Match Report: Somerset v Essex


Somerset v Essex

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, Thursday 14 – Sunday 17 April


Team News:

Somerset: Ben Green, Tom Lammonby, Matt Renshaw, James Hildreth, Tom Abell (c), Lewis Goldsworthy, Steve Davies (wk), Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Peter Siddle, Jack Leach.

Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Dan Lawrence, Matt Critchley, Adam Rossington, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Shane Snater, Mark Steketee, Sam Cook.

Match Details:

Umpires: Mike Burns & Russell Warren
Match Referee: Steve Davis
Toss: Essex, who elected to bowl
Result: Essex won by 1 wicket

Scorecard: View Here

Day Three Match Highlights:

Day Three Reaction: Anthony McGrath

Day Three Match Report:

Adam Rossington kept his head in a crisis to guide Essex to a nerve-tingling one-wicket LV= Insurance County Championship win over Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

Needing just 84 for victory, Essex found themselves 60-8 before Rossington’s 29 not out saw them to the target by the narrowest of margins.

Rossington played an inspiring innings for his new Club on a pitch that proved a test for the batters on both sides. The loanee played some impressive shots as his side claimed 19 points in total from the match.

Craig Overton claimed 6/30 to complete career-best match figures of 13/87. He was supported by Peter Siddle (three for 25) as Somerset’s seamers fought to the last.

Essex began the day on 3-1, having lost opener Nick Browne at the end of play the previous evening.

After the 11th ball of the day, the scoreboard read four for four. The first from Overton had seen Alastair Cook edge just short of third slip and take a single.

The next accounted for nightwatchman Sam Cook, bowled off stump by a delivery that shaped away from him.

Siddle took up the attack from the River End and with his second ball found the edge of Alastair Cook’s bat as he defended off the back foot. Wicket-keeper, Steven Davies claimed a straightforward catch.

Worse was to follow for Essex as the fifth delivery of the same over saw Dan Lawrence edge to third slip where Overton took a fine catch, diving to his right.

Tom Westley eased some of the tension in the visiting dressing room by clipping an overpitched delivery from Overton through mid-wicket for four to get off the mark.

Then Matt Critchley launched his score with a boundary through mid-off. But Overton and Siddle were maintaining an exemplary line and length to make scoring difficult.

It seemed the tide had turned when Essex progressed to 27 for four. But in Overton’s sixth over of the morning, Critchley, on 15, drove loosely at a wide ball and dragged it onto his stumps.

Two balls later, he had Westley caught behind for six, pushing forward defensively.

At 28-6, Essex required a further 56 runs. Adam Wheater flashed a boundary through a vacant fourth slip area to get off the mark.

Overton’s impressive spell ended with 4-15 from nine overs, one of them bowled the previous evening.

Siddle switched ends to replace him and went past the bat on several occasions without finding an edge. Lewis Gregory also bowled without any luck as Wheater and Rossington took Essex past 50.

It was 56 for six when Overton returned from the River End. With one run added, Wheater was pinned lbw with a ball that struck his back pad.

Before Essex could regroup from that blow, Siddle sent back Simon Harmer for a duck, leg-before attempting a front foot defensive shot.

With 24 still needed, the outcome was in the balance. Rossington opted to be positive with some crisp attacking shots.

The scores were level when Shane Snater was caught off a top edge, trying to win the game with pull shot off Overton before a scampered leg bye finally settled a riveting contest.

Day Two Match Highlights:

Day Two Reaction: Anthony McGrath

“We’d have settled for needing 83 to win the game on the third day before the start.

“It’s not been easy batting out there and winning the toss was definitely important. There was a lot of playing and missing the night before and we knew it would be difficult when we came back this morning. That’s exactly how it turned out, with the ball still doing a bit.

“In the end, we’re happy with the position we’re in.

“I think the decision to select Shane Snater was a good one. He bowled well last week, carried that on here and deserved his six wickets. Jamie Porter has done really well for us over the past three or four seasons, but he had a slight injury and Shane made the most of his opportunity.

“It will be tricky chasing that total, but we have to back ourselves.”

Day Two Match Report:

19 wickets fell on Day Two of the LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Somerset, with Essex requiring a further 81 runs for victory once play resumes on Saturday morning.

The day started with a bang. Former Essex bowler Peter Siddle, now turning out for Somerset, had Alastair Cook caught by James Hildreth for 59.

His dismissal was the start of what would be a treacherous morning for Essex, with the remaining seven wickets falling for a combined 71 runs before the Lunch break.

Nightwatchman, Sam Cook was the next to go, being trapped leg before by Craig Overton for 3.

