After the drama and fanfare of Friday’s win against Surrey on the telly, Somerset headed to the Hove, or the 1st Central County Ground as it’s known these days.
Somerset were looking for a second win in two games and their hosts a first win of the season having endured a rain-affected game at Lords first time out.
Somerset made one change with Max Waller coming in for Tim Groenewald with an eye, no doubt, on the expected wet weather. The forecast was very poor with heavy rain predicted suggesting it would be a day of running on-and-off the field throughout.
Sussex skipper Luke Wright won the toss and elected to field, again with weather in mind and to allow his team to chase with Duckworth-Lewis working to their advantage. With Somerset’s D/L record this would make even the most positive cider county supporter nervous.
Somerset 303 for 5 (49 overs)
Steve Davies scored a duck in his first one day outing in Somerset colours and was again leaving the field earlier than wanted when he was c Briggs b Wiese without scoring after four deliveries of this match. Hardly an ideal start for him or his new team with Somerset 0-1.
Immediately after that captain Allenby, Trego and Hldreth all got into their 20s and then got out as Somerset slipped to 120-4 with Dean Algar looking impressive at the other end. He needed a partner to stick around and found one in Adam Hose. The two added 151 runs before young Hose was out for 76 after 46.5 overs. The former Hampshire player had hit 5x4s and hoisted three big sixes too and was two runs short of beating his previous List A best of 77, made against Essex last season.
Prior to that Elgar had reached three figures in what was an excellent innings. He was joined by the Slayer of Surrey, Roleof van der Merwe, and the two took the total past 300, but rain came during the 49th over and that would be the last of the Somerset innings.
Elgar’s unbeaten 131 was a career best for the South African and included 10x4s and 4x6s. It was a decent score by Somerset and pressure was on Sussex – weather permitting.
Sussex 155 for 9 (20 overs)
After a lengthy delay there was immediate success for the visitors when Craig Overton removed Carlo Nash with the first ball of the innings.
But Harry Finch and Luke Wright calmed things and took their team to 49 before van der Merwe made an impact. He bowled Finch with his first ball bowled and he had Ben Brown lbw in his third over.
Max Waller impressed bowling four overs for just 20 runs and he got the danger man Wright, who holed out to long-on for 28.
After another rain stoppage, that left Sussex needing 80 from 35 balls, Laurie Evans smashed five sixes in 40 off 20 balls to give them a shout, but when he was caught at deep point so ended any hopes for Sussex. The home team were chasing a revised 165 off 20 overs but ended up 155 for 9 handing Somerset a win by 9 runs.
The wickets were shared with all six bowlers having success with Craig Overton’s 3 for 21 the most eye-catching.
Somerset (2 points) beat Sussex (0) by 9 runs (D/L method).
Umpires – NL Bainton and MJ Saggers
Somerset Captain Jim Allenby told the official website: “Dean Elgar showed why he is a Test cricketer. It was an international-class innings played on a wicket which wasn’t easy to bat on. I thought 260 was about par so to get us to 300 was a high-class effort by him. It was the sort of knock that is going to win you matches.
“Adam Hose did well too. Because of the runs he’s scored in pre-season and in the second team, as well as the improvements he’s made in his game, it was hard to leave him out and he played really well too. It was a good win because you never know with Duckworth-Lewis, but I was really pleased with our bowling group and the fielding in tricky conditions was excellent.”
With two wins in two the supporters were clearly in jubilant form:
The team head back to Taunton for a home game against old foe Kent, who have had the better of recent tussles between the two clubs. Kent’s young side like playing at Taunton so Somerset’s bowlers will need to be on form if the club are going to reverse recent trends.