21st September 2020

Groenewald claims five and Barrow sets new record on third day against New Zealand

Tim Groenewald took his first five wicket haul for the County, wicket-keeper Alex Barrow claimed seven catches in the match, Tom Abell played an important innings along with an unbeaten half century from James Hildreth, but a cluster of wickets let Somerset down again on the third day of their match against New Zealand.

In the morning Somerset’s bowlers performed well as a unit to bowl the tourists out for 310, but chasing 344 to win they lost four wickets for 19 runs to hand back the initiative and ended on 142 for six still needing 202 runs for victory.

Afterwards Groenewald whose match figures of nine for136 was a first class career best said:

“It was nice to get a few rewards because in the first two championship games I thought I bowled well without much luck. This wicket has got a little bit in it for the bowlers so it was happy days.

“When I am bowling well I love bowling with the new ball and having first crack at it. When the batters are trying to feel their way in there is a chance to get a few wickets.

“I have been impressed by the way that New Zealand have gone about their cricket and battled hard from the start, but Id expect nothing less from an international side.”

Talking about the tumble of wickets in the Somerset innings Tim said:

“I don’t know the reason for our batting collapse, but its obviously a confidence thing and it has happened over and over again so it’s one of those things we need to put right. This was one of those games that we had the chance to put things right but at the moment we are finding ways to get ourselves out and lose our wickets in clusters, which isn’t ideal.”

Talking about Abell’s innings he said:

“He is a serious batsman and going to be a very fine player which you can see by the way he sets himself up and the way he plays. He has got a lot of time, gets into good positions and has good scoring options, and we are all very impressed with him and he has got a big future ahead of him.”

Looking towards the morning Tim said:

“Hildy has been in fine form all season and hopefully he cracks on and gets another hundred. Josh Davey is a more than capable middle order batter and it would be nice to see him go out there and get runs and we have also got Craig Overton who has got first class 90s still to come.”

He added:

“We have got to try and build those partnerships, bat as long as possible and see what we can do.”

At the start of the day resuming on 149 for three off 35.5 new batsman Ross Taylor took two off the remaining delivery from Tim Groenewald to see up the 150.

Taylor had moved onto 10 when he became the first of Jim Allenby’s two victims of the morning. The all rounder who opened the attack from the River End, took full advantage of the overcast conditions when he had Taylor caught by Barrow with the score on 168.

Two over later Allenby struck again, when new batsman Luke Ronchi on seven, got a bottom edge which Barrow dived wide to his right to hand to catch, which made New Zealand 180 for five.

All of the Somerset bowlers kept things very tight and made runs very hard to come by.

Mitchell Santner was edging towards a well deserved century and when he took two off Davey, who replaced Allenby at the River End he saw the 200 up.

Three overs later however Santner on 94 got a thick edge driving Overton which Trego held onto at gully which saw the tourists 206 for six.

The seventh wicket pair added 34 together when Mark Craig looked to play a loose drive outside off stump and was caught by Barrow off Overton for 20, with the score on 240.

Groenewald returned to the attack from the Somerset Pavilion End for the 82nd over and with the new ball he wrapped up the New Zealand innings.

In the 84th with the score on 270 he accounted for Bracewell LBW for 16, next over he had Watling caught by Barrow and after some lusty blows he had Wheeler well caught at slip by Allenby in the 88th.

New Zealand were all out for 310, Groenewald ending with five for 65 his best first class return for Somerset to give him career best first class match figures of nine for 136.

Wicket-keeper Barrow took four catches in the second innings to add to three in the first making seven in total, a new record for Somerset against New Zealand.

Chasing 344 for victory Myburgh and Abell saw the score to 21 when Myburgh was LBW to Wheeler for four.

New batsman Cooper never looked totally settled and after moving onto nine he looked to drive Wagner and was bowled.

James Hildreth joined Abell and both batsmen started to look comfortable against a New Zealand attack that conceded nothing.

Conditions eased as the sun came out as Hildreth took two off Bracewell in the 17th over to see up the 50 for Somerset.

Abell looked to have all the time in the world and matched his senior partner run for run. The 21 year old moved into his 40s with consecutive boundaries off Jason Duffy in the 27th over and when he took three off the next, bowled by Wheeler he saw up Somerset’s 100.

The introduction of off spinner Mark Craig from the River End however signalled a tumble of wickets. With his fourth delivery he had Abell caught by acting ‘keeper Ronchi for 43 with the total on 104. Abell’s runs came from 90 balls and included seven fours, whilst his third wicket partnership with Hildreth added 67 runs in 17 overs,.

In his next over Craig had Allenby caught at mid on by Bracewell for four, which saw Somerset 108 for four. Barrow struck a boundary but one run later he was caught by Taylor at first slip off the bowling of Bracewell.

Hildreth remained calmly going about his innings and duly went to his half century when he scored a boundary off Craig to square cover, his runs coming off 55 balls with eight fours.

Trego attacked from the start but after scoring two he was caught by Ronchi off Bracewell to make the score 123 for six.

Hildreth and Davey then remained together until the close by which time the total had moved onto 142 off 44 overs, Hildreth unbeaten on 62 and Davey five not out.