Second XI T20 Friendlies: Somerset Second XI v Cardiff UCCE, May 19th 2021, Coopers Associates County Ground, Taunton. Somerset 206-7 (Tom Banton 57, Roelof van Der Merwe 88) Cardiff UCCE 126-8 (Max Waller 3-25). Somerset won by 80 runs.
Somerset Squad: Somerset Second XI Coach, Greg Kennis included the following in the squad: Kasey Aldridge, Tom Banton, Jack Brooks, Marchant de Lange, Ben Green, Tom Lammonby, Ned Leonard, James Rew, Will Smeed, Roelof van der Merwe, Max Waller and Sam Young.
Much to the disappointment for Somerset Second XI Supporters (well at least one of them) it was announced that “Somerset County Cricket Club’s Second XI fixture that was due to be played at Taunton Cricket Club had been moved to the Cooper Associates County Ground and we played behind closed doors. That cherished day of watching live cricket in Taunton will have to wait …. just a little longer.
Wll Smeed’s frustrating season continued. Opening with Tom Banton, he was caught in the second over having scored just 1 run. That early loss didn’t appear to hamper the home side’s progress. Tom Banton (47) and Roelof van Der Merwe (11) saw Somerset move quickly on to 59/1 at the end of the power play. Banton was relishing his return to white ball action with four 6 and four 4s in that first six over spell.
Tom was eventually dismissed for 57 off just 34 balls but RvdM took over the lead role moving rapidly to 88 of 46 balls (seven 4s and five 6s). When he was dismissed Somerset were already 174-4. A mid slump saw Somerset “only” able to reach 206-7 off the 20 overs. The Marchant of Menace tending with a flourish with 14 runs off 4 balls.
The Somerset bowling was opened in familiar fashion by Max Waller. Jack Brooks took two wickets in the second over. Jacques Banton (caught Lammonby bowled Brooks) for 3.
At the end of the power play the Students had reached 40-3 . The batsmen were never able to break the shackles of a reassuringly tight performance by the Somerset bowling unit, limiting the visitors to 126-8 at the end of their twentieth over, The wickets were shared between Max Waller (3-25) Roleof van Der Merwe (2-18) Jack Brooks (2-28) and Ben Green (1-27).
Supporters looking for pointers to the Blast campaign will have noted Marchant taking the ‘death’ over. Something that cost Somerset a place in the knock out phase last year.
Whilst one cannot read too much into this friendly against a UCCE side it was good to see runs flowing from Tom Banton and RvdM again and a glimpse at the first XI’s plans for next month. And at least we got two brothers on the pitch on opposite sides this week