Somerset v Durham MCCU: Close, Day 2: Somerset 264/3 (Myburgh 115*, Hildreth 102)
Despite more rain falling at Taunton Vale, Somerset’s top-order still managed to make the most of the pre-season fixture against Durham MCCU, as both Johann Myburgh and James Hildreth scored hundreds yesterday evening (Friday).
After a wet start to the day, play finally got underway just before 4pm and the batsmen not out overnight – Marcus Trescothick and Myburgh – had mixed fortunes.
The skipper found runs hard to come by, as he played out two maidens from Jack Wood and one from Charlie MacDonald, adding just six runs to his overnight score in twenty-five deliveries.
Meanwhile, Myburgh hit seven boundaries in as many overs, before Trescothick’s dismissal at the end of the 19th over, bowled by Wood, brought James Hildreth to the crease with the score 90/2.
The pair found run-scoring easy from the moment they came together, and by the time Hildreth was eventually dismissed, their partnership’s run-rate was a shade under five and a half per over, and the third-wicket stand of 172 had demoralised the students.
The South Africa-born Myburgh, 34, found himself 115* at the close, and his knock, which included fifteen fours and a six, was his highest innings – and first century – in first-class cricket for Somerset.After scores of 89 and 49 for the M.C.C in Abu Dhabi last week, Hildreth continued his excellent pre-season form with 102 from 114 deliveries, taking a particular liking to seamer Will Jenkins and leg-spinner Darrel Williams, whom he hit for a combined 48 in 33 balls.
Having had two relatively lean seasons by his own exceptionally high standards, Hildreth, who debuted for the county in 2003, will be hoping for a significant run of scores in 2015. Like his partner, Hildreth hit fifteen boundaries and a six, but was dismissed by the former Dehli under-19s slow left-armer Chaitanya Bishnoi in the final over of the day.
With Jim Allenby (2*) having joined Myburgh for the final three balls of the day, Somerset face a choice between a session of acceleration in the morning before a declaration, or an overnight declaration, which would leave the remote chance of a win possible.
However, the likelihood is that regardless of their decision, Somerset’s opening fixture will end in a draw; understandably so, given that only 51 overs have been bowled in two days. Therefore, Saturday will probably be treated as an opportunity for batting and bowling practice, and frequent bowling changes and experimentation can be expected.
Entry is free at Taunton Vale, and will the forecast suggesting that no further rain will fall tomorrow, Saturday looks set to be an enjoyable day of cricket for fans.
Reaction: Afterwards a delighted Myburgh said: “I am delighted to have got my first century for Somerset and its always nice to get to three figures. “A lot of innings go into your memory bank, but hundreds are always very special and this one certainly is because it is my first one for Somerset and I enjoyed it.
“Weatherwise it wasn’t a fantastic day and we began late but once we started playing the pitch itself had a little bit in it with the new ball and it moved around a little, but as the time went on their inexperience showed a little bit because they bowled a few boundary balls in between the good ones”
Talking about his partnership with Hildreth he said: “We were playing well together. Hildy was hitting the ball beautifully and looking in very good nick and timed it well from the word go.”
Looking to the morning Myburgh said: “ I am sure we bowl at them at some stage tomorrow but I’m not sure when that will be. Hopefully we have a better day to play cricket in tomorrow!”