When Chris Rogers pushed Nottinghamshire’s Brett Hutton for a single with the fifth ball of the 57th over at Taunton in September he joined an exclusive club of Somerset cricketers who have scored two centuries in one game. Rogers had scored 132 in Somerset’s first innings and his second century in the match was the 20th time a Somerset player had achieved this feat in an exclusive group of only seventeen players.
This was the first such feat in five years. When Marcus Trescothick hit Yorkshire for two tons at Taunton in May 2011 (189 & 151*) he became the third player to have achieved this feat twice, as he had also hit Warwickshire for two hundreds in a game at Edgbaston in August 2009 (108 & 107*).
The first player to score two tons in one game in Somerset colours was Randall Johnson against Middlesex in August 1908. His scores of 164 and 131 was the most scored by a Somerset player in one game at that time. Len Braund’s 307 runs in 1913 would knock him off this perch but it remains the 14th largest run haul in a game for Somerset. In total Johnson hit 18 hundreds for Somerset in his career.
It would be another 17 years before the next player achieved two hundreds in one game when skipper John Daniell hit Essex for 174* & 108 in a game at Taunton in 1925. Reggie Ingle became the third player in 1928 with Middlesex again on the receiving end. His 117 & 100* was also at Taunton and this game, like both previous occurrences, ended in a draw.
The first player to hit two tons in an away game was the fourth player to join the list ten years later, Frank Lee, who hit 109* & 107 at New Road, Worcester in 1938. His efforts were in vain though as Somerset lost by 45 runs.
Batting legend Harold Gimblett was the first player to hit two tons in a game for Somerset twice. His first was in May 1949 when he hit Hampshire for 115 & 127* in a game his team won by 212 runs at Taunton. In 1952 he achieved this feat again, also at Taunton, when he hit Derbyshire for 146 & 116 in another drawn game.
Bill Alley became the sixth player to join the list in 1961. His total of 317 runs against Surrey at Taunton (183* & 134*) broke the record for most runs in one game for Somerset, a record he would hold for 24 years. This is also one of only two occasions when a player was not out in both innings’.
The other player to hit two unbeaten tons in one game is possibly the most surprising name on the list. Jeremy Lloyds had only hit one hundred in his career when Somerset travelled to Northampton in 1982, and in one game he hit two! His 132* and 102* were two of ten career hundreds.
The next two occasions were both achieved by South African legend Jimmy Cook, who became the second player to do this twice for Somerset. In 1989 he hit Notts for 120 & 131* at Trent Bridge and followed this up with 197 & 115* against Hampshire at the County Ground in Southampton.
The only player to hit a double century as part of a match double was Jamie Cox in 1999. His 216 against Hampshire in Southampton was followed by 129* and this total of 345 runs is the most scored in a single game for Somerset. Trescothick’s 340 (v Yorkshire, detailed above) is the third highest match aggregate with only Justin Langer’s 342 in a single innings at Surrey coming between them.
There were six other players to score two hundreds in a game for Somerset:
Of the twenty occurrences eleven times this happened at Taunton and nine times on five away grounds: Worcester, Northampton, Southampton and Edgbaston (all twice) and once at Nottingham.
Chris Rogers’s final game for Somerset was memorable for many reasons, especially as it put his side in with a chance of winning the County Championship for the first time in an exciting finale. And in doing so he became part of an exclusive club alongside some of the greatest names to represent Somerset.