Somerset dominated on the opening day against Lancashire at Old Trafford but the news of a broken metatarsal in Marcus Trescothick’s right foot took some of the shine off the day.
Somerset closed day one on 321-5, losing Steve Davies to the last ball of the day, but it was the news that arrived later this evening that has fallen heavy on all Somerset hearts. Marcus Trescothick sustained a broken the 5th metatarsal in his right foot toward the end of his innings and shortly before he reached his 52nd Somerset century.
It came at a time when the legendary opener was in complete control and looking as if he would bat all day and put a Lancashire attack already sick of the sight of his cuts and drives to a day of punishment.
Trescothick stumbled forward after playing a gentle forward push to leggie Matt Parkinson and collapsed in a heap when he had made 95. He continued after lengthy treatment and clearly unable to put any weight on the injured leg. There was some amusement when Matt Renshaw, who was sitting in the stands with his girlfriend, had to be summoned to act as a runner but it soon became apparent that he would not be needed for long.
Trescothick, typically and bravely, smashed the 5 runs he required to complete his hundred, opted to carry on but was out immediately caught behind of skipper Liam Livingstone’s gentle off breaks. The sight of Marcus limping agonisingly to the pavilion was a sad one for the strong Somerset support who made the trip north.
Trescothick had participated in an opening stand of 65 with Matt Renshaw – who perished caught in the deep for 21 – and 134 with 20 year-old George Bartlett to put Somerset in a commanding position in the afternoon session
Any worries that a typical Somerset middle-order collapse would undermine all the hard word of the first three hours was proven unfounded despite the loss of James Hildreth for 5 as Tom Abell joined George Bartlett to add 84 for the 4th wicket.
Abell looked in prime form from the minute he arrived at the crease but Bartlett, who had cruised past his previous highest first class score of 39 against Yorkshire last week, eased past his hundred with calm assurance.
It took a stunning catch in the slips from Livingstone to finally end Bartlett’s imperious innings for 110.
The last time a 40+ and a 20 year-old scored 100s in the same innings for Somerset was back in the seventies when Brian Close and Phil Slocombe both reached centuries.
Abell continued to the close having clearly set himself the target of being there at the close to end on 48.
The loss of Davies gave Lancashire a slight lift and the 5 wickets flattered a ragged fielding and bowling display. Several catches went down, the bowling was undisciplined at times and James Anderson, making a rare Championship appearance, was well below his best.
Sporting a newly bleached hairstyle which Graham Swann described in a tweet as a homage to Philip Schofield, Anderson was constantly being warned about running on the wicket and received a formal warning for throwing the ball back at striker George Bartlett who was clearly in his ground the ball after he had survived a big shout for LBW. It was not Jimmy’s day.
With the pitch already showing signs of taking turn the morning session tomorrow and the skipper’s ability to get Somerset beyond 400 will be crucial. Although the pitch is playing fairly placidly and the forecast for the next three days is good Somerset will be hopeful that their seam attack can bowl with more discipline and penetration and that Jack Leach will weave his magic for the first time this season.
But all Somerset thoughts will be with Marcus and all our hopes on a rapid return to action and the prime form he showed today. We wish him well.