Bob Willis Trophy Central Group, Somerset v Glamorgan, Taunton, August 1 – 4 2020, Day 4 Somerset 296 (Davies 81*, Brooks 72, Lammonby 41) and 290 – 8 dec (Abell 119, Green 54, Hildreth 45 beat Glamorgan 131 (C Overton 5-38) and 166 (Cooke 82, J Overton 5-48) by 289 runs
72 minutes, 35 runs, 5 wickets, 21 points – and that was that.
Somerset wrapped up a 21-point victory in their opening Bob Willis Trophy game at Taunton with 45 minutes to spare before lunch. As comprehensive a win as anyone could have asked for.
Remembering all those nail-biting final days of the last two years there was a part of me which wondered if Wagg and Cooke would be together at lunch and irrationally, we all began to doubt Somerset’s ability to close out a win. That fear may not have been completely irrational given Jack and Dom’s absence in Manchester even though I’ve a lot of confidence in Roelof, but in the event we needn’t have worried.
The morning was dominated by, yup you guessed, Jamie Overton who was involved in four of the five wickets to fall. Wagg was first to go caught behind following a wide one to nick to the ‘keeper for just a single. To prove the old adage much loved by Anthony Gibson, “that’s what real pace does to a batsman” Wagg was induced into following one he should have left well alone.
Jamie’s celebration was priceless – check out the picture on the Somerset twitter feed – as Wagg, who is never short of a word or two for the batsmen when he is bowling, headed to the Andrew Caddick Pavilion.
Having got rid of one of the two main obstacles to victory in Wagg Overton then induced Glamorgan skipper Cooke to edge to Hildreth at first slip. Both ends were open. Kieran Bull who had hung around in the first innings was greeted with a snorter from Jamie. He survived another 27 balls before Overton completed his five-wicket haul by yorking the young off-spinner off stump. Ruaidhri Smith batting again with a runner scooped Josh Davey to a delighted Roelof at mid-wicket to give Josh Davey his first wicket of the innings.
The Glamorgan last pair were spared Jamie Overton, who had 3-16 in his spell, as Tom Abell saw fit to give Jack Brooks a turn at the River End. It took him just two balls to get Hogan to edge to the younger twin at second slip and that was all that was needed.
Craig Overton also merits a mention. He didn’t pick up a wicket on the last morning, finishing with 2-31 off 17 overs, but he was absolutely superb throughout. The pressure he created throughout the match contributed to dismissals at the other end. He looks an even better bowler than he did last season.
It isn’t overstating things to say this was, from tea on Saturday, the perfect performance from Somerset. With a side notably weakened by England absentees they were far superior to their opponents. Glamorgan will, I suspect, worry the other teams in this group this year. They are far from the worst side in the “Central” but having missed their chance on the first afternoon were never given another opportunity.
Another team performance with virtually everyone contributing significantly but for me there can only be one man of the match, Craig Overton for his hostility and skill throughout. Seven wickets to his name but his contribution was far bigger than that.
In a week when our minds have been focussed on departures the Somerset brains trust would do worse than look at Chris Cooke and Marchant de Lange as additions for 2021.
But for now, all is rosy on the field in the Cider County. We head to Northampton and should have Tom Banton and Lewis Gregory back while we still wait for news on George Bartlett.
And a special mention to Brendon on the Forum who predicted a win before lunch with Jamie Overton taking 5!