Second XI Championship Somerset Second XI v Glamorgan Second XI, June 13th – 16th 2022, Abergavenny Cricket Club, Days 3 & 4
Somerset Second XI 314 (Andrew Umeed 125, Will Smale 74) & 337/9 innings closed (Ollie Sale ‘absent’) (George Bartlett 118, Xavi Clarke 114, Will Smale 53, Lewis 4/82, Harris 3/70). Glamorgan 529 all out. (Bevan 122 Taylor 73, Douthwaite 72 Harris 42, Jack Harding 4/132, Ned Leonard 3/111) and 127/4 (Taylor 42 not out) – Glamorgan won by 6 wickets
Starting the day on 428 for six, Glamorgan added 101 before eventually being dismissed for 529, a first innings lead of 215.
Fahid Sabir who picked up one of the wickets on the third morning is another newcomer to Somerset, one of eight non-contracted players in this second XI side, he plays for Ombersley in the Birmingham Premier League and has made several appearances for Devon this year alongside second-teamers Jamie Baird and Adam Small.
Undaunted by the large deficit, Somerset’s reached 136/2 by the tea interval having lost the two openers with only 23 on the board. A century partnership between George Bartlett and Xavi Clarke (brother of Nottinghamshire’s Joe) at the break was extended to 208 before George Bartlett was caught by Callum Taylor off the bowling of Phillips for a very welcome return to form 118. George’s innings lasted a minute short of 3 hours and included 13 fours and 2 sixes. Let’s hope Lachlan Stevens words of wisdom are part of the reason got Bartlett’s ton.
At the end of the day’s play, Xavi Clarke was still there on exactly 100 after 205 minutes having scored 44 of them in boundaries – Somerset closed on 259/3, a lead of 44 runs.
Any aspirations of setting Glamorgan a challenging second innings target target were dealt a blow diminished when news came through that the captain Ollie Sale would be ‘absent’ from the batting line up on the last day.
Nevertheless, Xavi Clarke and Will Smale continued from where they left off on the third evening Clarke eventually falling for114 off 140 deliveries including 14 fours, (278/4). Thereafter, only Will Smale took the fight to Glamorgan reaching 53 before being caught and bowled by Harris, hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes in his innings which lasted for two hours. Sadly none of the other lower order batters reached double figures as the innings subsided to 337 – a lead of 122. against the bowling of the experienced Dan Douthwaite and teenager Rhodri Lewis, Jay Terry was caught by Douthwaite bowled Lewis without scoring George Barlow (1) was caught behind by keeper Alex Horton off the bowling of Dan Douthwaite, Ned Leonard (8) was stumped Alex Horton, bowled Rhodri Lewis, and the last wicket to fall was that of Fahid Sabir (9) caught Friend again bowled Rhodri Lewis leaving Harry Startin on 0 not out. Lewis finishing with bowling figures of 4/82 and Harris with 3/70.
A faint hope of Somerset securing a positive result pervaded at the Abergavenny Cricket Club either side of lunch, as the top three batters were back in the pavilion with the score on just 23. Friend was bowled by Ned Leonard for 0 in the first over, followed by Cooke (9) caught George Bartlett of the bowling of George Barlow and Nicholls (4) caught by Will Smale, off Ned Leonard.
The departure of Bevan (32) giving Will Smale his second catch gave Somerset a bit more of a glimmer of hope but in truth at 79/4 the back of the run chase was broken. Callum Taylor (42 not out) and Dan Douthwaite (31 not out) wrapped up proceedings giving Glamorgan a victory by 6 wickets in the 27th over.
Given the very nature of this Somerset side it is hard to draw any useful conclusions from this match. While Bartlett’s century is good to see he has falling a long way down the pecking order and will probably have to one for the RLODC to stake a claim for championship cricket this season. Xavi Clarke’s inclusions and runs are intriguing and the experience gained by an almost third-string side will be valuable in the future we hope.
The Second XI now take a break before their next match on Monday 4th July against Northamptonshire at Taunton CC. With exams finished and no first XI red ball game until the following week we may well see a much stronger team for that game,