Unbeaten centuries put Somerset in charge
Tom Lammonby had a day to remember as Somerset finished the second day of this Bob Willis Trophy match against Gloucestershire very much in the driving seat.
His unbeaten 101 was matched by Club Captain Tom Abell as Somerset set the visitors an unlikely victory target of 385 at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
A day totally dominated by the home side saw Gloucestershire bowled out for 76 from an overnight 13 for four as Craig Overton claimed four for 25 and Josh Davey three for 21.
That gave Somerset a first innings lead of 161. Skipper Abell and Lammonby then both finished 101 not out after an unbroken second-wicket stand of 211 had guided their side to 223 for one when Abell declared.
It was 20-year-old Lammonby’s maiden First Class century to follow his maiden First Class wicket in Gloucestershire’s first innings. The visitors were left with a tricky eight overs to negotiate, losing Ben Charlesworth, Chris Dent and Tom Lace before closing on 14 for three.
Gloucestershire were under pressure from the opening delivery of the day, having already lost four first innings wickets. Davey made the first breakthrough with the total on 29 when nightwatchman Matt Taylor was caught at point for 12.
The heat of battle between the two West country rivals was turned up when Jamie Overton thought he had George Hankins caught behind for six with the score 48 for five. Umpire Paul Baldwin disagreed.
However, the final ball of the over saw Hankins edge a low catch to Craig Overton at second slip and Somerset felt justice had been done.
Lace, who showed better technique than a number of team-mates, was bowled by Jack Brooks for 21, attempting to drive, with the scoreboard showing 56 for seven.
Gareth Roderick fell lbw to Craig Overton and Gordon Scott was caught behind off Lammonby’s left-arm seam before Ryan Higgins was last man out for 15.
With a commanding lead, Somerset were able to approach their second innings positively. They suffered an early setback when Eddie Byrom chipped a catch to mid-wicket off a leg-side delivery from David Payne.
However, from then on Lammonby and Abell took control, looking increasingly assured in a partnership that had added 81 by tea, which was taken at 93 for one.
The final session saw Abell score more fluently to begin with, producing some textbook drives. Left-hander Lammonby moved to his 50 having faced 122 balls and hit five fours.
Abell was first to his ton, with two to third man off Ben Charlesworth. It was his second hundred of the competition and was made off 153 balls, with 17 boundaries.
Lammonby was forced to hit out in a bid to reach three figures before the declaration and did so to great effect. Twice he cleared the ropes and a pulled four to fine leg off Scott took him to his century off 160 balls.
After one more delivery Abell called a halt and soon his seamers were cutting through Gloucestershire’s batting as they had done in the first innings.
Davey had Charlesworth caught behind with a ball that lifted and bowled Lace with the first ball of the final over after Craig Overton had pinned Dent lbw. Only the weather would now appear to stand between Somerset and a third win from four Bob Willis Trophy games.
After a memorable day for himself and the team, Tom Lammonby said: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’m feeling very happy. I knew we wanted to get Gloucestershire batting tonight so it got to a point where I thought I must play a few shots to reach my hundred in time.
“To his credit, Tom Abell never put pressure on me by saying how many overs I had. He knew it was my first experience of that situation and thankfully I was able to connect with a few big scoring shots.
“Having Tom at the other end was great because he makes batting look so comfortable. It was nice to pick up my maiden First Class wicket too, but I just enjoy watching our bowling attack at the moment and I don’t foresee me getting too many overs the way Craig and Jamie Overton, Josh Davey and Jack Brooks are performing.”
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