Somerset Second XI 179 (JH Davey 79*, G Bartlett 25, TD Rouse 24; BJ Twohig 5-33) and 193 (JH Davey 28, ORT Sale 27, SJD Underdown 21, RN Gamble 20*, TD Rouse 20; BJ Twohig 3-41, A Hepburn 3-60) drew with Worcestershire 138-9 dec (GH Rhodes 52; RN Gamble 2-15, ORT Sale 2-21, DM Bess 2-22) and 227-9 (OB Cox 42, A Hepburn 41, GH Rhodes 40; JH Davey 3-39, MTC Waller 2-30, DM Bess 2-42).
Josh Davey continued his World Cup form by almost bowling Somerset Seconds to victory in a low-scoring friendly with Worcestershire at New Road this week.
Davey claimed three late wickets on the second evening just as it looked like Worcestershire were closing in on victory on 218-5, with only 17 more required.
In a thrilling final half an hour, the hosts managed to lose four wickets in the space of just 16 balls to suddenly open up the prospect of an unlikely Somerset victory.
Davey removed Ollie Westbury (bowled for 33) and Nicholas Hammond (23) who had taken Worcestershire to the brink of victory with a partnership of 60. He then picked up Scrimshaw without scoring, before Max Waller claimed his second wicket of the innings to leave Worcestershire reeling at 225-9, still 10 from victory, with four balls of the innings left. The final pair managed to negotiate the remainder of the final over before the match was declared a draw.
Davey, who at one stage was leading wicket-taker in the World Cup for his native Scotland, also smashed an unbeaten 79 (92 balls, 13×4, 1×6) with the bat in Somerset’s otherwise lacklustre first innings of 179 and top scored again with a useful 28 in his side’s second innings total of 193.
Somerset’s bowlers did well to restrict Worcesteshire to 138-9 declared in their first innings, with two wickets apiece for triallist Bobby Gamble, Ollie Sale and Dom Bess, who also claimed two victims in the second innings.
The match was also notable for the return to action for Craig Overton following his injury during the England Lions tour of South Africa and subsequent surgery. Overton bowled five overs in each innings and picked up a wicket on both occasions times.
Somerset Second XI coach Steve Snell (pictured left) said: “It was a very interesting game which was very exciting in the end and I guess for the first run out for the Seconds there were plenty of opportunities for the guys to make their contribution.
“Bobby Gamble who is from Loughborough University bowled a great spell on the first day along with Ollie Sale who bowled well in adverse conditions. Dom Bess a young off spinner on the Academy also did well.
“Josh Davey played outstandingly well for his 79 not out which showed the way to play on a wicket that didn’t offer too many demons. In our batting we were a little bit sloppy in both innings and this is something to work on although this was the first time out for many of the youngsters.
“There were a number of positives in our batting however and George Bartlett and Sam Underdown in the first innings both got starts but didn’t get going.
“The game had a fascinating finish, we needed a wicket and they needed 10 runs. The boys fought really hard in the last session to claw themselves back into the game when it looked like we were going to be beaten.
“The team was well led by Max who did an excellent job and marshalled the troops to the point we were in with a chance of winning the game.
Steve added: “All in all for the attitude and the intensity from the guys for the whole two days in terms of effort, was excellent. They were a little short on skills but that was almost to be expected as this was the first game.”