Somerset v Worcestershire LVCC preview: Somerset aim to keep that winning feeling

Worcs LVCC HSomerset have opted not to break up a winning squad and have stuck with the core of their one-day team for tomorrow’s return to red ball cricket against Worcestershire at Taunton.

Director of Cricket Matt Maynard has kept faith in the bowling attack who performed so well during the Royal London Cup campaign, with youngsters Craig and Jamie Overton, Lewis Gregory and Jack Leach as well as 31-year-old Tim Groenewald all named in a 13-man squad.

The move means that there is no room for veteran Alfonso Thomas who stood down as captain for the 50-over tournament in place of Jim Allenby and went out on loan to Sussex.

When I spoke to Maynard for The Incider before the start of the one-day campaign, he admitted that momentum from the Royal London Cup could be key if Somerset were able to take a winning run from that competition into the LV=County Championship run-in.

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Royal London One-Day Cup: Rampant Somerset annihilate sorry Leicestershire

RLODC LeicesterSomerset ended their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign on a high at Grace Road today, as they romped to a 9-wicket win over Leicestershire with some 211 balls to spare.

On a somewhat overcast morning in the East Midlands, former Leicestershire all-rounder Jim Allenby won the toss and elected to field first, presumably influenced by Monday’s successful run chase against Surrey as well as the overhead conditions.

To keep his bowlers fresh for the County Championship, Director of Cricket Matt Maynard left Jack Leach and both Jamie and Craig Overton out of the playing XI, with Tim Groenewald, Josh Davey and Max Waller coming into the side. For Leicestershire, Rob Sayer was dropped and Clint McKay was ill, meaning Wayne White and Dan Redfern came into the side in the two changes from yesterday’s defeat at Worcester.

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Trescothick defies blow to score 100 for the Seconds

Day 3 of Somerset  CCC vs Nottinghamshire CCC

Marcus Trescothick scored 127 for the Seconds today. Photograph by Alexander Davidson.

Somerset Championship skipper Marcus Trescothick defied a blow on the wrist to score a century for the Seconds at Taunton Vale today (Monday 17 August).

Playing in the Second XI Championship match against Hampshire to get match practice ahead of Somerset’s return to County Championship action this weekend, Trescothick had to retire hurt on 13 after being hit by a rising ball.

He returned returned to the crease later in the day to add a further 114 runs to his total.

The former England opener shared a 107-run stand with Zimbabwean teenager Eddie Byrom who also scored a century, to go with the 32 the pair had put on at the start of the day before Trescothick was forced to leave the field.

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Somerset v Surrey RLODC: Overton fireworks and Allenby grit see Somerset to victory over Surrey

RLODC SurreyIf a three-wicket victory cannot quite be described as resounding, a typically ebullient Craig Overton innings made sure Somerset won their Royal London Cup match against Surrey in some style with a flurry of boundaries in front of a 5,500-strong home crowd today.

With skipper Jim Allenby playing the anchor role to perfection to secure his first List A half-century for his new county, Somerset chased down their 268 run target with some 20 balls to spare. That their target was below 300, which looked extremely likely at one stage, was thanks to an excellent bowling display which saw the last seven Surrey wickets fall for just 46 runs.

While the result was not enough to sustain Somerset’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition, there were more encouraging performances from Somerset’s youngsters and a welcome sense of momentum ahead of the start of the run-in to the County Championship campaign this weekend.

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Somerset v Surrey RLODC preview: Somerset keen to return to action after mid-summer break

RLODC SurreyAt the start of the season the mid-August break in Somerset’s schedule must have appeared to come at a welcome juncture.

Possibly a good time to prepare for a juicy home NatWest Blast T20 quarter final. An opportunity to prepare for a run-in to a burgeoning Royal London One-Day Cup campaign perhaps. Or a shot at a top three finish in the Championship.

In reality Somerset’s T20 ambitions were extinguished long before the final game of the qualifying rounds. Their hopes of qualifying for the Royal London quarter finals dangle on a mathematical thread. And they are still not quite guaranteed to hold onto their prized Division One place in the County Championship.

It was ironic then that the final game before the break was undoubtedly Somerset’s most complete white-ball performance of the season. Their emphatic win away to Yorkshire at Scarborough offered a tantalising glimpse of a brave new future with young players like Tom Abell, Craig Overton and Josh Davey leading from the front.

