Somerset lead Worcestershire by 127 runs with all ten second innings wickets in hand at the half-way point at Worcester

Worcestershire v Somerset, New Road Worcester, day two, July 23rd 2018 Somerset 337 and 47-0 Worcestershire 257 (J |Overton 4-61, J Davey 4-68)

And repeat ….. “Teams in championship contention need days like this. Not flashy, headline-grabbing days but hard yards days where foundations are built.”

Somerset established a decent 80 run lead on first innings at Worcester on day two of the Championship and thanks to Marcus Trescothick and Eddie Byrom increased that to 127 with all ten second innings wickets intact by the close.

But it could have been so much better.

When Craig Overton and Josh Davey struck twice in the space of four balls bottom of the table Worcestershire were 120-7 still 67 short of the follow-on. Somerset’s bowlers had shown discipline and skill to move into such a strong position and while helped by their opponents’ evident lack of confidence would have been confident of making a decisive move in the game.

But Luke Wood, on loan from Nottinghamshire, showed guts and resilience that his new teammates couldn’t. His unbeaten 65 with the support of Ross Whitley and Dillon Pennington added 130 for the eighth and ninth wickets, more than doubling the home side’s total and no doubt increasing the embarrassment of the more recognised batsmen.

Jamie Overton’s return was a remarkable one. On another day he could have picked up six or seven victims as he bowled with pace, rhythm and hostility throughout his 15 over spell. Evidence of the threat he posed was seen in the difficulty Mooen Ali experienced facing the younger twin. The England all-rounder will not be looking forward to the second innings!

The Worcestershire innings, despite the lower order heroics was wrapped up inside 64 overs meaning that Marcus Trescothick and Eddie Byrom had to negotiate 22 overs in the final hour and a half. Thus they did with some aplomb raising hopes that Somerset can bat big and at the same time give themselves ample time to complete the job on the final day