Abell Takes Control

The Somerset skipper made a crucial 82 to steer Somerset to a position of strength on Day 2. Could he have an equally significant part to play with the ball on day 3?

County Championship Division One, Taunton, April 28-30 2018 – Yorkshire 96 and 49-1 trail Somerset 216 & 200 by 272 runs

It was perhaps surprising after the game had moved on at such a pace on day one that only eleven wickets fell on the second day at Taunton. This could be attributed in no small part to the three stoppages for bad light which were spread throughout the day. But given that batting conditions were no easier the bowlers would have considered this a poor return for their efforts.

While a fourth-innings target of 321 at Taunton is always going to be a tough ask there will be seeds of doubt sprinkled among local minds by Yorkshire’s progress to 49-1 at the close.

Professional cricketers do not think like that so there is little doubt that Tom Abell and his bowlers will be in good spirits ahead of day three. That sentence may need refining soon though as Tom Abell if, as many of us hope, has the confidence to use himself more. He has shown that he should be included in the hurlers collective in all our minds. His ability to take crucial wickets is uncanny. He has the potential to be a real weapon this season.

It was with the bat however on day two that the skipper made a significant contribution. Having subsided to 24-4 Somerset were in some peril but a leader’s 82 off 137 balls re-asserted Somerset’s control. Ably supported by Steven Davies (33) the fifth-wicket pair added 66. 

Double figure contributions from Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Dom Bess and Josh Davey added further support for Abell who was last out.

In such a low scoring game Yorkshire will already be rueing dropping Abell twice, especially the first such occasion when he was on just 24.

Day three beckons with the prospect of a 2 from 2 start to Somerset’s 2018 Championship campaign. While not being cause for getting carried away just yet it makes the prospects a lot brighter than the relegation-threatened summer of 2017.