Somerset VICC; reports v Metro & Surrey

A classy 71 from captain Ed Hossell wasn’t enough for Somerset VICC as they went down to a seven wicket defeat to a very strong Metro side on a sunny Saturday in London. The visitors slumped from 100 without loss to 155 all out, a total which was chased down by the hosts with 4.2 overs to spare. England captain Matt Dean led the way for the victors with a swashbuckling 80.

After being asked to bat first, the Hossell brothers got the Cidermen off to a solid start, rotating the strike well against some lively opening bowling. As the batsmen settled, the runs started to flow and the 50 was up without incident. Rory Hossell was put down in the covers by Mo Ghalib and Ed Hossell mistimed a flick to leg which dropped safe right in the middle of three converging fielders.

After drinks, Ed Hossell brought up his fifty and soon after the Somerset 100 was up, as the Westcountry outfit looked well set for a big score. Gareth Jones, however, had other ideas, as he induced the outside edge which saw Rory Hossell caught behind for 34. Graham Glover quickly followed, trapped leg before wicket by Mo Ghalib. With Ed Hossell and Rob Crisp at the crease, Somerset would have been hoping to steady the ship and try to wrestle back some of the momentum from the hosts. A diving Crisp survived a tight run-out call, before Ed Hossell, well set on 71, hit the ball straight up in the air, giving Metro keeper Mark Bond another easy catch.

Crisp soon followed, bowled off the inside edge for seven, before Heidi Linegar was caught by Mark Russell for 1. Steve Cook was run out and Mikey Contreras was bowled by Ghalib for 1, before Tom Gray and Kathryn Jelfs-White steadied the ship somewhat. Gareth Jones returned to finish off the innings, bowling Jelfs-White for five and having Alan Mabey caught at short mid-wicket for a duck, before taking a return catch to dismiss Gray for 8. Jones finished off with fine figures of 5-17 from 9.1 overs.

After tea, Somerset knew they needed early wickets, but England captain Matt Dean looked in ominous form, driving his first ball imperiously through the covers for four. However, in the second over Rory Hossell removed Nick Eckbeck, the catch well held by Crisp running back from short midwicket. Andy Law was happy to play second fiddle to Dean who was smashing the ball around the park as he passed fifty in no time at all.

Somerset thought they may have had a sniff of an unlikely victory when Ed Hossell bowled Andy Law for 18and Crisp then removed Dean, caught by Steve Cook at short leg, but the damage had been done. Dean’s 80 came from just 52 balls, including 13 fours and a six. Experienced campaigners Mark Bond and Si Ledwith shared an unbroken partnership to see Metro over the line, with Ledwith in particular striking the ball very cleanly down the ground to ensure Metro didn’t run out of overs. The pair did ride their luck at times, but Ledwith finished 27 not out and Bond on 15 to see the hosts to a thoroughly deserved victory.

Somerset are through to the quarter-finals of the BBS Cup as they swept aside Surrey by 126 runs, although the reigning South and Eastern Regional League champions made their National League hosts work harder than the margin of victory may suggest. Rob Crisp led the way with an unbeaten 111 as the hosts amassed 222-6 before Steve Cook took the best bowling figures in the club’s history, returning 5-13 as Surrey collapsed from 60-1 to 90 all out.

Ed Hossell won the toss and decided to bat, promoting Rob Crisp and Tom Gray to the top of the order. The hosts made a measured start against some accurate bowling, feeling their way into the game. Tom Gray was bowled for seven but Steve Cook looked comfortable, with a big swipe to fine leg bringing an early boundary. After reaching twelve, Cook then had the misfortune of hitting his own stumps, which brought the captain to the crease. The partnership between Crisp and Hossell added a bit of impetus to the hosts’ innings, with some sharp running between the wickets being complimented by some fine attacking strokes from Hossell in particular. The pair did ride their luck on several occasions though, as Hossell was dropped on the deep cover boundary and Crisp got a leading edge on Darren Paddick’s first ball which went straight up in the air before bouncing back towards the stumps before being diverted away off Crisp’s back. Soon after drinks, Crisp passed 50 with a single after a misfield from the bowler. Needing to break this partnership before it took the game away from them, Storme Dunford was introduced into the attack; a move which looked to have backfired after several wides and several long hops were dispatched to the boundary. The 13-year-old was to have her revenge, however, as Hossell tried one big shot too many and hit the ball straight to mid-off to give the UK Women’s youngster a wicket to remember.

Heidi Linegar was bowled off the inside edge first ball by Conna Jeffs, another youngster who impressed with the ball for the visitors, before for the second day in a row Kathryn Jelfs-White came to steady the Somerset ship. Crisp, at the other end, began to cut loose, with anything down the leg side being punished. With Somerset looking to up the ante, Jelfs-White was run out for four. Martin Hallett was the second Somerset batsman to be bowled for a golden duck, giving Dunford her second wicket in the process. Crisp passed his 100 with a quickly-run two, which rather typified his industrious innings. The final over brought 13 runs thanks to some excellent, if a little frenetic, running between the wickets as Crisp finished unbeaten on 111 from 91 balls with eight fours.

After a lovely tea, Somerset got off to a great start with captain Ed Hossell bowling his visiting counterpart in the first over for one. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, as BCEW UK Women’s captain Lois Turner and Darren Paddick fought to keep up with the required run rate. At 60-1 after ten overs, the visitors would have been very pleased with their start.

Steve Cook soon took the game by the scruff of the neck, bowling Paddick for 14 before Turner middled one straight to Hossell at mid-wicket for 26. Those two wickets somewhat sparked a collapse, Dave Allen was eventually run out by Tom Gray after Conna Jeffs refused to leave his ground, thus stranding his partner way down the track before Anes Saleh was brilliantly caught at short leg by David Ridgway.

After taking three big wickets, Cook was bemused as he was taken out of the attack, but it was a move that paid dividends as Rob Crisp had Jeffs easily caught by Hossell. The captain really was ringing the changes, as Kathryn Jelfs-White came into the attack, taking a stunning caught and bowled to dismiss Leanne Harvey.

Steve Cook caught Mo Ahmed to give Tom Gray a deserved wicket after a tidy spell of bowling, before Cook returned, bowling Min Ainsworth leaving Somerset needing one wicket for the victory, and Cook needing one wicket for his five-wicket haul. Bowling the final over of his allotted six, Cook thought he had his wicket when a mistimed drive popped up to the captain’s right, but a tough chance went down. Two play-and-misses later, Cook got his reward when he had Storme Dunford caught behind by Heidi Linegar to finish with figures of 5-13 from his 5.4 overs as Surrey were all out for 95 to hand Somerset a 132-run victory.