Easter Sunday Scare

21st April 2020

Somerset 261-9 (Hildreth 67, C Overton 43*), Glamorgan 259 all out 49.1 overs. Somerset won by 2 runs.

You could excuse Craig Overton, Tom Banton and Ben Warren for being distracted by the presence of their beloved Liverpool FC just across the city of Cardiff on this glorious Easter Sunday. But There was no forgiving Tom Abell’s side for the paroxysms of pain they put us through in the early evening of Easter Sunday 2019.

Tom Abell won the toss at a typically soulless Sofia Gardens and opted to have first use of the typically low and slow Cardiff surface.

Perhaps unsurprisingly Somerset never got going. As he so often is on these occasions, James Hildreth was the mainstay of the Somerset innings with a patient 67. 

An indication of the difficulty of scoring quickly on this surface was that Craig O took 46 balls to accumulate his 41. The reward for his efforts, though was substantial, he now had 107 runs from two innings in three days without being dismissed.

Overton’s contribution in the context of this game cannot be understated. He was the central figure in the addition of 83 runs in the last 10 overs. Ably supported by Tim Groenewald and Josh Davey, the “tail” propelled Somerset to the respectability if not invincibility of 261.

That total seemed pretty invincible when Davey and Overton reduced the hosts to 21-5 in the 5th over (including Marnus Labususchange of subsequent Ashes fame). But, remarkably, Glamorgan refused to go away.

Significant contributions from David Lloyd 84 and Graham Wagg 62 kept them in with a chance but at 202-9 in the 40th over their efforts appeared to have been in vain.

Enter the unlikely duo of Luke Carey and Tim van der Guten who somehow got it to 259 at the start of the 49th over, needing just 3 to win off 12 balls.

Roelof van der Merwe had been the victim of some of the Glamorgan pair’s injudicious stroke-play. But he took the final wicket, just when all seemed lost for Somerset. The visitors departed victors by only 2 runs, courtesy of one of those trademark Azhar Ali catches (you know the one – where he seems bound to drop it for some inexplicable reason only to hold on at the last minute).

Somerset fans who were otherwise occupied at family commitments on Easter Day would probably, like me, have mentally packed the two points away mid-afternoon. Only to become increasingly, in progression, concerned, alarmed and then resigned as the Glamorgan innings continued.

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