Saturday May 7th 2016, North Curry Cricket Club
Somerset 58 all out (24 overs, A Khan 4-24, M Junaid 3-11), Lancashire 59-3 (12.4 overs, S Cook 2-19)
Lancashire win by seven wickets
Somerset’s season carried on where it ended off last season with a dismal batting display seeing them fall to a seven wicket defeat to Lancashire Lions after going from 34-0 to 58 all out, a total which was never going to pose a threat to the dominant visitors.
Somerset’s innings got off to a steady enough start, with openers Ed Hossell and Rob Crisp seeing off hostile spells from the opening bowlers, left-armer Mohammed Junaid beating both batsmen several times with Arslan Sabir nearly bowling Crisp in his first over. The two openers played sensibly, ticking along at around four an over, seeing off the opening bowlers in unspectacular fashion.
The score moved onto 34-0 when Sheraz Chohan came on to bowl the tenth over and he struck with his first ball, Crisp cutting a short, wide one straight to Tahseen Sabir at point. In Chohan’s next over, he struck again, with Hossell picking out Tahseen on the deep mid-wicket fence from another long hop. Rory Hossell managed to run himself out without facing a ball as Somerset lost three wickets for three runs.
Tom Gray got off the mark by edging a bouncer over the keeper’s head, before he was caught by Usman Afridi off the bowling of a pumped up Junaid for three, before Heidi Linegar was caught at short leg first ball. Debutant Steve Cook was the next to fall for two after a 24 ball vigil, trapped leg before wicket by Amjad Khan, who would go on to wrap up the tail. Kathryn Jelfs-White was caught in close by Wasim Afridi for a duck. Graham Clover went the same way as Gray, caught Usman bowled Junaid for nought before Khan had Mikey Contreras caught for two at mid-wicket as he looked to score quick runs before he ran out of partners. Adam White edged one through the slips to get off the mark before Khan bowled him via an edge onto his boot which span back onto the stumps as Somerset slumped to just 58 all out, losing ten wickets for 24 runs, as Khan finished with 4-24.
After tea, Lancashire set about their chase with 2015’s partially sighted batsman of the year Usman Afridi, fresh from 173 not out the week before against Yorkshire, and his cousin Wasim Afridi. It really was a family battle out there, as opening bowlers Ed and Rory Hossell gave the Afridi’s a stern working over, with the batsman intent on not taking many risks.
Just like before, it was the change of bowling that led to the wickets as Steve Cook took his first wicket for Somerset as Wasim launched one a long way up but it only went as far as mid-off as Mikey Contreras took a very good catch. Cook struck again to bowl new batsman Amjad Khan to leave Lancashire on 33-2. Cook was involved in the next wicket, catching Usman Afridi for 23 at short leg off the bowling of Rob Crisp with still eleven required for victory.
In the end, the loss of the three wickets was only a minor blip as Rashid Khan and Arslan Sabir saw the visitors home to a seven wicket victory, but Somerset could at least take heart from a very tight bowling and fielding performance even if the batting remains a concern. Steve Cook picked up 2-19 from his 3 overs as well as a catch, Rob Crisp 1-2 from his two and the Hossell brothers were also very economical, Ed bowling three overs for six runs and Rory three overs for nine.
Thanks to Rob Crisp for the match report. You can follow the team’s fortunes here on The Incider.