Twist in the Tail But No Win for the Seconds

‘Will there be a twist in the tail?’ we asked at the conclusion of yesterday's report and indeed there was but not until late in the day when a burst of four wickets in three overs revived the possibility of a somerset win. But it was not to be as Gloucestershire’s ninth-wicket pair held on deep into the evening.

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 3rd – 6th 2022, Rockhampton Cricket Club, Day 3. Somerset 2nd XI 592 all out (Ben Green 150, Lewis Goldsworthy 196, Marchant de Lange 85)  Gloucestershire 2nd XI 189 (Ned Leonard 3/30, Lewis Goldsworthy 2/18) and 288/8 (Tryfonos 92, Wells 38, Aldridge 3/52, Leonard 3/56). Match drawn.

Somerset began the day needing eight wickets to secure back to back 2nd XI Championship wins. Ben Wells (32 not out) and Max Tryfonos (29 not out), saw the Gloucestershire second innings through to lunch on this the fourth and final days play without further loss, taking the overnight score of 54/2 to 107/2.  It is worth recalling that in the first innings these two only scored 19 runs between them.

The breakthrough that Somerset had been working for came in the 58th over, when Lewis Goldsworthy had Ben Wells caught at slip for an obdurate 38 when he pushed forward tp a ball outside his off stump, George Bartlett gratefully took the catch at first slip. Was this the portent of the clatter of wickets we longed for?

Unfortunately not, Max Tryfonos and Will Naish saw Gloucestershire through to the tea break on 178/3. Two sessions had yielded 124-1 on a surface that had clearly gone to sleep even more (if that is possible).

The new ball was taken directly after the break, but again wickets were not forthcoming, this 4th wicket partnership added a total of 70 runs before Kasey Aldridge removed Will Naish for 23, caught behind by Jamie Baird.

Now the wickets began to fall Kasey and Ned Leonard struck three more times deep into the last session, with the wickets of Chapman-Lilly for 28, Tryfonos, 92 and, the captain, Brewer, for a duck, all within the space of three overs. 

While the momentum was with Somerset time was against them. Two wickets still needed.  Lewis Goldsworthy removed Raza, lbw for 21 but the 9th wicket pairing of Trotman and Charlesworth saw Gloucestershire home to an unlikely draw. Somerset claiming 15 points to Gloucestershire 7.

Full match details here

The second XI championship is a weird thing, it is a competition more in name than nature. The true purpose is the development of the young players aspiring to play first-team cricket and a place for first-teamers recovering form or from injury. After two hard-fought games where the second string have won one and secured a winning draw in the other what ‘learnings’ can be taken this early in the season? 

Ben Green and Lewis Goldsworthy certainly came out of this match with much credit and must be at the top of the pecking order for a first-team place. Ned Leonard and Kasey Aldridge with match figures of 6/86 and 5/75 are clearly benefitting from Marchant de Lange’s presence in the side while Ollie Sale continues his careful recovery and, interestingly continued as skipper despite Ben Green’s return for this game. 

This wraps up a very successful first phase of four day matches for the Second XI. The next match being a T20 friendly with Gloucestershire at Taunton CC in a week’s time (Friday May 13th) followed by the first competitive T20 v Worcestershire on Monday 16th again at Taunton CC.  The 2nd XI championship will be back on 13th June with a game against Glamorgan at Abergavenny.

Details of the second XI fixtures are here on the club website