Second XI Championship – Somerset Second XI v Gloucestershire – Taunton Vale, August 4-6, 2014
Gloucestershire Second XI 182 (TF Smith 47, P Grieshaber 38, M Lezar 34, JH Davey 5-42, BGF Green 3-18) and 128 (TF Smith 25, M Hammond 25, AJ Dibble 4-26, CM Stewart 2-12, J Overton 2-35) lost to Somerset Second XI 321-6 declared (TM Abell 127, JH Dave 95 not out, AD Clarke 45, LC Norwell 4-56, CJ Skidmore 2-69) by an innings and 11 runs.
Somerset: 24 points, Gloucestershire: 3 points
It’s not easy to prise Tom Abell away from the batting crease these days. The Taunton-born all-rounder has hit something of a purple patch during the summer of 2014, notching up a run of scores for Somerset Second XI and Taunton Cricket Club that must surely see him knocking on the door of the first team.
Fresh from an unbeaten seven-hour 205 against MCC Universities last week, Abell spent more than four hours this week compiling an innings of 127 off 172 balls with 15 fours. He shared a third-wicket partnership worth 174 in 25 overs at almost 7 an over with Josh Davey who made an unbeaten 95.
Like his innings against the students last week, Abell’s century against Gloucestershire on Wednesday also set up a comprehensive Somerset victory, this time by an innings, all the more impressive given that a whole day had been lost to rain.
Over the past month, Abell has a run of scores for Somerset Seconds which include that 205* against the students, 94 in a one-day game against the Unicorns and two scores of 70. The 20-year-old also currently averages a hugely impressive 120.8 for his club side Taunton CC this year, with a top score of 185 not out. That average did reach a staggering 151 at one stage, but took a slight dent when Abell fell for an extremely rare duck in last week’s match against Wembdon. He did make up for it by opening the bowling and taking four wickets though!
Abell went in to open the innings for Somerset Seconds at Taunton Vale on Monday evening after Gloucestershire had been dismissed for 182 in 67.4 overs.
Tom Smith then helped steady the ship and top scored with 47 off 127 balls before he too fell to Davey.
Gloucestershire moved on to 151-6, but Somerset Academy youngster Ben Green made short work of finishing off the tail. He dismissed keeper Patrick Grieshaber for a useful 38 and took three wickets in all for just 18 runs in 6.4 overs to wrap up the innings. Marc Lezar, who made a useful 34, also fell at the other end during this period, trapped lbw by Jamie Overton.
Callum Stewart also picked up one wicket mid innings for 32 runs.
The cider county had moved onto 127-1 off 36 overs by the close of day one, skipper Chris Jones back in the pavilion, caught behind for eight, to give Liam Norwell the first of four wickets. Abell was 54 not out and triallist Andrew Clarke unbeaten on 42.
With the whole of Tuesday lost to rain, Somerset needed to push on during Wednesday morning to try to set up a result. Clarke was soon out for a promising 45 with the score on 122-2. He and Abell had put on 109 in 37.1 overs.
Davey then walked to the wicket to join Abell for that huge partnership which set up the Somerset victory.
Abell’s long vigil was eventually ended in the 62nd over when he was caught behind off Norwell. Two further wickets followed in the same over with the score on 307 as James Regan and Adam Dibble both fell to Norwell for ducks. The next over Jamie Overton went for 1 as Somerset looked to set up a declaration.
Two overs later at 321-6, Jones called his batsmen back in, Davey left stranded on a near run-a-ball 95 with 11 fours and Ben Green not out 6, including one boundary.
Starting their second innings 139 runs behind, Gloucestershire were soon in trouble at 24-2 as Adam Dibble took the first two of four wickets for 26 runs.
Tom Smith and Miles Hammond, who both made 25, briefly challenged, but other than Joe Barrett (18) and former Somerset Second XI player Chris Skidmore (15*), no-one else got into double figures.
Overton and Stewart picked up two wickets a piece and there was one for Davey, with Smith being run out. Gloucestershire were all out for just 128 in 54.3 overs.
Somerset Head of Strength and Conditioning Darren Veness tweeted: “Started the day 60 behind at the Vale, ended up only batting once. Solid win from the boys! #weareSOMERSET”
Somerset took 24 points from this game and Gloucestershire took 3.
The Seconds are in action against Gloucestershire at Taunton Vale again today, this time in the 50-over Second XI Trophy competition. The match starts at 12 noon.
They then take on Hampshire Second XI at Taunton in a three-day championship match next week from Monday 11 August until Wednesday 13 August, starting at 11am.
They then play the same opposition in their final south division 50 over Trophy match, also at Taunton Vale, starting at 12 noon.
We’ll include a full report of those 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).
Somerset Second XI: CR Jones*, TB Abell, AD Clarke, JH Davey, JA Regan+, AJ Dibble, J Overton, BGF Green, GH Dockrell, CM Stewart, CJ Davenport, ORT Sale
Gloucestershire Second XI: JH Barrett*, TF Smith, KCB Smith, M Hammond, J Garrett, RJ Montgomery, P Grieshaber+, M Lezar, J Butler, LC Norwell, CJ Skidmore