Rising Tide of Optimism

The overnight position of 49-1 would have caused the slightly nervous among Somerset supporters to worry that Yorkshire would chase down the 321 they had been set for an unlikely victory. 

In fairness after the threat of relegation that dogged the back end of the 2017 season such pessimism was entirely understandable. 

Lewis Gregory salved any such concerns with the wicket of Pujara with the first ball of the day. 49-2 seemed a lot more comfortable that 49-1. And that quickly became 67-3, 81-4, 99-5 and 103-6.

What could have been a tough day’s bowling was looking like completely the opposite in the lead up to lunch.

But the redoubtable Tim Bresnan had different ideas, and he now joined Jack Leaning to add 56 runs either side of lunch taking the requirement down to a still distant 162.

Tom Abell now bowled a threatening spell of six overs during which he made the crucial breakthrough removing Bresnan. Jack Brooks, batting at 9 produced a cameo 21 off just 16 balls but when he departed the end followed swiftly. The admirable Leaning was last man out for 68 leaving Somerset victors by 118 runs.

This was a gratifyingly all-round performance by Somerset. Significant contributions with the bat came from Renshaw, Hildreth and Abell and all the bowlers chipped in again in the second innings – Overton & Gregory 3-43 and 2-59 were the two bowlers who suffered at the hands of Brooks’ cameo. Abell’s 2-15 couldn’t have been better timed.

The only downside was an injury suffered by Josh Davey which curtailed his involvement on the last day.

A second victory in three days represents a hugely encouraging start to 2018. It may be too early for Somerset supporters to start dreaming of titles. But it seems reasonable to assume that, at the least, relegation will be none of our business this year.