1st December 2020

Somerset fight back after early wobble on first day at Trent Bridge

Half centuries from Jim Allenby and Craig Overton along with good contributions from Johann Myburgh, James Hildreth, Pete Trego and Alex Barrow enabled Somerset to post 312 after being asked to bat first in overcast conditions at Trent Bridge.

In reply by the close of play on the opening day Nottinghamshire had reached 57 for 2 off 24 overs, still trailing by 255 runs.

Afterwards Jim Allenby who made an invaluable 64 said:

“After we lost two early wickets on a green wicket for James Hildreth and Johann Myburgh to bat almost until lunch set the day up for us at the end. If the middle order had been exposed to Philander with the new ball we migt have struggled.

“However Hildy and Johann, the two guys who have had decent years so far batted brilliantly on one of the greenest wickets I have ever seen.

“We had a bit of a wobble which was a shame but to come out after lunch and share in a good partnership with Tregs and have a couple more lower down the order as well to reach 312 is over par on that pitch.

“I thought I played a decent innings and if I get a bad ball I do like to put it away. My natural game is to keep the good ball out but look to score runs so I was pleased to go back to my way of playing today.

“Matt and Marcus made a couple of changes to the structure of the order and I think today it has really worked, and to have Baz batting the way he did lower down the order and Craig to 50 off 20 odd balls really gave us a nice push at the end.

“When we have been on top in other games we have let sides back in but we showed today that we can take advantage when the bowlers start to spray it a bit. As a batting group we will learn quite a lot from today,

“To be honest the way that our guys bowled tonight it could have been anything. They played and missed at least once an over. Tregs bowled into a very strong wind and went past the bat a lot but not been rewarded.”

Looking ahead Jim said:

“If we can carry on like this in the morning and bowl somewhere near the stumps and we should be ok because there is plenty of grass there.”

After being asked to bat first on a green wicket Somerset lost Marcus Trescothick without a run on the board, bowled by Vernon Philander.

Myburgh joined Tom Abell at the crease and the pair took the score onto 21 before Abell was caught behind by Chris Read off the bowling of Philander for 10.

In-form batsman James Hildreth joined Myburgh at the crease and the two shared a useful 5o run partnership before the latter was bowled by Mullaney for 49 with the score on 99 for three.

One wicket then led to two as Hildreth was bowled by Philander for 32. Cooper batting at five was joined at the crease by Jim Allenby but soon followed Hildreth back to the pavilion when he was caught by Taylor off the bowling of Mullaney for one. The wicket brought an early lunch with Somerset 101 for five.

The visitors needed a strong fightback from the all rounders Allenby and Trego and they did not disappoint as they both played their shots in a 85 run partnership before Trego was bowled by Mullaney for 41 with the score on 186 for six.

Gregory joined Allenby at the crease and they continued to take the attack to the opposition with Allenby bringing up his half century from 61 balls including eight four’s.

The pair saw Somerset’s first bonus point on the board but with the total on 229, Gregory was bowled by Wood for 17. Allenby soon followed for 64 when he was caught by Taylor off the bowling of Philander – his fourth wicket this innings.

With the score on 241 for eight, it was up to the youngsters to see the visitors through to tea and Barrow (15*) and Overton (21*) were more that up to the challenge, taking the total onto 270 without further loss.

The ninth wicket pair saw up the 300 and another bonus point but 11 runs later Overton was bowled by Harry Gurney for 55 which he scored off 31 balls with 11 fours.

One more run was added before Somerset were all out for 312 off 69.4 overs, Barrow remaining unbeaten on 23 off 41 balls.

Philander ended with four for 56 and Mullaney three for 44.

Facing 24 overs the hosts moved onto 36 in the 11th over when Lewis Gregory claimed opener Mullaney LBW for 19.

Tim Groenewald opening from the other end returned for a final spell and was rewarded with the wicket of Greg Smith for 8, before the hosts ended the day on 57 for two.