Reading The Runes

Preparations for the red-ball Bob Willis Trophy moved up a notch this week with an intra-squad game at Taunton

On Sunday, weather permitting, some three and a half months after we all expected Somerset to begin their 2020 Championship campaign Somerset will begin their final warm-up game – not a friendly – against the old enemy from Bristol.

With several of the squad away in the two England bio-bubbles this presents an opportunity for some of the fringe players to stake a claim to a place in the side for the opening Bob Willis Trophy game, rumoured to be against Glamorgan starting on 1st August at Taunton.

The players have this week been participating in an intra-squad game played under championship rules at the Cooper Associates County Ground with Team Abell defeating Team Bartlett by an innings and 12 runs.

It goes without saying that games like this are rarely accurate pointers to the season ahead, doubly so after the events of the year so far but I’m going to have a go anyway.

Eddie Byrom bagged a pair, a first-baller in the second innings dismissed both times by Josh Davey. Tom Lammonby picked up 4-41 in the first innings and 2-20 in the second innings while Lewis Goldsworthy took 3-12 and made 59 batting at number 6. Both will be hoping for a chance in the Gloucestershire game. Will Smeed made 48 batting at 3 for Abell’s side.

Of the established first teamers George Bartlett made a half-century in the first innings but also bagged a duck in the second innings as Jamie Overton reduced Bartlett’s side to 1-2.

James Hildreth scored 1 and 5 but Roleof van der Merwe stood out with 61 and 66 in a losing cause.

Steven Davies made a 131 ball hundred and Jamie Overton, batting at 7 made 41 off 60 balls without a six!

Tom Abell batted at 3 but could only make 2 but he did pick up 2-22 off 8 overs in his usual golden arm style.

So, if we were to pick a side from this game to face Gloucestershire my guess is it would look like this:

Abell, Byrom, Bartlett, Hildreth, Smeed, Davies, Lammonby, van der Merwe, Goldsworthy, J Overton, Davey,