Victory for Somerset on day four
Somerset’s seamers bowled them to a 118-run victory over Yorkshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground and with it secured a second success in as many Specsavers County Championship games this season.
Craig Overton (three for 43), Lewis Gregory (two for 59), Tim Groenewald (two for 51) and Tom Abell (two for 15) shared the final day wickets as the visitors were dismissed for 202, chasing 321 to win. Jack Leaning offered most resistance with 68.
It is the first time since 1993 that Somerset have won their opening two Championship fixtures. They took 20 points to Yorkshire’s three.
Starting the morning on 49 for one, needing a further 272 to win, the visitors lost Cheteshwar Pujara to the first ball, caught behind off Gregory, and went on to struggle against some accurate seam bowling.
It was 67 for three when Adam Lyth, on 34, edged Groenewald to James Hildreth at first slip and 81 for four when Gary Ballance was caught by wicketkeeper Steve Davies, pushing forward to Gregory.
Matthew Waite could make only six before being caught and bowled by Overton off a leading edge and when Andy Hodd fell lbw to the same bowler for a single, Yorkshire were in disarray at 103 for six.
By lunch they had moved to 116 for six, still 205 behind. The afternoon session began with a stubborn partnership between Leaning and Tim Bresnan, who put together a stand of 56 without looking troubled.
It took Abell bringing himself on from the River End to break the partnership. The Somerset skipper bowled an impressive spell, swinging and seaming the ball.
Bresnan fell leg-before for 21 to a delivery that nipped back at him after Leaning had moved to an impressive half-century off 128 balls, with seven fours, showing commendable technique and patience.
Jack Brooks counter-attacked to also make 21 off just 16 balls. His entertaining cameo was ended when Groenewald took a sharp return catch, one-handed to his right.
Abell struck again when Ben Coad edged a good delivery to Marcus Trescothick at second slip and at 191 for nine Yorkshire were a beaten side.
The second new ball was taken and Somerset completed a comprehensive win when Leaning was caught at square-leg, top-edging a pull shot off Overton.
After the dramatic win, Tim Groenewald said: “We always knew that there was going to be a partnership because they are a good side and the wicket was flattening out and the ball was getting a bit softer. We knew that it was going to get tough and we would have to be really patient, so it was really pleasing to get through that.
“The wicket wasn’t doing as much today as it was previously, although there was the odd ball that did something and as a bowler you always felt that you were in the game. Credit to the guys though, they stuck at it and we got there in the end.
“There is a confident feeling in the dressing room which is really good. The guys have trained really hard and put in the hard yards, so there’s no reason not to go into the season with confidence.”
Somerset Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry said: “The magic wand behind winning our first two games is all the hard work put in by the players and the coaching staff during the winter. They all deserve enormous credit.
“It would be wrong to single out any player for praise after this victory because they all contributed. It was a tougher game than our first win over Worcestershire and it took a real team effort to come out on top.
“We have made a good start and now the focus is fully on Lancashire at Old Trafford this weekend. We are going to take this season a game at a time and a session at a time.”
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