely to get 60 odd, so we hope he can dig in tomorrow and get another 30 or 40 runs in the morning.  We will be looking to dig in tomorrow morning and get as many runs as we can and then bowl again and get another 10 poles!”

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