Somerset 20pts, Durham 3pts
A vintage performance from Somerset skipper Marcus Trescothick led his team to a seven-wicket victory over reigning champions Durham at Taunton to send the unbeaten cider county to 2nd in the table.
Durham remain without a win after this defeat.
Somerset began the day on 112-0 needing 136 to win with openers Trescothick and Johann Myburgh (55) looking to force the pace with rain and dark clouds looming. Trescothick found his way to a century in 110 balls and 107 minutes – his first Championship ton at Taunton since 2012. The 165-run opening stand was broken by Ryan Pringle running out Myburgh after a mix up between the two Somerset batters.
Nick Compton came and nearly left immediately as he was bowled by Rushworth off a no ball but he could breathe again.
But, inevitably, the rain arrived with 80 runs still needed for a Somerset victory. And it was torrential causing a four-hour delay in proceedings with only the most optimistic Somerset supporter predicting the players would ever end up back on the field.
Play finally resumed at 3:45pm but there was early success for Durham as Compo failed to capitalise on his let off and was out for a duck in the end anyway. Alviro Petersen joined the captain at the crease at 173 for 2.
Tres was batting like it was a T20 game and he smacked the normally unflappable Rushworth for consecutive sixes with the last two balls of one over only for Alviro to make it three sixes in a row when he put Pringle into the stands with the first ball of the next. Somerset were cruising.
It was tough on Durham who had to rely on Pringle and Rushworth to do all the bowling as their team were without the services of Borthwick, Wood and Harrison through injury, and they battled manfully with a little help from their captain Paul Collingwood.
When Trescothick finally went in the 38th over for 133, scored in just 129 balls, the score was 217 for 3 with 31 needed. The crowd wanted Trego or Kieswetter in to put bat to ball with rain still a threat but James Hildreth joined Alviro instead and they saw their side home without drama. After the rain delay Somerset actually finished off the match in under 45 minutes.
So a good win for the home team which looked unlikely when the torrential rain and thunder arrived.
Somerset players and supporters will feel somewhat indebted to the ground staff who worked their socks off to make the pitch playable in such conditions.
The cider county sit 2nd with 71 points from 5 games, the same figures as Yorkshire who have lost a game, and 20 points behind Middlesex who have played six games.
Somerset head to Birmingham for the next bout of Championship Cricket and a game against 2012 winners Warwickshire.
Durham skipper Paul Collingwood heaped praise on his former England team-mate Trescothick suggesting he is “still one of the world’s best batsmen”.
Collingwood said: “It’s incredible. As a captain, he’s a nightmare – wherever you put the field, he’ll hit it somewhere else.
“I wish it wasn’t us bowling at him, but it’s a pleasure to watch. It proves he’s still one of the world’s best batsmen – not just in this country. When he’s in that mood, he’s got all the shots. It hurts when you’re in the opposition – but wow, some of our guys were saying, ‘that’s absolutely incredible’.
“We’ll talk about that innings for the next 10 years and Ryan Pringle will be able to say, ‘I bowled against Tres on my debut – I got him out, but he hit it here, there, and everywhere’.
“He can play against spin, pace, the swinging ball – no matter what, he’s incredible. It’s great he can still turn out for Somerset and do what he does, and help bring on the youngsters.”
Tres was naturally buoyant when he spoke to the club’s official website, saying: ““It a nice feeling to be able to contribute in that fashion and put us into winning position and when we come out on top it makes me feel even happier.
“It was good fun and we wanted to get the job done as soon as possible and not waste too many overs with the clouds building over the back.”
He added: “In that situation you just have to try and play shots all around the wicket, you cant just get stuck in position, but it came off for me today and I am delighted with the outcome.”
And so he should be! Great day for Somerset.