Match Report | Somerset v Essex Eagles


Somerset v Essex Eagles
Royal London One-Day Cup
The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton

Essex Eagles | Alastair Cook, Varun Chopra, Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara, James Foster (wk), Ryan ten Doeschate (c), Ashar Zaidi, Paul Walter, Simon Harmer, Neil Wagner, Matthew Quinn.

Somerset | Jim Allenby (c), Johann Myburgh, Peter Trego, Steven Davies (wk), James Hildreth, Adam Hose, Roelof van der Merwe, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Tim Groenewald, Max Waller.

Umpires | Stephen Gale & Michael Burns.

Toss | Somerset who elected to field.

Result | Essex Eagles won by 72 runs

Match Highlights

Close of Play Report | Essex Eagles beat Somerset by 72 runs at Taunton to leapfrog their West Country opponents and take over pole position in the Royal London One-Day Cup South Group.

The Eagles, who scored 334 for 6, now hold a two point lead at the top of the group with one match to play and on the cusp of a pace in the semi-finals of the competition after they bowled Somerset out for 262.

Neil Wagner (3-55) and Simon Harmer (3-56) shared 6 wickets but it was a fine all-round display from the Essex Eagles side that proved so important.

Tom Westley announced his return to form with 100, whilst an unbeaten 92 form Ravi Bopara plus 65 by Alastair Cook ensured that the Essex bowlers would have a decent score to defend on this compact ground and in front of a crowd numbering approximately 4,000.

The home side got off to a blistering start in pursuit of a challenging target when opener Johann Myburgh thrashed 57 off 28 balls that included 4 sixes and 6 fours – and all that after being dropped by Paul Walter off Matt Quinn having still to get off the mark.

He and Jim Allenby posted 64 in 7 overs before being parted but from thereon, the Eagles attack and fielding proved masterful.

Wickets fell at regular intervals to increase the pressure on the home side who started the game level on points with Essex but had the advantage of a better run-rate.

Following the demise of Myburgh who eventually gave Quinn the consolation of his wicket when caught by Varun Chopra in the deep, Peter Trego and Steven Davies were claimed off the bowling of Wagner and Harmer to leave the home side 108 for 3 in the 14th over.

Bowling with controlled line and length, Ashar Zaidi, Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate helped peg the run-rate back conceding 28 runs and not a single boundary between overs 18 and 26. Then until Hose found the ropes against Bopara whilst Allenby then struck two fours in the next over off ten Doeschate which forced the Essex skipper to withdraw from the attack as Zaidi was re-introduced.

Facing scoreboard pressure, Somerset wilted. James Hildreth spent 25 balls accruing 14 before ten Doeschate had him picked up by James Foster and at the halfway stage, the home side were 158 for 4.

When Allenby drove Wagner to Bopara at cover for 77 to end a 63 runs stand in 11 overs with Adam Hose and with the total on 202, Essex were in the driving seat.

Harmer then took two wickets n three deliveries, bowling Hose for 28 before having Jamie Overton caught at deep mid-wicket to leave Somerset 218 for 7 in the 36th over.

Roelof van der Merwe never looked at ease and was caught for 8 by Foster on the drive facing Wagner and although Craig Overton and Tim Groenewald put on a lustily-struck 32 in 4 overs, Bopara ended their fun by having Groenewald caught at long-on for 17 before Overton was run out by a direct throw from Simon Harmer at mid-off to complete a successful day for the Eagles.

Earlier, Westley and Cook had added 135 in 20 overs for the second wicket with Cook’s innings taking his tally of runs to 449 in 7 innings in the competition this season and at an average of 74.83 that embraced two centuries and two half-centuries.

Westley though was sublime timing the ball to perfection and reaching three figures from 95 balls with the assistance of 2 sixes and 10 fours.

He and Bopara added 53 before Westley was bowled attempting to sweep van der Merwe but bopara took over the responsibility of both anchoring the innings and also ensuring a substantial total for his side.

He and Zaidi added 88 in 10 overs with the latter contributing 32 but Bopara batted with increasing assurance. After a steady start, his fluency became increasingly evident as he dominated the bowling to finish unbeaten having overseen the addition of 105 runs form the final 10 overs.

1st Innings Report | A hundred from Tom Westley supported by an unbeaten 92 by Ravi Bopara and 65 from Alastair Cook took Essex, who had been put into bat, to 334 for 6 at the completion of the 50 overs in the Royal London One-Day Cup clash with South Group leaders Somerset at Taunton.

Westley played beautifully driving with immaculate timing to reach his “ton” from 95 balls with the assistance of 2 sixes and 10 fours. But having arrived at three figures, he was immediately dismissed when bowled by spinner Roelof van der Merwe to leave the visitors 209 for three in the 36th over.

Westley and Cook had posted 135 in 20 overs for the second wicket following the loss of Varun Chopra for 11 with 21 on the board in the 4th over. Combining positive driving and the skill to work the ball through the gaps, the pair laid the foundations for a respectable total.

Cook’s 50 arrived from 54 balls and contained 6 boundaries but with his score on 65, he attempted to cut a delivery of width from Jamie Overton and edged the ball to wicket-keeper Steven Davies.

That innings took Cook’s tally of runs to 449 in 7 innings in the competition this season and at an average of 74.83 that embraced two centuries and two half-centuries.  

Bopara joined Westley to add 53 runs with the former starting quietly. Westley’s departure was followed by Ryan ten Doeschate in van der Merwe’s next over to leave the Eagles 215 for 4 in the 38th over but Bopara stepped up a gear with the arrival of the enterprising Ashar Zaidi.

They kept the scoreboard moving with an 88 runs stand spanning 10 overs with a belligerent but sensible approach that combined the conventional and the improvised.

Zaidi finally departed for 32 when he was caught in the deep off Craig Overton and with a little more than two overs to go.

James Foster faced just the one delivery but was run out going for the third run leaving Paul Walter to join Bopara in the final assault.

Their efforts were briefly held-up by a rain stoppage lasting 15 minutes but on their return, 27 further runs were accrued form the remaining 12 deliveries. Walter struck his second delivery for 6 with an upper cut over the third man boundary before Bopara ended the innings with a straight 6 having faced 81 balls and collected 9 fours and one other six.

The Eagles were given a boost when they were able to include Neil Wagner in the starting line-up. The New Zealand fast bowler had been called up for his country who are involved in a Triangular Tournament with Ireland and Bangladesh but was able to negotiate his release for this vital clash with Somerset having missed the previous two games in the competition.

He replaced Jamie Porter from the successful eleven that beat Middlesex on Friday.