Nail-biting Draw at Taunton Cricket Club

Somerset Second XI survive a long afternoon with their last pair at the crease at the close to snatch a draw on the last day at Taunton Cricket Club

Mike Unwin

Mike moved to Montacute (4.5 miles from Yeovil) in 1952, he started watching Somerset in 1956 and has been a supporter ever since. In retirement, when not at the County Ground or Taunton Vale watching the Somerset Second XI, he can be found, volunteering at the Ilminster Arts supporting the Stock and Sales system or in the Somerset Cricket Museum cataloguing the collection items and putting them online, on the museum’s website

Second XI Championship Somerset Second XI v Gloucestershire Second XI, May 3rd – 6th 2021, Taunton Cricket Club, Day 3 Somerset Second XI 197/5 dec (Ben Green 74, Jamie Rew 70 not out) trail Gloucestershire Second XI 268 (Ned Leonard 5/76 Ari Karvales 4/48) and 100-3 by 171 runs

There were more “ground delays” in the morning between which Gloucestershire progressed to 172/6 before declaring. The visitor’s top scorer with 53 not out was Matt Hammond – scoring his half century from 84 deliveries. Ned Leonard (2/72) Ari  Karvales (2/46) and Ben Green (2/30) shared the wickets. The declaration left Somerset requiring 244 runs to win, in 52 overs.

Somewhat unconventionally,  Somerset continued where they had left off in their first innings with Jamie Rew and Jamie Baird opening the innings. Rew’s was the  first wicket to fall having scored 43, Jamie Baird then ‘Retired Out’ on 20 to make way for Tom Banton who was looking for a good innings to rebuild his confidence. Tom briskly set about the target but was unable to make the substantial contribution his side needed if they were to chase down a stiff target, caught on 44 off 58 balls with six fours and a six. 

Wickets fell consistently after that until the last two came together on 155 needing 89 to win with 20 overs remaining.

One cannot tell from NV play whether the final result was as a result of brilliant tail end batting, ‘friendly’ bowling, agreements between the captains or a combination of all three, but survive they did, closing on 178/9, 66 runs short of the winning line.

So a good game for the Second team with plenty of positives to take from the match; notably the bowling of Ned Leonard with 7 wickets in the match; the performances of the two young wicket keepers, with Jamie Rew taking 7 catches in the first innings; the 74 scored by Ben Green when a captains innings was needed; Jamie Rew’s batting 70 not out and 43; and last but not least the 44 scored by Tom Banton – a welcome return to form!

In other Second XI Watch news: Kent v Northamptonshire- Nathan Gilchrist 65 (for Kent) and Paul van Meekeren 5/57 (for Northants).