Matt Renshaw – Debut, Unbeaten Century

An 18-wicket opening day at Taunton in 2018. And not a pitch inspector in sight!

Somerset v Worcestershire, County Championship Division One, 20th to 22nd April 2018

Worcestershire 153-8 trail Somerset, 202 all out, by 49 runs.

Day one of the 2018 County Championship saw 18 wickets fall at Taunton in cloudy and bowler-friendly conditions. With the ball moving all over the place batting was a precarious business from the outset.

Although nobody seemed to have told Matt Renshaw! Somerset’s Aussie, hastily signed as an early-season replacement for the disgraced Cameron Bancroft carried his bat for the 56 overs that Somerset’s first innings of the season lasted for an unbeaten 101. It was the 14th debut century for the county first since 2013. Can you remember who? I couldn’t – it was Alviro Piertersen.

Renshaw contributed exactly half of Somerset’s meagre total with only James Hildreth (48) providing any other substance. No one else got past Tom Abell’s 10.

Worcestershire’s response followed a similar pattern with only Travis Head (49) and Ed Barnard, who had picked up 5-52 in Somerset’s first innings, on his way to an exact half-century, showing any signs of permanence

Many were left to muse at the close of play that on a day when 18 wickets had fallen, all to seam, that such a phenomena would even cause a flicker on the radar of the pitch inspectors.

How prescient such thoughts would be later in the season.