Second XI Championship Somerset Second XI v Surrey Second XI, June 28 to July 1 2021, Taunton Cricket Club, Day 4 Somerset 256-9 dec (Byrom 67, Davies 44, Baird 31 and 226-5 dec (Byrom 107, Young 31, Davies 30) beat Surrey 96 (Leonard 3-20, Barlow 3-7) and 301 (Baker 3-49) by 85 runs
For those of you who like omens a Somerset side beating the south Londoners in a four-day championship game in July is a good one given the potentially crucial group 2 game starting next weekend.
This was a team performance with no individual standing out. A delightfully collective team effort did what was necessary on the last day to seal the win. Sonny Baker took 3-49, Casey Aldridge, Ned Leonard and Greg Barlow picked up two a piece. to bowl Surrey out within the three sessions (92nd over) today to win by 85 runs.
Wickets fell steadily during the three sessions; three before lunch, four during the afternoon session and with Surrey looking to hold out for the draw the final wicket fell with 3 overs remaining.
At 172-7 in the 59th over the hard work seemed to have been done but an eight wicket stand 90 in 24 overs between Virdi (45) and wicket keeper Mead (58) backing up three hour 86 from Gumb looked like denying Somerset. Aldridge broke the partnership removing Virdi thanks to a Ned Leonard catch and 10 overs later Mead was bowled by Barlow to seal the with just 3.1 overs left.
A great win for the Seconds with further evidence that this crop of youngsters are getting closer to following the footsteps of Tom Lammonby last year and Lewis Goldsworthy and Will Smeed this into the senior side. The hard work being done by Greg Kennis and the coaching team, which goes unnoticed by many and some is providing real optimism that Somerset will remain in contention in the County Championship for many more years. Somerset supporters should reflect with pride on a development programme which is the envy of every other first class county.
Eddie Byrom was not there to see the confusion heading to Bristol but he can reflect on a job well done with bat and as skipper and hope that, like Steve Davies he will be part of the first-team squad for the County Championship match against Leicestershire starting on Sunday.