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Yorkshire v Somerset RLODC: Abell leads Somerset to emphatic one-day victory after inspired bowling performance

RLODC YorksOpening batsman Tom Abell hit a classy innings of 80 to lead Somerset to an emphatic win over Yorkshire at Scarborough today to keep alive their faint hopes of qualification for the quarter finals.

Abell’s innngs followed an inspired performance with the ball by Somerset’s attack, which reduced the hosts to 7-3 inside three overs and 22-4 after eight, Josh Davey and Craig Overton taking two wickets apiece

A 70-run stand for the fifth wicket from Jack Leaning and Will Rhodes helped Yorkshire rebuild, but Somerset struck back in ruthless fashion to reduce Yorkshire to 108-9, Peter Trego taking 3-8 in his first four overs.

Some loose bowling at the death and some determined resistance by an inexperienced Yorkshire tail enabled the hosts to set a target of 176, but it never proved enough as Abell shared a 71-run stand for the fourth wicket with James Hildreth to take Somerset to the brink of victory.

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Somerset on verge of elimination from Royal London One-Day Cup – must-win game with Yorkshire awaits

Royal London logoSomerset are on the verge of crashing out of the Royal London One-Day Cup after losing four of their first five games in the tournament.

With three matches still to play, Somerset now only have the slimmest of mathematical chances of reaching the play-off stages, following successive defeats to Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire.

Any hopes of bouncing back quickly face a stern challenge in the form of a visit to Scarborough tomorrow (Wednesday) for an encounter with a dominant Yorkshire side by the seaside.

After winning against Worcestershire at Taunton on Friday, Somerset lost Sunday’s West Country derby at Gloucestershire by three wickets in the final over, before last night’s four-wicket defeat to Northamptonshire by four wickets with six balls to spare.

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Somerset members to hear from ECB’s Graves and Harrison about the future of county cricket

ECBChairman of the ECB Colin Graves, along with Chief Executive Tom Harrison will spend the day at the County Ground in Taunton tomorrow (Wednesday 5 August), amid reports of major changes to the domestic game from 2017.

Harrison has been tasked with leading a root-and-branch review of English cricket, with an initial paper designed to stimulate ‘discussion’, making it clear from the outset that radical change is on the agenda.

The paper, issued in the spring, put everything squarely on the table, with nothing seemingly off limits, including a streamlined T20 competition and changes to the County Championship.

Tomorrow’s meeting will give Somerset CCC members an opportunity to hear directly from Graves and Harrison about their thoughts on the future of the game.

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Tom Abell makes shortlist for prestigious LV=CC Breakthrough player of the year award – voting now open!

Tom Abell played some beautiful shots and defended well. Photograph by Alexander Davidson.

Tom Abell during his unbeaten 77 against Nottinghamshire at Taunton earlier this season.Photograph by Alexander Davidson.

Somerset batsman Tom Abell and Essex seamer Jamie Porter have today been chosen as wildcard picks for the prestigious 2015 LV= Breakthrough Player Award, the accolade that recognises emerging young talent in the domestic four-day game.

Voting is now open online on the LV= website and Somerset fans can support Tom by casting their vote at https://atheart.lv.com/lv-county-championship-breakthrough-player-award-voting by 9am on Monday 14 September. You’ll also go into the draw to win a cricket bat signed by the England Test team.

Tom follows in the footsteps of Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton, both of whom made the shortlist for the award in 2014.

Tom and Jamie join six other young county stars on this year’s eight-man shortlist after producing some standout performances in recent weeks.

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Gloucestershire v Somerset RLODC preview: Barrow earns recall for West Country derby

RLODC GlosSomerset keeper-batsman Alex Barrow has been rewarded for his return to form in the Second XI with a recall to the senior side for today’s (Sunday) West Country derby against Gloucestershire in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Barrow scored two half-centuries in the Seconds’ recent win over Kent and will today make his first appearance for the first XI since early June when Michael Bates took over behind the stumps.

Bates has been widely acclaimed for his wicket-keeping and his reliability behind the stumps has been credited with bringing an increased confidence in Somerset’s bowling and out-fielding. However, he has failed to make a sizeable contribution with the bat, although he did play an excellent supporting role to Tom Cooper on Friday when Somerset took 70 off the last five overs against Worcestershire.

Barrow’s inclusion is the only change to the 13-man squad heading for Bristol today, with Somerset looking to follow up their 56-run win over Worcestershire, their first in the tournament, with another victory.

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