1st December 2020

New Zealand were made to work hard for their runs on first day against Somerset

New Zealand were made to work hard for their runs at the County Ground on a rain shortened day when only 59 overs of play were possible.

An accurate Somerset attack which included debutant Josh Davey found some life in the greenish looking wicket throughout the day limited the touring side that included a number of young and inexperienced to 202 for seven.

Davey bowled beautifully especially in the morning session to claim his first two wickets for Somerset, while Tim Groenewald and Jim Allenby produced their best performances so far for the Club to claim three and two respectively.

Afterwards Davey said:

“This is something that I have worked towards for 18 months, since I joined the Club. The wicket offered some assistance and the ball did swing so I just tried to stick to basics. I tried to keep it simple and try to get a good line and length and the pitch offered a bit of movement.

“It offered some assistance throughout the day and of you hit a good line and length consistently you could get the batsmen moving forward and there was always a chance.

Looking towards the morning Josh Davey said: “We need to get those three remaining wickets as quickly as we can and then put them under pressure when we bat.”

The start was delayed by rain, but when the game commenced at 12.30 Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford both looked at ease and had taken the score onto 31 off eight overs when Davey was brought into the attack from the River End .

With his third delivery the 24 year old who bowls slightly above medium pace accounted for Latham caught by ‘keeper Alex Barrow for six.

Rutherford was hurrying along and had moved onto 37 when Davey, who was getting the ball to move away from the left hander struck again when the opener gave a chance to first slip where Jim Allenby took the catch.

By the end of the morning session Davey had sent down three overs and claimed two wickets for one run.

Rain during the lunch interval caused to a delayed re-start and the loss of a further seven overs but when Ross Taylor hit the third ball after lunch to the third man boundary he saw up the 50 for the tourists.

Taylor and Mitchell Santner added 55 for the third wicket but with the score on 99 Santner on 27 was caught and bowled by Tim Groenewald.

The former Derbyshire bowler struck again in his next over when he had Luke Ronchi well caught at short extra cover by Tom Abell for eight off a leading edge which made New Zealand 109 for four.

When the acting Somerset captain Pete Trego introduced Allenby into the attack from the Somerset Pavilion End he was rewarded almost immediately as the all rounder first of all had Taylor caught by Barrow for 32 and not long after claimed Mark Craig leg before as he looked to play across the line which saw the visitors 133 for six.

Doug Bracewell survived a chance between first slip and the wicket-keeper off Allenby early on before taking three of the same bowler two overs later to see up the 150.

Bracewell took his score onto 20 when he was caught by Barrow looking to drive Groenewald which saw New Zealand 190 for seven. His partnership with Watling added 57 runs in 15.4 overs.

Watling continued on his way towards his New Zealand’s first half century which he duly achieved when he took a single to wide mid off from the bowling of Overton, his runs coming from 83 balls with nine 4s.

In the fading light the Somerset bowlers continued to make run scoring hard and three balls after Neil Wagner took four off left arm spinner Abdur Rehman’s third ball of the match the players left the field with New Zealand 202 for seven with 16 overs remaining still to be bowled.

To date Groenewald has taken three for 53 off 16 overs, three of which have been maidens, Allenby has claimed two for 33 from eight with one maiden while Davey ended with two for 52 off 15 with three maidens.