Somerset 2nd XI 265 (Burke 73, Regan 41, Dibble 40, Barrow 37, Weller 5-45, Hunn 3-49) and 178-6 (Abell 70, Regan 35 not out, Hunn 3-40) beat Kent 2nd XI 97 (Meschede 3-15, Groenewald 3-23) and 345 following on (Sobczak 86, Haggett 71, Joseph 49, Stewart 3-40) by four wickets
Tom Abell steadied the ship for Somerset 2nds on the final afternoon of their match against Kent this week to help secure the team’s second championship win of the season.
With wickets falling regularly at the other end, Abell top scored with 70, finding support from James Regan who finished with an unbeaten 35.
Somerset came out on top by four wickets, a win which takes them into second place in the championship.
Kent never really recovered from a disastrous first innings, when they were skittled out for just 97 in 44.5 overs by a rampant Somerset seam attack, 168 runs behind Somerset’s first innings 265.
Craig Meschede took 3 wickets for just 15 runs, while Tim Groenewald claimed 3 for 23. Jamie Overton nipped out two tailenders without conceding any runs and Callum Stewart picked up 2 for 21.
Somerset skipper Max Waller had little hesitation in enforcing the follow-on and his bowlers soon had Kent in trouble a second time at 21-3, with a wicket apiece to Adam Dibble, Groenewald and Meschede.
But a fourth-wicket stand of 136 from Ed Young (57) and Will Sobczak (86) proceeded to wipe out most of the deficit. Then, with Carl Haggett scoring 71 on his way back from injury, Robbie Joseph 49 and Sam Weller making a frustrating 23 batting at number 10, Kent started to build a lead.
When they were eventually dismissed for 345 during the morning session on the final day, they had done enough to give their bowlers a chance, setting Somerset 178 to win.
Pick of Somerset’s bowlers were Stewart with 3-40, Dibble 2-24 and Meschede 2-41. Tim Rouse (1-1), Overton 1-47 and Groenewald (1-72) were the other wicket takers.
When Somerset’s run chase got underway, they lost Barrow, Burke, Waller and Rouse fairly cheaply and badly needed a decent partnership to stop the nerves jangling in the home dressing room.
Abell and Regan got their heads down and put on 49 for the fifth wicket in 12 overs to take Somerset within sight of victory at 145-5 when Tom was caught behind for 70 (off 110 balls with eight boundaries). A sixth wicket fell after tea when Ben Green was adjudged lbw, but by then Somerset were just 15 runs away from victory and Adam Dibble came out to join Regan and the pair safely saw their side home.
Earlier in the game, Somerset had made 265 in their first innings, James Burke top scoring with 73 from 120 balls with seven boundaries. There were also useful contributions from Regan (41), Dibble (40) and Barrow (37). Weller took five of the Somerset wickets to fall for 45 runs.
Somerset took 23 points from the game to temporarily leapfrog Surrey and move into second place in the Second XI Championship South Division table on 64 points.
However that position could change depending on the outcome of Surrey’s match against MCC Universities later today. Surrey were just two points ahead of Somerset in the table going into this round of matches.
Middlesex currently sit at the top the table on 66 points, but have played one game more than both Somerset and Surrey.
The Seconds are next in action away against Northamptonshire in the 50-over Second XI Trophy competition at Milton Keynes next Monday 7 July, starting at 12 noon.
They then play Northamptonshire again in a three-day championship match, also at Milton Keynes, from Tuesday to Thursday 8-10 July. We’ll include a full report of both games on the InCider.
(In the Second XI Championship, teams can select more than 11 players, but only 11 of them can bat and 11 can field, so for Somerset, Callum Stewart and Jamie Overton bowled & fielded, but did not bat).
Somerset Second XI: Abell, Barrow, Meschede, Burke, Waller (captain), Regan (wkt-kpr), Rouse, Bess, Dibble, Groenewald, Green, Overton, Stewart
Kent Second XI: Waller, Piesley (captain), Young, Harte, Sobczak, Haggett, Davies (wkt-kpr), Sehmi, Joseph, Weller, Qayyum, Hunn
Second XI Championship table: