After a disappointing first two-thirds of their three-day friendly with Lancashire, Marcus Trescothick (left) led the way in a vastly improved performance with the bat on the final day. Tom Cooper and Jim Allenby scored runs too with temperatures soaring as high as 18 degrees.
A couple of big lbw appeals aside, Trescothick was sublime in reaching 107 before retiring out. Throughout the morning and early afternoon he drove, pulled and finally slog-swept a huge six over midwicket off Simon Kerrigan to bring up his hundred from just 126 balls (19×4, 1×6). He retired a few balls later, to allow the promoted Allenby, in need of runs, a chance for an extended bat.
Meanwhile Cooper proved, once again, a perfect foil for Trescothick. He arrived at the wicket after the loss of Myburgh (22), lbw to Kyle Jarvis, and carried on where he left off in the first innings. In the same over as Trescothick reached his century, Cooper smashed a six of his own over cover to bring up his second fifty of the match.
But he wasn’t done there. He continued to punish the bad balls, and especially took a liking to Kerrigan. It was the spinner who Cooper struck for another six, in a similar area to his previous one, to move from 90 to 96. Next over, he cut Jordan Clark behind square to bring up his century from 123 balls, including 14 fours and 2 sixes. Like his captain, he retired soon after for 101 to bring Alex Barrow to crease.
Cooper has certainly been a revelation in this match with the speed to which he has adapted to English conditions, this being his first stint in county cricket.
With the pitch now dead, Allenby struck the first ball of the evening session for four through extra cover off Jarvis. He had done what he needed to do by the time he became the third retirement of the day, finishing with 53 from 58 balls including 8 fours.
Peter Trego provided some late-evening entertainment for the small crowd, hitting Kerrigan for a six over mid-on, followed by a hooked six off Luke Procter into the Somerset Pavilion building site. It was Procter who gave Lancashire their only big shout of the evening session, having an lbw appeal against Barrow turned down.
The teams shook hands an hour before the scheduled close of play with a draw the obvious result. Somerset finished on 344 having lost just one wicket all day.
Marcus Trescothick was satisfied with the final day’s play, informing the official Somerset club website that it was “exactly what we needed.” He was pleased with his own performance too, saying, “You are always wanting to score a hundred early on after the time you spend inside during the winter. It hasn’t been easy and I had to work hard at it but it was nice to get a few runs.”
Somerset will be relieved that they have finished their preparations for the season on a high note. They scored at more than four runs an over and several batsman made runs, although the flat pitch means that it is difficult to read much into it. But it is a much-needed confidence boost ahead of the opening game of the County Championship season, against Durham on Sunday at Taunton.
Reaction: Afterwards Trescothick added: “We would have liked to have batted better on day one after being two down at lunch, but they came back hard at us afterwards.
“All in all however it has been a good run out and we got a good amount of time out on the grass under our belts in the field and then we had some decent runs on the final day.
“Tom Cooper has looked really good and has come out and played positively from the off and then backed it up with a century today, which was just what we wanted to see.
“He had a little bit of a rest coming back from Australia but now he is into it here for us and away we go. Pretty much everybody has had a little bit of time at the crease and can make the most of it come the first game.”