(writes Andrew Hignell)
Close of Play Report
Shortly after the fall of Glamorgan’s last wicket, rain started to fall prompting an early tea plus the loss of thirteen overs, before Somerset began their second innings at 4.25pm with the floodlights switched on given the overcast conditions. With Ruaidhri Smith hors de combat, it was Graham Wagg who shared the new ball with Michael Hogan as Ed Byrom and Tom Lammonby – who each were pupils at King’s College, Taunton - opened the batting, with Callum Taylor acting as the substitute fielder.
Byrom struck the first boundary in the fifth over as he square-drove Hogan off the back foot before elegantly cover-driving him in the seventh. He then punched Wagg through extra-cover and backward point before the left-armer had Lammonby caught down the leg-side with Chris Cooke making a fine diving catch to his right. 26/1 saw Tom Abell make his way to the middle as his side continued to build on their healthy lead.
Dan Douthwaite and Marchant de Lange then entered the attack with Somerset’s lead having reached the 200-mark as Byrom guided the latter through the gully for four. But in his next over, de Lange found the edge of Byrom’s bat with Cooke completing the catch as Somerset lost their second wicket on 38. James Hildreth became Abell’s new partner as a bank of heavy cloud built up over the ground. It did not inconvenience Abell as he clipped Douthwaite to the boards at mid-wicket, whilst Hildreth steered de Lange through point for four.
Abell added further boundaries to his tally as he twice off-drove Douthwaite with Hildreth also cover-driving de Lange before Kieran Bull entered the attack at the River Tone End after 24 overs. Abell also pulled a long-hop from Douthwaite for four whilst Hildreth cover-drove Bull to the ropes. Hogan then returned for a second salvo at the Somerset Pavilion End as Somerset’s lead had reached the 260-mark before Abell swatted Bull for four through point followed by a thick outside edge through the slips against Hogan with the ball speeding away to the ropes.
Hildreth then pulled Hogan for four before driving him imperiously through mid-off for another boundary as Somerset ended the day on 131/2 and a handsome lead of 296 runs.
Glamorgan resumed on 71/6 after lunch with Craig Overton returning to the attack at the River Tone End and being flayed to the point boundary by Graham Wagg before Kieran Bull edged hm to third man for four. Jamie Overton operated at the Somerset Pavilion End and was flicked to the ropes at fine-leg by Bull, but with the total on 91 Wagg edged Craig Overton to first slip where James Hildreth completed the regulation catch.
Marchant de Lange off-drove his first delivery over mid-off for four before on-driving him to the boards in front of the Andy Caddick Pavilion to see Glamorgan into three figures. But two balls later the South African scooped a drive into the hands of Josh Davey at mid-on. His departure saw the arrival of Ruaidhri Smith who, as a result of a hamstring strain, was accompanied by Kiran Carlson who was acting as his runner.
Jack Brooks then returned at the Somerset Pavilion End and with the total on 107 removed the obdurate Bull who departed l.b.w. for 23. With last man Michael Hogan, Smith used the long handle as he struck Davey for four to mid-wicket before scything him over the slips for another boundary followed by a fierce drive through mid-off and a huge six over square-leg, plus an on-drive for four in an over which cost 22 runs. However, his merry spree ended with the total on 131 as Jamie Overton returned and immediately removed him as Smith miscued a pull and was caught by wicket-keeper Steven Davies with Somerset securing a first innings lead of 165 runs. However, a couple of heavy downbursts delayed the start of the Somerset second innings with an early tea being taken.
1st August 2020 will be remembered by sports historians as the day when the first-ever FA Cup Final was played behind closed doors. For a while yesterday afternoon, it looked as if it would also become a red letter day for Somerset’s Jack Brooks as he shared in a century stand for the last wicket with Steven Davies and, for a while, looked like becoming a member of the very exclusive club of number eleven batsmen to score a century in first-class cricket. But this feat eluded Brooks as, on 72, he spooned a catch back to a very grateful Graham Wagg but his efforts had helped to transform a game which had earlier seen Somerset slump to 189/9 before ending on 296.
Resuming on 8/0, under blue skies at Taunton, Charlie Hemphrey drove Josh Davey for 4 and 3 in the day’s opening over, but to Craig Overton’s second delivery of the morning he was caught head-high in the gully by Tom Lammonby. 15/1 saw Kiran Carlson join Selman and he began by scampering some brisk singles, whilst Nick Selman laconically on-drove Overton for three. But in seventh over, and the total on 23, Selman shouldered arms to Davey and departed leg before.
Chris Cooke duly made his way to the middle to join Carlson who next over edged a delivery from Overton over Tom Abell’s head at backward point. But two overs later Overton again found the edge of Carlson’s bat with Roelof van der Merwe at third slip completing a low catch. Three balls later, the Overton twins removed Chris Cooke who had earlier survived a very sharp caught and bowled chance as he got a leading edge to a ball from Davey but this time an edge from Craig flew to his brother Jamie at second slip.
34/4 then became 34/5 as Billy Root sparred at a ball outside off stump from Davey and gave Jamie Overton his second catch in the slips. Four runs later, Craig Overton snaffled his fourth wicket as Dan Douthwaite edge to van der Merwe at third slip with Kieran Bull joining Graham Wagg who drilled a wide delivery from Brooks through mid-off for four. Bull also struck a boundary but this was very fortuitous as he inside-edge a delivery from Overton as he attempted to withdraw his bat.
Wagg brought up the fifty by on-driving Brooks for four before swatting the seamer for a second boundary and eclipsing Glamorgan’s lowest score in first-class cricket against Somerset which was 52 at Neath in 1963. Jamie Overton then replaced his brother at the River Tone End but shortly afterwards a heavy shower descended over the ground and the players left the field with Glamorgan on 56/6 after 25.4 overs. Twenty minutes play were lost but Wagg and Bull held firm in the short session before lunch was taken at 1.00pm