Kasey’s Boys Crumbs of Comfort

Somerset's second XI started their last four day game of the season with a strong bowling performance on a truncated first day in Southampton. The question now is can their batsmen build a big lead on day 2?

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 www.somersetcricketmuseum.co.uk

Second XI Championship Somerset Second XI v Hampshire Second XI, September 14th-17th 2021, The Ageas Bowl (Nursery Ground), Southampton, Day 1 – Hampshire 186 All Out (A. Eckland 49, George Barlow 3/51)

Somerset’s second team, depleted by the absence of Jamie Rew, Sonny Baker and Greg Thomas (still with the England U19s) and Lewis Goldsworthy and Ned Leonard to the First XI, lined up as follows: Chris Gibson, Greg Willows, George Bartlett, Sam Young, Max Tryfonos, Kasey Aldridge (captain), Billy Mead (wicket keeper), George Barlow, Luke Pearson-Taylor, Barney Fitch, Harry Robbins and Jack Pierce.

The three new members of the team making their first appearance for Somerset Second XI are: Max Tryfonos who has represented Gloucestershire Second XI earlier this season, Barney Fitch, who played junior cricket with Tunbridge Wells CC and was on the Somerset U18 winter program and Jack Pierce who was with Notts U15s.

Hampshire Squad FS Middleton*, M Du Plooy, ZA Malik, A Eckland, H Broderick, J Eckland†, J Wright, JA Trodd, B Huntley, J Croom, JA Turner, K Khanna

A “genuine” second XI contest given the division one pre-occupations of both counties. Kasey Aldridge won the toss and unsurprisingly on a day where the start was delayed until 1.45 by rain elected to bowl.

When the game did get underway, on the Southampton Nursery Ground, immediately adjacent to the main ground where Hampshire’s spinners were wreaking havoc on Notts Championship challenge, Somerset’s bowlers took full advantage of the conditions to dismiss Hampshire for 186 in 59.2 overs.

The story of the day was of a steady fall of wickets. The opening pair, Middleton (c Mead b Barlow for 4) and Du Plooy (c Gibson b Pearson-Taylor for 10) were dismissed within the first 10 overs reducing Hampshire to 33-2. The third wicket pair doubled the score before Malik (who had previously played for Somerset seconds) fell lbw to Barlow for 27.

Hampshire’s biggest partnership of the innings added 58 for the fourth wicket between Eckland and Broderick before the latter was caught behind by Billy Mead off George Barlow for 26. Top scorer Alex Eckland (born in Yeovil,and ex Millfield School) was next go (lbw b Robbins) for 49 followed quickly by his brother Joe for 9 to reduce Hampshire to 145-6. 

The last four wickets fell added 39 but no pair showed any sign of permanence. Hampshire’s number 7, J Wright was left unbeaten on 17 off 72 balls.

The pick of the Somerset bowlers were George Barlow with 3/51 off 13 overs, Luke Pearson-Taylor 2/20 off 9 overs and Barney Fitch 2/42 off 9.2 overs. Interestingly for the second successive game Kasey Aldridge did not bowl himself.

With a fine day forecast for tomorrow Kasey’s young team will look to build on the advantageous position created by the bowling unit and build a large first innings lead.