- Somerset’s bowling unit is remarkable in full flow
The most notable thing from Somerset’s first four games of the Bob Willis Trophy is the incredible performance of the bowlers. In the eight innings in which they have bowled so far, the opposition has not secured a single batting point, and has only passed 150 twice. None of the bowlers are averaging over 16, and the wickets have been spread out: Craig Overton has 23, Davey has 18, Jamie Overton 15, Brooks 9 and Gregory 5. The consistently outstanding performances of our seam attack gives us such a great chance of victory in every match. If our batting line up doesn’t perform in one innings, we’re able to remove the opposition before they build a score to take the lead, let alone dominate and take control of the tie.
2. The Overton’s are gunning for England
After the announcement of Jamie Overton’s move to Surrey, many of us fans were concerned that Craig would follow suit. Whether to Surrey or another county, certainly a move to one with closer ties to the England selectors felt possible. Therefore, the news that he signed a new three-year deal to stay at the County Ground, and continue to lead our attack, was fantastic.
Despite formalising his departure, Jamie Overton is performing better than ever for Somerset, as is Craig, with both having remarkable figures. Alongside their incredibly low averages (Craig’s is 9.56, and Jamie’s is 12.40), Craig has taken two five-wicket hauls, and Jamie one. They are also showing their potential with the bat: Jamie has now got his maiden FC century under his belt, and Craig’s batting average is seven runs above what it was last year. With the England team still looking for quick, aggressive bowlers for the Ashes in Australia, the Overton’s are staking a significant claim for a place on the plane.
3. The Batting is still inconsistent…
Whereas the bowling unit’s performance this season has been consistently strong, the batting performance has been inconsistent. Whilst it has been enough to win us three games and take us to the top of the group, reading a clear pattern beyond this is more difficult. The most recent game is a clear example of this. In the first innings, Somerset were dismissed for 237, relying on an unbeaten 100 from Bartlett, and lower order contributions to take us there. Yet in the second, we reached 223-1, with both Abell and Lammonby getting centuries. Even during our highest innings score of 413, at one stage we were 226-8.
4. But the Potential is there…
Whilst there is this inconsistency in the performance of our batting, there is great potential for a strong batting group. In 14 County Championship matches last season, there were only 6 centuries scored. That has been matched in the four Bob Willis Trophy games so far, with these coming from five different sources. This shows that we have a potential source of runs throughout the line-up, and can build game changing partnerships, but it is the case of finding the consistency required to solidify our match positions.
5. And the Depth of it is remarkable
Whilst our batting line up has not been consistent in terms of top order runs, where it has performed is in its depth. This has been seen in all of the games so far this season. Brooks’ 72 against Glamorgan, the Overton’s half centuries against Northamptonshire, and Jamie’s 120 at Edgbaston have each helped turn the tide of games into our favour, and establish a position for us to attack from. Batting deep is an incredible asset to have regardless of how your out-and-out batsmen are performing, so when that inconsistency is present, it is even more vital.