Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bowlers shine in Somerset’s County Championship game with Essex

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Twenty wickets fell, all to seam bowling, on an action-packed opening day of Somerset’s County Championship Division One match with Essex.

Migael Pretorius took 4-36 as Essex were bowled out for 156 having lost the toss, with only Tom Westley (43) and Harry Duke (25) offering much resistance.

But Somerset folded to 128 all out in reply, Jamie Porter (5-37) and Sam Cook (5-38) doing all the damage with Tom Lammonby battling his way to 38. Essex were 6-0 in one over before the close.

The carnage began with Essex on 14, Elgar lbw to Josh Davey for five. Nick Browne was bowled off an inside edge by Craig Overton and it was 28-3 when Jordan Cox edged the same bowler to Lammonby at second slip.

Matt Critchley was taken at third slip by Sean Dickson off Pretorius and Noah Thain contributed 14 before departing to a brilliant low catch by Overton, diving forward at second slip off Jake Ball. At lunch Essex were 97-5.

Westley had looked more comfortable than most, facing 84 balls and hitting six fours, but was bowled by Gregory with the score on 111.

Simon Harmer edged Pretorius to wicketkeeper James Rew and Duke’s watchful 79-ball innings ended in similar fashion.

Cook was caught behind off Ball for a duck and Shane Snater holed out to give Pretorius his fourth scalp.

The eighth ball of the Somerset innings saw Cook have Matt Renshaw caught at mid-off and Dickson, having hit Cook for six over long-on, was caught at second slip driving loosely at Porter.

Andy Umeed also looked to attack, pulling Porter and Snater for six, but a defensive shot cost him his wicket for 31 as he edged Cook to Harmer at second slip.

Tom Banton and Rew made only four apiece and skipper Gregory survived a huge caught-behind appeal first ball before Porter trapped him lbw for nine.

Overton managed a few lusty blows before edging Porter to third slip and Lammonby, who had fought resolutely for 116 balls, went in similar fashion to give Porter a five-for.

Pretorius edged Cook to slip and Ball was caught behind as Cook and Porter finished with almost identical figures. Cook, promoted to open in a nightwatching capacity, saw off the over before stumps.

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