Somerset hoping to continue winning streak in front of home crowd
Somerset will look to continue their winning ways in front of a home crowd in the sun against Nottinghamshire this Bank Holiday weekend. Fresh from a comprehensive away win over Sussex last week, the cidermen return to Taunton in good spirits, currently lying third in the county championship table on 39 points from three games.
Nottinghamshire who finished one place below Somerset last year and only narrowly missed out on relegation themselves, haven’t won a county championship match in the West Country since 1985. They travel to Taunton, after two successive defeats this season to Middlesex and Warwickshire and lie seventh in the table on 28 points, having won their opening match against Lancashire.
Notts though are always a quality side, with plenty of international experience. Their squad for the game against Somerset boasts the likes of Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Chris Read, Ajmal Shahzad and Australian Test bowler Peter Siddle.
And Dave Nosworthy, for one, isn’t taking the visitors for granted. He told the club website: “It’s always good to play at home in front of your own crowd but we are under no illusions as to the strength of Notts and we have got an uphill task against them. We must put what happened this last week behind us now and ensure that each and every one of us pitches up and executes our roles 100%.” He added: “It’s important for us as a team that we focus on what we have got to do over the next four days and Notts are a strong side who have not had the best of runs so they will be pretty determined I would think.”
It will be interesting to see how the wicket plays over the next four days and what Siddle is able to get from it. Yorkshire’s strong seam attack struggled in Somerset’s only other home game so far this season, with the home side piling up 553 in their only innings. Somerset will again be hoping to score big runs this week and put their latest visitors under pressure.
Home fans will be looking forward to seeing April’s hero with bat and ball, Lewis Gregory. Lewis took eight wickets against Durham and a career best nine in the match against Sussex, as well as some more-than-useful lower-order runs. Marcus Trescothick is certain to receive a reception that’s even more warm than usual, after scoring 116 at Hove, his first century since September 2012.
Nick Compton, meanwhile, will be looking to continue to press his case for selection in the England Test squad and has been in very good form so far this season, including an unbeaten 100 at Chester-le-Street. Craig Kieswetter, who too has been in the runs this season, will also hope to impress the selectors, following news that Matt Prior’s Achilles injury may rule him out of the Test side.
Somerset will choose their final line-up from the following squad: Marcus Trescothick (capt), James Hildreth, Nick Compton, George Dockrell, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jones, Craig Kieswetter, Jack Leach, Johann Myburgh, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Alviro Petersen, Pete Trego and Alfonso Thomas.
Notts, meanwhile, have brought the following squad with them to Taunton: Phil Jaques, Steven Mullaney, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Riki Wessels, Chris Read, Peter Siddle, Ajmal Shahzad, Jake Ball, Andy Carter, Gary Keedy and Brett Hutton. Harry Gurney, of course, misses out on this match, after his surprise call-up to the England squad for the ODI against Scotland this week.
Notts are missing England ODI player Alex Hales who has joined Second Division Worcestershire on a one month loan deal for the LV=CC only as cover for Mooen Ali and is likely to make his debut at Cardiff instead. This unique deal is so the player can gain some time at the crease himself having only played one of Nottinghamshire’s three Championship games so far. In between LV=CC games Hales will play for Notts in the one day competitions.