Rockhampton Road?

A superb batting performance on a shortened first day for Somerset's top 3. But, wonders Mike Unwin, is this another case of a batter-friendly surface in Gloucestershire?

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 Gloucestershire Second XI, May 2nd – 4th 2022, Rockhampton Cricket Club Somerset Second XI 226/1, Ben Green 131 not out, Lewis Goldsworthy 63 not out. 

Somerset Second XI: Coach, Greg Kennis named the following squad for this fixture: Ollie Sale (captain), George Bartlett, Ben Green, Will Smeed, Lewis Goldsworthy, Marchant de Lange, Kasey Aldridge, Ned Leonard, Max Horton, Jamie Baird, Dylan Church and Ben Fletcher.

We welcome both Jamie Baird on his return to the Second team and Ben Fletcher, well known for his appearances with Dorset CCC for his Somerset debut.

Gloucestershire Second XI. This strong-looking Gloucestershire team includes OJ Price, GFB Scott, IA Cockbain, JMR Taylor, MM Tryfonos, BJJ Wells, WL Naish, MJM Brewer†, J Shaw, JD Warner*, DC Goodman, LA Charlesworth.

Clearly a good toss to win for Ollie Sale, his batsmen fully justifying the decision to bat, reaching a total of 226/1 after 68 on a day shortened by bad light. Play closed shortly after 5:00 pm.

Somerset’s openers Ben Green and Dylan Church made a brisk start to the innings adding 55 in just over 20 overs. The pair’s initial progress was slowed by the introduction of Dom Goodman, a 21-year-old medium pacer from Kent, to the attack. Goodman bowled 10 overs on the first day for just 10 runs including 5 maidens and who took the only wicket to fall, that of Dylan Church, bowled for 19. 

Enter Lewis Goldsworthy, continuing his fine form since re-joining the second alongside Green he took  Somerset through to lunch on a score of 83/1. 

The afternoon session was even more productive, yielding a further 125 runs, tea being taken with Somerset on 208/1, Green 116 and Goldsworthy 60. Ben Green’s century came in 147 deliveries and included 14x 4s and Lewis Goldsworthy’s half-century, taking a little longer, 111 balls (including 6 x 4s). The pair added another 60 after tea before the gloom won out for the day.

Goldsworthy had a couple of lives. He was dropped by the keeper and at short mid-wicket but battled hard with his fluency improving as his innings went on. Green’s knock was virtually faultless.

So what can we deduce from the day’s play? Excellent batting by the Somerset against what, Dom Goodman apart was clearly some average bowling by Gloucestershire’s on a pitch that offered very little with a definite lack of pace and carry. There is the caveat, as ever, that we won’t know how good (or otherwise) the pitch is until Gloucestershire bat. You would hope that Messrs deLange, Sale, Leonard and Aldridge would be able to extract more than we saw from the bowlers today. 

Following the Glosters first XI’s “bore draw” against Surrey which was destined for stalemate long before rain washed out the last day one wonders if we might see a case of the road ant Nevil Road has just moved across to Rockhampton- we shall see.

But before that, there is some more batting for Somerset to do, with the interest being on whether Green and Goldsworthy can go on and whether George Bartlett and Will Smeed can also add to their claims for a first XI place. 

Exciting Times.