1st December 2020

New Zealand come out on top after a day of runs and wickets

On a day when 16 wickets fell in the day it was New Zealand who came out on top and by the close of play the tourists led by 182 with seven second innings wickets remaining.

After the close Pete Trego the acting Somerset captain:

“I think the most positive thing for us was the last hour of play when Jim Allenby bowled a cracking little spell and then Tom Groenewald had a little blast at the end and got another wicket, which has brought the game back into a good position.

“We all know Taunton and its going to flatten out a little bit so as long as they don’t get too far ahead we will have something relatively gettable.”Talking about the Somerset batting which saw them slip to 54 for five at lunch he said: “When you lose a wicket at roughly every 10 runs then you are putting the pressure on your bowlers so it is something that we obviously have to rectify.

“We can’t take anything away from Ben Wheeler who bowled a magnificent spell who took four wickets in his opening spell, who really was on song. However this is first class cricket and you expect people to be high quality and expect people to bowl good spells so we have to come up with a way of counteracting.

“This has happened three times this season and it has cost us three games so we have got to put a stop to it somehow.”

Starting the morning on 202 for seven off 59 overs, the tourists lost their remaining wickets in 12 overs.

The not out pair of B.J.Watling and Neil Wagner took the total onto 235 when Groenewald had Watling on 65,well caught at second slip by Tom Cooper.

Two runs later Craig Overton bowled Wagner for 29 and without addition in his next over the bowler removed Jacob Duffy’s off stump and New Zealand were all out for 237 in 71.1 overs.

Groenewald ended with four for 71, his best first class figures so far for Somerset while Overton claimed two for 50.

Somerset were soon in trouble when they responded as Johann Myburgh was LBW to Ben Wheeler for 3 in the second over.

Next over Duffy had Tom Abell caught at second slip by Mark Craig for 1, which made the hosts 4 for two.

In the sixth over Cooper looked to drive Wheeler and was bowled without scoring with the total on nine.

James Hildreth and Jim Allenby steadied the situation and when Doug Bracewell came into the attack from the River End the latter took three successive fours to square cover.

The fourth wicket pair took the total onto 43 in the 12th over when Hildreth shouldered arms and was bowled by Wheeler for 13.

In the last over before lunch Wheeler struck again when he had Allenby on 28, caught at gully as he looked to remove his bat from a shorter delivery by which time Somerset had slipped to 54 for five.

After lunch Pete Trego and Alex Barrow grafted hard to keep their wickets intact and in the ninth over four leg byes off Trego’s pads from the bowling of Bracewell saw Somerset pass the follow on total.

The pair saw the total onto 110 when Trego looked to hit Wagner over the square leg boundary and was caught by Mitchell Santner for 40. The fifth wicket partnership between Barrow and Trego added 56in 16 overs.

New batsman Josh Davey found the boundary a couple of times before on 15 he was bowled by Wheeler to make Somerset 139 for seven.

Barrow grew in confidence and two off Bracewell into the off side saw up the Somerset 150. However after he moved onto 32 he was LBW to Craig with the score on 165.

Craig Overton hit a quickfire 24, but after seeing the score onto 182 he was caught at first slip by Ross Taylor off Bracewell.

Last man Abdur Rehman attacked from the off and after hitting the first 6 of the innings followed soon after by four through backward point to bring up the 200 he was caught by Ronchi off Wagner for 19 as Somerset were all out for 204 off 46.5 overs.

New Zealand debutant 23 year old Wheeler also playing his first game in England ended with five for 18 from his 11 overs.

Batting for a second time with a lead of 33, New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford saw the score onto 20 when the latter drove a delivery from Groenewald hard into the covers where Abell took the catch in the eighth over.

Latham and new batsman Mitchell Santner both looked comfortable and started to buid a partnership.

When Latham drove Rehman to the cover boundary off the last ball of the 24th over the New Zealand 100 came up onto the board.

Santner off drove the fourth ball of Rehman’s next over to the boundary to bring up his 50 off 56 balls with 10 fours and then hit the first six of the innings over long on.

At the opposite end Latham went to his half century but very soon afterwards in the 33rd over he was leg before wicket to Jim Allenby for 57, which saw New Zealand 144 for two.

In the final over of the day Wagner was caught by Allenby off Groenewald for 4 as New Zealand closed on 149 for three off 35.5 overs.