Match Preview: Essex V Somerset


Essex v Somerset

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloud County Ground
Monday 25 – Thursday 28 July
11am start

Essex will be looking to bounce back after a rare defeat to Surrey in the LV= Insurance County Championship last time out.

In a game that ebbed and flowed throughout, Surrey came out victors by 6 wickets at The Kia Oval after Tom Westley’s side dominated for the first two days.

It was a result that dented the Club’s title aspirations, with Surrey extending their lead at the top of the Division One table, but this week’s game against Somerset gives the squad the chance to get back on track sharpishly.

The opposition are having an uncharacteristically inconsistent red-ball campaign so far, and find themselves in 8th place in the Division One table.

With 5 games left to go, Tom Abell’s side will be desperate to pick up some wins and secure their status in the top flight for next season.


Essex have named a 13-man squad for the visit of Somerset.


Sam Cook misses out with a hamstring niggle, whilst Ben Allison is unavailable due to a side strain.

The Opposition:

Somerset have had a disappointing season so far by their high standards, winning just 2 LV= Insurance County Championship games and loitering in the relegation spots.

Alongside their 2 wins are 2 draws and 5 losses, which has left them on 87 points, 12 behind 2021 County Championships Warwickshire in 7th, although they have a game in hand.

Tom Abell’s side have struggled on the road this season, winning just once in their 4 away games so far. That victory came against relegation-rivals Gloucestershire in a comprehensive win at Bristol, whilst there have been losses against Surrey and Hampshire and a draw with Lancashire.

Somerset haven’t beaten Essex in red-ball cricket since 2018 and it’s a rivalry which has intensified in recent years, with both the 2019 County Championship and 2020 Bob Willis Trophy Final going right to the wire between the pair.

Craig Overton is showing why he’s been in and around the England squad with 26 wickets at 16.88 this season, the most of any Somerset bowler and the lowest average of any player with more than 20 wickets in the Championship this year.

Skipper Abell has led from the front with the bat, scoring 623 runs at an average of 47.92. Of his 3 centuries this season, 2 of them have been away from Taunton.

Last time out:

The last time these two sides met in red-ball cricket, Essex claimed a nail-biting victory in front a packed out Taunton.

Tom Westley won the toss and elected to field first, with Sam Cook, Simon Harmer and Mark Steketee all recording 3 wickets as the hosts were bowled out for 109.

In response, Essex reached 180, with Alastair Cook top-scoring with 59. Shane Snater, who went wicketless in the first innings, was lethal second time around, taking 6/36 as the hosts were bowled out for 150, setting Essex a target of 84 for victory.

Westley’s side however found themselves 4-4 inside the first 4 overs, with Craig Overton and former Chelmsford man Peter Siddle accounting for both Cook’s, Nick Browne and Dan Lawrence.

Matt Critchley and Westley went cheaply to reduce Essex to 28-6, leaving it to Adam Wheater and new signing Adam Rossington to mount a recovery.

Their partnership was worth 29 and Essex were 57-6 by the time Wheater was trapped leg before by Overton.

Harmer was also trapped leg before, to his good friend Siddle, for 3, leaving Essex 60-8, 24 runs short of the target with 2 wickets remaining.

Rossington however showed his composure, and now alongside Snater, the pair nudged and nurdled their way to 83-8, levelling the scores.

With 1 run needed, Snater was caught at long on by Tom Lammonby and it was then down to Steketee to finish the job. He and Rossington ran a leg bye, with Essex securing their first win of the season in dramatic circumstances.

Overton finished the game with career-best first-class match figures of 13/87.

How To Watch:

A free live stream of the game will be provided on The Essex Cricket Matchzone, which includes player stats, scorecards and clips throughout the game.

The broadcast can be accessed via the Essex Cricket Matchzone here.