Second XI Summary: Somerset v Essex


Somerset Second XI v Essex Second XI
Second XI Championship
Tuesday 23 – Thursday 25 July
Taunton Vale

Somerset Team: Marcus Trescothick, Eddie Byrom, Ben Green, Rouse, Josh Davey, Ben Wells, Charley Reed, Tom Hall Jack Brooks, Ned Leonard, Nathan Gilchrist.

Essex Team: Nick Browne, Michael Pepper, Feroze Khushi, Rishi Patel (C), Will Buttleman (WK), Josh Rymell, Aron Nijjar, Robin Das, Sam Cook, Jack Plom, Ben Allison.

Toss: Essex won the toss and elected to bat.

Umpires: H M S Adnan & S E Lavis

Result: Match Drawn


Match Summary:

Essex returned from Taunton Vale after a successful week, winning both T20 matches and batting through the final day of the Championship match to ensure they rescued a draw.

The first T20 saw the 2nd XI record their 2nd highest T20 score, 242-9, led by Michael Pepper’s 2nd century in the format in 3 innings (100 off 45 balls, 16 fours, 4 sixes). Pepper was supported in a 121-run 2nd wicket partnership (equalling the Essex wicket record) by Ravi Bopara (35), before the rest of the team continued attacking, with the score also being boosted by a 6-run over-rate penalty.

In reply, Somerset opener Ed Byrom reached his 50 off 22 balls, before falling to his next delivery as the home side made 74 in the powerplay. Ben Green (30) and Tom Lammonby (43 from 23) tried to maintain the required rate, but Aron Nijjar bowled his 4 overs for just 26 to put the squeeze on the Somerset batsmen. Bopara added two wickets to two catches and a direct hit run out to ensure Somerset ended 31 runs short.

In game 2, Essex changed their batting order and looked to be struggling at 99-6 in the 11th over. Bopara, this time batting at 5, dominated an unbroken partnership of 128 (a new competition record) with Shane Snater (27*) providing the supporting role. Bopara hit 13 fours and 7 sixes (one clearing the Taunton Vale pavilion) in his 50-ball 122*, taking Essex to 227-6 (Essex now holding 4 of the top 5 competition scores).

Faced with another daunting chase, Somerset again counter-attacked, but this time fell to 67-7 by the end of the 7th over; Aaron Beard taking 2-18 from 3 overs. Bopara bowled unchanged to take 3-31 from his 4 overs as only Josh Davey (33) provided any resistance, with Somerset eventually being dismissed for 130, 97 runs short, in the 16th over.

Essex chose to bat first in the Championship match on a very dark green-looking pitch, and wickets fell regularly as the visitors were bowled out for 198. The only partnership of note came from Josh Rymell (37) and Robin Das (20) who added 58 for the 7th wicket. Faced with a near 3-hour session in the field in 30+ degree temperatures, Sam Cook made the breakthrough in his 2nd spell to dismiss Byrom, but Marcus Trescothick held up one end. Aron Nijjar took 2 wickets on the first evening, then on day 2 tempted Trescothick (93) down the track with Will Buttleman completing the stumping.

Nijjar added a 4th wicket (4-84) before being forced from the field with a thumb injury. With Cook also limited on overs on his return from injury, Jack Plom and Ben Allison carried the attack, aided by Michael Pepper, bowling for the first time for the 2nds. Two Somerset youngsters, Ben Wells (a maiden Championship century, 112*) and Tom Hall (40) added 133 for the 7th wicket as the home side reached 397, a lead of 199.

Despite the loss of Nick Browne in the first over of the 2nd innings, Pepper continued his good form scoring 110, and with Feroze Khushi (90), added an Essex record 2nd wicket partnership against Somerset of 215 to clear the deficit. Rishi Patel then scored his first century of the season (102), adding a further 116 for the 4th wicket with Will Buttleman, who completed a half-century just before the players shook hands on a draw.