Second XI Championship Somerset Second XI v Northamptonshire Second XI, September 6th-9th 2021, Desborough Town CC, Kettering
Day 4 – Northamptonshire 244 all out (Miller 69, Mehmi 60, Goldsworthy 3/27, Pearson-Taylor 3/42) and 339 all out (Thurston 129, Berg 94, Harry Robbins 4/47 + a runout); lost to Somerset 2nd XI 685/8 declared (Chris Gibson 129, Lewis Goldsworthy 110, Sam Young 203 not out, Ned Leonard 97) by an innings and 102 runs.
If you needed more proof that scoreboard pressure is a thing this was a morning for you. Northamptonshire were swept aside just after lunch to secure a comprehensive innings victory. Hopefully the morale boost will extend across the whole playing squad over the next few days and the first XI can bounce back at Taunton and replicate this stunning victory.
There are those that are sniffy about second team cricket saying that runs scored there don’t really count, wickets likewise. Nonsense. You’ll never hear anything of the like here. This is Somerset cricket and after a couple of strange years the signs that our second team continues to produce high quality performers ready for a chance in the fist XI are very encouraging.
And those signs were there for all to see after a stunning morning in Kettering. We anticipated that on the sort of high scoring pitch that this game had been played on for the first three days it would be difficult to claim the remaining eight wickets on the final day.
Well Somerset 2nds almost did that before lunch claiming seven Northamptonshire wickets in the morning session. From an overnight 209-2 Charlie Thurston was first go after adding only 12 to his overnight 117. Miller (4) was run out by Harry Robbins and Basra was caught behind for 16. The wicket of the hugely experienced Gareth Berg six short of his hundred (152 balls including 14x4s and 3x6s) bowled by Harry Robbins left Northamptonshire on 274/5.
Four more wickets before lunch, 286, 287 and two at 298 enabled Kasey Aldridge to claim the extra half hour but stubborn resistance by Mehmi and last man Hood enabled Northamptonshire to get to lunch on 338/9 after 79 overs, still 103 runs behind the figure needed to make Somerset bat again.
It took only 11 balls after lunch to wrap things up as captain Kasey Aldridge, showing the sort of killer instinct we love from our Somerset heroes, took the new ball and 5 balls later took the catch to dismiss Mehmi for 24 off the bowling of Harry Robbins to give the debutant match figures of 5/80.
Northamptonshire were all out for 339 giving Somerset a winning margin of an innings and 102 runs.
Sadly, only one more game to cover this season v Hampshire at the Aegeas Bowl on September 14th #SecondsWatch will be back next Tuesday.