Steve and Jack impress on day one

Steve Davies and Jack Brooks transformed the Somerset total with a last wicket stand of 107 on the opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy match against Glamorgan at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

The hosts had looked set to miss out on any batting points at 149 for eight as Ruaidhri Smith claimed three of the wickets. However, after Josh Davey had contributed 20 to help revive Somerset fortunes, last man Brooks came out to smash a 38-ball half century on his way to making 72 off 58 deliveries, with nine fours and two sixes.

Davies top-scored with 81 not out off 108 balls, with nine fours, as the menace went out of the Glamorgan seam attack. Somerset were finally bowled out for 296 before their opponents replied with 8 for no wicket.

Before play started there was a minute’s silence in recognition of those who have lost their lives to the coronavirus pandemic.

The players also took the knee in support of improving diversity and inclusion in cricket and the community ahead of the opening ball being delivered.

Somerset won the toss, but were soon being put under pressure in overcast conditions on a pitch offering pace and bounce.

Young openers Tom Lammonby, making his First Class debut, and Eddie Byrom did well to take the score to 38 against some testing pace bowling before being parted.

Byrom was bowled off an inside edge by Graham Wagg for 22. Tom Abell, on three, had his stumps scattered by Marchant de Lange, and James Hildreth was caught at point off Dan Douthwaite for 16.

At lunch, the score was 92 for three.

20-year-old Devonian Lammonby batted through the morning session to be unbeaten on 40 at the break. However, in the fifth over off the afternoon he fell lbw to the accurate Michael Hogan for 41.

Smith picked up three wickets in the session, sending back George Bartlett for a battling 23, Roelof van der Merwe and Jamie Overton.

Douthwaite then accounted for Craig Overton leg-before and Glamorgan were well on top as Davies survived a couple of chances to slip on his way to a 76-ball half-century.

Davey began the recovery, helping Davies add 40 for the ninth wicket, but when he top-edged a steeply rising ball from de Lange to mid-on Somerset were still 11 runs short of a batting point.

Brooks played positively from the start and had blazed his way to 45 with a succession of belligerent shots before being dropped off Wagg, a tough chance to Billy Root over his shoulder at mid-wicket.

It was all the luck Brooks needed to register his first half-century for Somerset since joining them from Yorkshire. He bludgeoned a tiring attack and he and Davies ensured a respectable total.

When Brooks was eventually caught and bowled by Wagg, Glamorgan were left with seven overs to bat in the day. Nick Selman and Charlie Hemphrey found the new ball seaming around for Craig Overton and Davey.

Overton conceded four byes with a bouncer that flew over wicketkeeper Davies’ head and the first six overs were completed without a run off the bat as the openers concentrated on survival.

After contributing 72 to a record last-wicket partnership for Somerset in matches against Glamorgan, Jack Brooks said: “I have a pretty simple game plan with my batting and it was great to go in with someone like Steve Davies well set at the other end.

“Before play began, we thought anything over 300 on that wicket would be a good score, so we are happy to have got so close. There is plenty in the pitch for our bowlers to work with tomorrow.

“My first season with Somerset was a bit stop-start because of injury, but I feel fit now and look forward to making a major contribution. Whether it will be with the bat we will have to wait and see!

“When you think of all that is going on in the world, it was great to be out there playing cricket again and feeling useful.”

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