Toms Toy with Tottering ‘Shire

23rd August 2020

Bob Willis Trophy Central Group, Somerset v Gloucestershire, Taunton, August 22 – 25 2020, Day 2 Somerset 237 (Bartlett 100*, C Overton 32, Brooks 24) and 223-1 dec (Lammonby 101*, Abell 101*) lead Gloucestershire 76 & 15-3 by 370 runs

One of those days where you don’t need to analyse the details of the day. One of those days where the scorecard perfectly summarises the state of the game. Somerset, having bowled their near neighbours out for 76 in the morning session in just 38 more overs then proceeded to score virtually three times that amount of runs in 5 overs for the loss of just one wicket.

And then for good measure in the eight overs remaining in the day picked up three top order second innings wickets for just 14 runs. Where for the previous two sessions batting had looked as easy as you like it had become a perilous prospect for batsmen.

In fact the domination of bat over ball for Somerset in the majority of this second day was even greater than the scorecard as poor Eddie Byrom departed for just 6 when the score was 12. The second wicket pair both posted identical unbeaten centuries (101) in a stand of 211. For Abell it was his second century of the season at Taunton, for Lammonby a huge stepping-stone in a fledgling career. For the pair it was a second wicket record against Gloucester.

Josh Davey struck in the second innings with a brute of a ball, something that neither of the top order Tom’s had had to face in the entirety of their partnership and in the following over Craig Overton got the Gloucester captain lbw 5-2. A nadir which prompted Anthony Gibson to muse, almost distractedly, “poor old Gloucestershire”. 

Not a bit of it. No pity here. As Jason Kerr regularly preaches when you are on top of an opponent you have to utterly dominate them. The standards that Somerset set themselves was encapsulated in the final ball of Josh Davey’s third over. His frustration at a loose ball which was dispatched to the boundary, his one poor ball in his opening spell, was evident even though the opposition were, as a result of that boundary 14-2. That was so good to see.

And with his very next ball, the first of his last ball of the day, Davey picked up his second wicket to finish with 7-2. A win by 300 runs? That would do nicely thank you.

Worcestershire closed on 170-0 still 185 adrift of Warwickshire on a surface that clearly is emphasising the “road” in New Road.  It is going to require a monumental collapse on the part of Warwickshire in their second innings to produce a positive result for the Pears.

Of the other three teams in the mix, none have progressed beyond the first innings and with a slightly iffy weather forecast across the country it is hard to see any positive results at Durham, Headingley or Arundel. If Somerset can complete the job tomorrow they will, most assuredly, be in pole position with one round of games to go.

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