Roelof’s Ton Leads Stunning Recovery

From 66-4 at lunch Roelof van der Merwe and Kasey Aldridge turned things round dramatically on day 1 of the 2nd XI Cahmpionship at Taunton CC

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 Nottinghamshire Second XI, April 25th – 28th 2022, Taunton Cricket Club Day 1: Somerset Second XI 326/8 (Roelof van der Merwe 115, Kasey Aldridge 80)

It was something of a surprise, in the context of the remarks made by Head Coach Jason Kerr, following the defeat by Surrey, that there was plenty of Second XI cricket to be played this week, implying for many that we would see a sprinkling of first XI regulars in today’s side, when Second XI Coach, Greg Kennis named pretty much what we expected in his side: Ollie Sale, Ben Green, Will Smeed, George Bartlett, Roelof van der Merwe, Marchant de Lange, Ned Leonard, Kasey Aldridge,

Lewis Goldsworthy, Dylan Church, Jack Harding and Adam Small. 

So Tom Banton and Josh Davey remain in the First team squad and Ben Green and RvdM were given the opportunity for time in the middle, neither having played a game last week.

We may well see some changes mid-game depending on how the fitness position of Craig Overton, Josh Davey and Lewis Gregory evolves this week. 

Nottinghamshire Squad: Nottinghamshire named a full Second XI squad, none of their players being involved in their 2nd Division match v Durham. M Montgomery*, SG Budinger, D Schadendorf†, CG Harrison, ZJ Chappell, M Carter, Ben Martindale, AJ Neal, THS Pettman, SIM King, JT Ball, JPH Hayes.

Notable among the names here are the tall off-spinner Matt Carter, quick Zak Chappell and former England seamer Jake Ball. Thanks to BBC Nottingham’s Dave Bracegirdle for giving us the inside track on Ball, he is working his wasy back to full fitness following a back injury. Hopefully it won’t be too long before he is back in the Notts first XI.

Nottinghamshire won the toss and on a rather green looking pitch unsurprisingly elected to bowl first.

I should add (and congratulate) Somerset’s Digital Media Executive Ben Warren and his team for getting the Somerset Live Stream up and running at Taunton CC. Much appreciated it was with over 100 viewers on the stream, including a Somerset supporter from the Philippines.

The morning session belonged undoubtedly to Nottinghamshire. Opening for Somerset, Dylan Church who made a magnificent hundred last week only lasted 2 deliveries falling to a catch behind off the bowling of Neal for 0. 

Ben Green lasted a little longer (27 deliveries) but only managed to score 2 runs. The other first team hopefuls, Lewis Goldsworthy (27), George Bartlett (24) and Will Smeed (33) all made good starts but failed to push on and further their case to be on the squad for Thursday. That number six place in the batting line-up is still up for grabs!

At lunch Somerset had struggled to 66/4, When Will Smeed was bowled by Jake Ball the home side were on 101/6. Thereafter Roelof and Kasey Aldridge took over and punished the Nottinghamshire bowlers with boundaries all around the ground. If it was Nottinghamshire’s morning it was definitely Somerset’s afternoon and evening.

Their 6th wicket partnership spanned 42.2 overs adding 160 runs of which Kasey contributed exactly half before falling LBW to Harrison. Ned Leonard came and went (bowled by Harrison for 0), but Roelof found another supportive partner in skipper Ollie Sale, reaching his century off 153 balls, in 194 minutes (including 11x4s & 1×6). 

Kasey Aldridge – a crucial 80 runs in a seventh-wicket stand of 160 with Roelof

Van der Merwe was given out adjudged caught behind on 115 – the replay looked as if his was well clear of the ball – trying to duck under a short-pitched bouncer. He clearly felt hard done by, looking rather disgruntled as he walked off. 

Despite the disappointment of his dismissal Roelof can be really pleased with this fine effort which totally transformed the game. Ollie Sale and Adam Small saw out the final few overs; Somerset closing on 326/8 with three batting points in the bag.

A few quick runs this morning and then a bowling performance to match Notts efforts on the first day would do very nicely. With a place potentially available in the first team bowling attack Somerset supporters will be keen to see Kasey follow up his 80 with the ball on day 2.

The scoreboard and live stream can be found here