Somerset sink Spitfires in season opener

An unbeaten 78-ball 184 from captain Ed Hossell led Somerset VICC to a crushing 174 run victory over newly promoted Kent Spitfires as the Cidermen began their season in emphatic fashion, picking up maximum points in the process.

It was a beautiful day at Sevenoaks Vine Cricket Club in Otford and the pitch was in pristine condition, so it would have been a surprise to Hossell when the hosts won the toss and elected to bowl first. As the saying goes, Somerset very much made hay whilst the sun was shining as they got off to a flyer, with the 50 being brought up inside six overs. The visiting captain had already unleashed an array of cover drives whilst Rob Crisp at the other end was rotating the strike well and looking comfortable. With the score on 82 and Somerset looking well set for a big score, Crisp was trapped lbw for a quickfire 20.

Hossell was not to be deterred, as he and Graham Glover put on 53 before Glover was caught at silly point. This brought Heidi Linegar to the crease and prompted Hossell to up the scoring rate even more, looking for quick runs so he could declare after 20 overs leaving Somerset 40 overs to bowl Kent out to secure the victory. Somerset took 27 from the 20th over, featuring a big six from Hossell over square leg, which prompted the declaration with the score at 240-2. Heidi Linegar finished unbeaten on eight with Hossell on 184 from 78 balls which included a pair of sixes and 29 fours.

Refreshed after tea, the bowlers looked to get stuck into the Kent lineup, and they couldn’t have wished for a better start. Crisp got the ball rolling, having Ray St. Cyr caught at cover by Hossell the ball after he moved there. Roles were reversed the following over as Crisp took a sharp catch at silly point from Hossell’s bowling. Hossell was back in the action again, taking a very good catch running in from midwicket to give Steve Cook his first wicket of the afternoon. When Mikey Contreras removed the Kent skipper Tom Barton lbw for 3, the home side were in real trouble at 13-4.

Charlton Davis decided attack was the best form of defence, heaving Cook for two boundaries aerially through the legside, but it was to be third time lucky for the veteran as Davis could only pick out Hossell for a much more routine catch. Lee Robshaw and Harry Lavender set about the rebuilding process, riding their luck in the process, and Kent passed 50. Graham Glover then came into the attack to remove Lavender, who was bowled in a rather unusual fashion. He backed away to give himself room to hit through the covers, but Glover followed him down the legside. A big heave only produced an outside edge went on to just clip the leg stump. The opening bowlers returned to blow away the tail with the final four wickets falling for just the one run. Hossell snared Jacob Hare lbw for three before Crisp eventually trapped Robshaw lbw after an hour long vigil filled with a series of plays and misses and unsuccessful lbw appeals. Crisp promptly had the Kent number ten caught behind by Heidi Linegar and the final batsman backed onto his own stumps as Crisp collected career-best figures of 4-16, well complimented by 2-4 from Hossell and 2-22 from Cook.

Somerset are next in action this Saturday when they host Surrey in the BBS Cup.