Match Report | Somerset v Essex


Jack Leach bowled Somerset to victory over Essex by 45 runs after an absorbing day’s play at Taunton.

The off-spinner returned 8 for 85 as the visitors were bowled out for 290, despite half-centuries from Nick Browne, Tom Westley and Ryan ten Doeschate.

Requiring 336 to win at the start of their second innings and 189 at the start of the day with 9 wickets intact, Essex were in control with Browne and Westley playing with restraint but confidently.

Westley turned Leach down to fine leg to bring up his 50 having faced 117 balls but soon after, the Somerset fielders asked for the ball to be changed and their plea was upheld by the umpires.

Westley hit the replacement ball to the square leg boundary but then the game changed with the dismissal of he and Browne within the space of 4 deliveries with the score on 171.

Browne, on 86, was caught at leg slip when top-edging an intended sweep before Jamie Overton pinned Westley in front of his stumps for 56.

Dan Lawrence and ten Doeschate appeared to have restored the initiative back to Essex with a 54 runs partnership but Leach breached Lawrence’s defence with the final ball before lunch to leave the visitors 225 for 4.

Ravi Bopara joined ten Doeschate when play resumed after the interval and the duo set about stabilising matters but Leach, who had taken 3 for 64 by lunch, was to prove the downfall of both batsmen and the Essex victory hunt.

Bopara took 17 deliveries to get off the mark whilst ten Doeschate brought up his 50 having faced 72 balls, 8 of which he steered to the ropes.

But without adding a further run, Leach bowled him with a beauty to leave the visitors 256 for 5 and 2 runs later, Adam Wheater departed for a single when giving a return catch to the impressive Leach to leave Essex still requiring 78 to win with 4 wickets remaining.

Bopara batted for an hour and three-quarters to reach 27 but then stepped back to cut Leach only to play the ball onto his stumps.

10 overs and 9 runs later, the game was over. Bess had Simon Harmer caught at bat/pad by Marcus Trescothick leaving Leach to end his virtuoso performance with the wickets of Peter Siddle and Jamie Porter.

Essex returned home with 3 points whilst Somerset claimed 22 points to consolidate their runners-up position behind leaders Surrey.

Hampshire are the next opponents for Essex in the County Championship when they visit The Cloudfm County Ground starting on 29 August.