Wednesday, May 22, 2024

County Championship: Somerset secure jittery two-day win over Essex; Joe Root nears rapid hundred for Yorkshire

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Somerset closed to within two points of Vitality County Championship table toppers Essex after beating the league leaders in a two-day wicket-fest at Taunton, while Joe Root is closing in on a quick-fire century for Yorkshire against Glamorgan.

Essex were bowled out for 138 in their second innings on Saturday after day one had seen the visitors rolled for 156 before they bundled out home side Somerset for 128.

Somerset were subsequently set 167 to win and they made a fine start as Australia batter Matt Renshaw (35) and opening partner Sean Dickson (42) put on 75 for the first wicket, only for the hosts to lose three wickets for 24 runs.

Essex made four further breakthroughs but Andy Umeed (34) and Tom Banton (29) played crucial hands in the middle order and Somerset reached their target in 44.1 overs to win by three wickets and snap a run of four straight draws to begin the season.

Essex sit on 74 points from five games and Somerset 72, with third-placed Surrey – not playing in this truncated round of fixtures – on 71 from four matches.

Division One scorecards

Division Two scorecards

Root races towards three figures at Headingley

In Division Two, England batter Root followed his 119 against Derbyshire last week with an unbeaten 92 from 90 balls against Glamorgan, sharing an unbroken stand of 201 with Finlay Bean (140no off 145) as Yorkshire reached 295-2 for a lead of 74 before bad light intervened at Headingley.

Yorkshire had earlier dismissed Glamorgan for 221 with spinners Dom Bess and Dan Moriarty bagging four wickets apiece in an innings in which Root’s brother Billy top-scored with 51 after being dropped by his sibling in the slips on six.

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The Men’s T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA is live on Sky Sports in June

Joe Root could enjoy a lengthy spell with Yorkshire in red and white-ball cricket this season as England are not in Test action until July.

T20 cricket – a format Root has not featured in for his country since 2019 – is monopolising the early international summer as England play four T20Is against Pakistan in May before travelling to the Caribbean for the World Cup in June.

Watch England’s T20Is against Pakistan and the whole of the T20 World Cup live on Sky Sports across May and June.

What else happened on Saturday?

Kent are in control of their Division One encounter with Lancashire – which is being broadcast live on Sky Sports – after razing their opponents for 92 at Emirates Old Trafford and then reducing them to 119-4 following-on to lead by 50 after day two.

Nathan Gilchrist’s career-best 6-24 and Wes Agar’s 4-35 did the damage in Lancashire’s first knock as the hosts were shot out in exactly 30 overs replying to Kent’s 261 all out, with Matty Hurst (36) and Luke Wells (10) the only players to make double figures.

Lancashire then lost three wickets for as many runs late in the day as they slipped from 101-1 to 104-4 in their second dig with Gilchrist bowling nightwatchman Will Williams after earlier accounting for opener Wells as he scooped eight wickets in total on the day.

Watch day three of Lancashire vs Kent, live on Sky Sports Mix from 10.55am on Sunday.


Live County Championship Cricket


Sunday 5th May 10:55am


In Division Two, Cheteshwar Pujara’s unbeaten 104 steered Sussex to 357-5 at Derbyshire after the hosts were dismissed for 106, while Peter Handscomb’s ton for Leicestershire against former club Middlesex underpinned the Foxes’ 306 all out at Lord’s.

Middlesex – who were 64-1 in reply at stumps – and Leicestershire were unable to take the field on day one due to the wet weather.

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