ECB Second XI T20 Championship Central Group, Somerset Second XI v Worcestershire Second XI, May 16th 2022, Taunton Cricket Club
Somerset Second XI 118/1, Will Smeed 54 not out, George Bartlett 43 not out beat Worcestershire Second XI 117 (19.5 overs, Green 2-17, Goldsworthy 2-13) by 9 wickets with 7 overs to spare
Somerset Second XI: Somerset Second: Ben Green, Jack Brooks, George Bartlett, Roelof van der Merwe, Marchant de Lange, Max Waller, Lewis Goldsworthy, Ned Leonard, Kasey Aldridge, Will Smeed and Jamie Baird. Notable absentee is the 2nd XI championship captain Ollie Sale.
Worcestershire Second XI: Gareth Roderick, Tom Fell, Oli Cox, Kashif Ali, Jacques Banton, Taylor Cornall, Henry Cullen, Roshan Balaji, Josh Dickenson, James Rudge and Jack Warner.
Somerset Second XI won the toss and elected to bowl first.
A dominant performance by the Somerset Second XI as they overwhelmed the visitors, who were restricted to 117 all out in 19.5 overs. Will Smeed (54 not out) and George Bartlett (43 not out) then put together an unbroken 88 run second-wicket stand to see Somerset home with 7 overs to spare and 9 wickets in hand.
Worcestershire never recovered from losing 4 wickets during the power play where runouts by Max Waller and Lewis Goldsworthy saw Tom Fell (5) and Kashif Ali (0) return to the pavilion with the score on 13. The excellent fielding was further underlined by a third run out when Roleof van der Merwe and Ben Green combined in the 19th over to remove Henry Cullen for 15.
This was an all-round team performance with Ben Green and Lewis Goldsworthy claiming 2 wickets each. Green had Gareth Roderick (1) and Taylor Cornwall (7) caught by Will Smeed and Kasey Aldridge respectively; whilst the left arm spin of Goldsworthy accounted for Roshan Balaji (bowled 14) and Josh Dickenson (caught De Lange 18). Marchant de Lange, Max Waller and Jack Brooks taking the other three wickets. The economy rates of the Somerset attack were all impressive with Max Waller standing out at 3.5per over.
From a Worcestershire perspective, Henry Cullen’s seventh wicket stand of 20 with Roshan Balaji and eighth wicket partnership of 21 with Josh Dickenson, were the highlights of the innings
In truth, 117 was never going to be enough and so it proved, the power play yielding 56 runs for the loss of Kasey Aldridge (bowled by Roshan Balsji for 19). The decision to open with Aldridge, who didn’t bowl is an intriguing one. 19 off 11 balls with 4 fours was a useful contribution. Thereafter Will and George were never in trouble facing 37 and 43 balls respectively. Both hit three boundaries and 3 maximums.
With the First X1 taking on Hampshire in the County Championship later this week the push for a place in the firsts T20 line-up continues with a fixtures away to Glamorgan on Wednesday May 18th and at home to Northamptonshire on Thursday May 19th. It seems a safe bet that, unless there is an injury crisis this week, and with the possible exception of Jack Brooks, the players we saw today will stay in T20 mode until the first T20 Blast match on 25th May at Canterbury, a rematch of last year’s final.