The evergreen genius that is Marcus Trescothick helped Somerset to a strong position on Day 1 of the resumption of our title challenge at the top of Division One. This is the first of what I aim to be a daily diary of the run in as our beloved Cidermen challenge for silverware on two fronts.
Somerset closed day one on 308-7, comfortably the highest score in either division of the championship on a pitch that is already showing signs of slightly uneven bounce and turn for Simon Harmer. Somerset though may be slightly disappointed as the kept losing wickets when it looked like they were about to assume complete control.
After promising opening stand of 38 Amhara Ali and James Hildreth fell disappointingly cheaply, Hildy to the last ball before lunch to leave Somerset on 104-3. But the afternoon belonged totally to Somerset, the only blot being the loss of Marcus, caught hooking at deep square leg, for 95. But tea was taken at 207-4 with captain Tom batting in the calm, efficient style that has been his trademark in the championship this season on 59.
In the evening Somerset again squandered strong positions at 244 and 285 losing their 5th and 6th wickets. First Abell was caught behind for 70 and then Steven Davies bowled by Jamie Porter for 45.
Somerset lost Dom Bess, who had the unenviable task of facing the second new ball in poor light but Lewis Gregory, who played with fluency from the start to end on 42, and Jamie O were there when the umpire took them off 4 overs short of the day’s full allocation.
So while there is a long way to go and a lot of work to be done Somerset can be very pleased with their work on day one. The ideal scenario would be for Lewis and Jamie to bat for an hour to get us to 350 in time for the fourth bonus point, and get the total closer to 400. And then allow Somerset’s bowling attack, which has greater depth and variety than Essex’s loose.
A decent first innings lead with time left in the game would put Somerset in a position where Jack and Dom can push for victory on the last day.
Of course the top of division one is very much out of Somerset’s hands at present but there was encouraging news from the Oval where our friends with the brown caps were dismissed for 211 (they were 51-4 and 155-8) in the day night game. At the time of writing Lancashire are 114-4 having just lost Dane Vilas but the obdurate Shiv Chanderpaul is still there. The next hour may well prove pivotal in this game, let’s hope Lancashire can bat to the close with no further damage.
Worcestershire, currently bottom have made a good start at Scarborough. At a premature close they were 39-0, 177 behind Yorkshire for who Kane Williamson scored 87 before an England like collapse. Fight back of the day came from Hampshire who were 137-7 midway though the afternoon. First Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott added 133 for the 8th wicket to get them to 277 before Fidel Edwards reduced Notts to 39-4 at the close. Leaving aside the small matter of next Sunday’s T20 quarter final the damage the second half of the day will have done to Notts championship aspirations could be catastrophic.
In Division 2 Durham (75-0 trail Glamorgan by 79) and Sussex 400-7 are both in strong positions. But performance of the day went to Warwickshire who hustled Gloucs out for 127 after they were 102-2 and closed on 171-2.
Day 2 looks like being full of excitement. I can’t wait.