The Cook’s dismissals meant that Dan Lawrence and Matt Critchley were looking to steady the ship, and the partnership was worth 20 runs before Lawrence was given out leg before to Overton, who was really beginning to turn the screw.

Critchley, Rossington and then Wheater all went for single-figure scores, whilst South African spinner Simon Harmer showed composure with the bat to play some nice shots and begin to give Essex a decent lead.

Others fell around him though, with Snater edging behind for 8 and Steketee being trapped leg before for 2 to leave him stranded on 25, the joint second-highest score of the Essex innings, who were all out for 180.

Overton was the standout bowler for the hosts, taking 7/57 and recording career-best figures.

Cook and Steketee opened the bowling for Essex, and it was Sam that made the breakthrough, with Lammonby edging to Alastair Cook in the slips for 2.

Snater then trapped Green leg before without any addition to the score to leave Somerset 7-2. The Dutchman then bowled Hildreth for 6 and had Goldsworthy caught behind on 7 to reduce the hosts to 75-5 at Tea, now leading by 4 runs. Steketee claimed the other wicket in the session, with Abell edging to Wheater on 12.

Snater stole the show in the final session though, recording three more wickets to end with figures of 6/36.

Matt Renshaw and Steve Davies had begun to find some rhythm and were looking strong in the middle, but Sam Cook had Renshaw out lbw on 45 just as it looked like the Essex bowlers were beginning to get frustrated.

Gregory was the next man in but his stay didn’t last too long. He skied one off Snater and Cook took a smart catch on the boundary to dismiss him for 9.

Davies was still going strong though and became the first player other than Alastair Cook to reach a half-century in the game. His 50 included a massive six off the bowling of Harmer, who was unlucky to not have a few wickets to his name.

After his heroics in the morning, Overton went cheaply after being bowled by Snater for 2. Davies then looked to increase the run rate and played and missed at a straight one from Steketee, departing for 51.

Snater then finished things off by bowling Leach for 7 to see Somerset all out for 154, leaving Essex 84 for victory. Shane ended with figures of 6/36, the first 5’fer for any Essex player this season.

With two overs to see out, Nick Browne went cheaply after chipping one straight to Green off Overton, and Essex ended the day on 3-1 and exactly as it started, with both the Cook’s in the middle.

Essex require 81 runs on Day Three for victory.

Day One Match Highlights:

Day One Reaction: Mark Steketee

Day One Match Report:

Alastair Cook reached another milestone in his illustrious career as Essex dominated the opening day of the LV= Insurance County Championship match with Somerset at Taunton.

The former England captain passed 25,000 first-class runs in contributing 59 not out to a first innings total of 109 for two after the hosts’ fragile batting line-up had folded to 109 all out.

Cook’s tally includes 70 centuries and 118 fifties. He looked typically unflappable in cementing the strong position built earlier by the Essex bowlers.

Sam Cook, Mark Steketee and Simon Harmer claimed three wickets each as the Essex bowlers dismantled a Somerset batting line-up lacking confidence.

Harmer, returning to the side in place of Jamie Porter after his stint with South Africa, tore through Somerset late in the innings to claim three wickets fewer than five overs into his county season.

After winning the toss and choosing to bowl, the new ball pair of Mark Steketee and Sam Cook took advantage of favourable conditions to reduce somerset to 70-5 at Lunch.

Mark Steketee claimed his first wicket for Essex when Ben Green edged an ambitious drive through to Adam Wheater and shortly after got his second with a beauty that left James Hildreth late and took the thinnest of edges.

At the other end Sam Cook produced a series of excellent deliveries, eventually being rewarded with the wicket of Matt Renshaw who was bowled attempting a leave.

He then took two wickets in quick succession just before the lunch break as first, Tom Abell edged to Dan Lawrence via his pad and then Lewis Goldsworthy edged into the slips.

Snater picked up the wicket of Steven Davies in the first over after lunch before Harmer picked up where he left off last season.

The spinner ended with figured of figures of 3-14 in just 4.4 overs to cap a remarkable return to the team.

By tea, Essex openers Nick Browne and Alastair Cook, both fresh from centuries in the opening game with Kent, had taken the score to 40 with few alarms.

The pair advanced the total to 68 before Browne, on 25, edged a drive off Overton and was caught at the second attempt by Abell at third slip.

Cook passed the 25,000 run landmark with a cut boundary off Green, which took him to 35. Tom Westley was caught behind down the leg side off Overton for 13 to leave the side two down going into tomorrow, but with eight wickets remaining and a large first-innings lead up for grabs.