Somerset v Yorkshire LVCC Day 2 Monday 14 April 2014
Somerset will have returned to the pavilion this evening, satisfied with a much more disciplined and encouraging display with both bat and ball.
At the start of the day, Yorkshire were 342-5 with Rashid and Hodd both well set and a score of 500 plus well within their sights. But once after the pair had taken the visitors’ total past 400 and their own partnership to 108, Somerset’s depleted bowling attack fought back to take the last five wickets for just 48 runs.
Later in the day, despite the early loss of Trescothick, Somerset ground their way to a solid 166-3 by the close, with Chris Jones the standout performance, making a personal championship highest score of 75.
Yorkshire still have the upper hand and a few early wickets tomorrow could yet put us at risk of losing this match, but with our depth in batting and a pitch offering little assistance, picking up batting bonus points and avoiding the follow-on – and hopefully securing an eventual draw – should be well within our reach.
In the morning session, Rashid picked up where he left off last night, advancing to his third 100 against Somerset in as many matches, reaching the milestone off 167 balls with 17 fours. He found a willing partner in Hodd, who took full advantage of his opportunity in the side (in place of the injured Bairstow) to make 55 with 10 boundaries. Their partnership was worth 108 in just over 29 overs and was threatening to take the Yorkshire total well beyond 500.
But Somerset’s bowlers stuck to their task, and once Yorkshire had picked up their fifth batting point, Craig Overton got Hodd to flash at a wide delivery outside off stump, which was snatched, two-handed, high above his head by Trescothick at slip. As often happens, when a big partnership is broken, one partner soon follows the other and Rashid soon fell for 108, caught behind, as Overton picked up his third wicket of the innings. Overton hasn’t been at his best this innings, but stuck to his task and put Sidebottom under pressure first ball by rapping him on his pads and having a strong lbw shout turned down. Worryingly for the tall fast bowler, after bowling a couple of bouncers he pulled up in pain, and left the field holding his back, obviously in some discomfort. Craig of course missed much of last season through a back injury. All of us will hope that it’s nothing as serious this time. Twin brother Jamie, who is missing this match through tendonitis came on in his place to field as 12th man.
At that point with Somerset down to effectively a three-man attack, plus the part-time spin of Myburgh, and a handy Yorkshire tail, a much bigger score was still possible. The lads stuck to their task well though. Myburgh picked up his first wicket for the Cider boys, with Trescothick pouching another slip catch, this time low to his right to dismiss Sidebottom.
With 92 runs scored in the morning session, Yorkshire went into lunch on 434-8 and with Plunkett at the crease, they must have still harboured hopes of making Somerset toil in the field for a bit longer. But we dried the runs up well and soon Thomas had Patterson bowled, playing on, and Myburgh picked up his second wicket of the innings, having Brooks lbw, missing the ball, while attempting to pull, and the visitors were all out for 450 off 132.5 overs.
Trescothick and new opening partner Chris Jones walked out to bat, knowing the afternoon session was a crucial one. It was important to see off the new ball when the ball was doing a bit, as the pitch generally is offering little for bowlers.
Marcus will have been keen to make an impression after a disappointing 2013 season with the bat and started well, advancing to 20 with four boundaries before falling to an excellent inswinging yorker from Ryan Sidebottom.
Chris Jones and Nick Compton then got their heads down and showed real grit and determination in a partnership of 91in just over 30 overs against some disciplined Yorkshire bowling. Jones grew in confidence, striking 13 fours on his way to a championship best score of 75.
Compo started slowly and was picking up the pace and looking well set on 32 when Plunkett, bowling extremely quickly yorked him with the first ball of a new spell. Nick looked furious with himself, but it was an excellent delivery from the Yorkshire paceman who bowled a superb, fast and accurate spell in the evening session.
Plunkett then set his sights on Jones, setting a legside field and bowling fast and short, finally snaring Chris in the trap when he popped a catch to Lees at leg slip. Jones will have been disappointed, but he can take a lot of satisfaction from this innings and has been a big positive for Somerset in this match so far.
Hildreth, who joined Petersen at the crease, saw out the day’s play with intent. He withstood some hostile fast bowling from Plunkett, digging out yorkers and negotiating the short ball. He wasn’t afraid to fight back and moved onto 16 by the close with three boundaries, Somerset finishing on 166-3.