MATCH REPORT - DAY 3
Having started the third day twenty-eight runs ahead of the Middlesex first innings total of 190 and with nine wickets intact, Somerset pressed home their advantage before declaring on 508-8, giving them a lead of 318 runs. Middlesex were left with 90 minutes to bat in the day but when they had reached 42-0 from seven overs, the umpires brought the players off the ground due to bad light and no further play was possible.
Chris Jones started the day on 95 not out and after scoring a single in the opening over, he hit a four off Steve Finn to reach a 187 ball hundred which contained fifteen fours. When Steve Finn dropped one short, Nick Compton pulled him for a six over mid-wicket. The total reached 248-1 before Compton struck Finn for a four but Finn had his revenge next ball when he bowled Compton, off an inside-edge, for 15. James Hildreth joined Jones and the pair saw off the threat from Finn and Tom Helm to take the hosts to 277-2 at which point the new ball was taken after 80 overs.
James Harris and Toby Roland-Jones took the new ball and although the pair bowled well they were unable to get a breakthrough. Gareth Berg and Tom Helm then bowled through to lunch but Chris Jones was immovable and he went into lunch on 146 not out with Hildreth 35 not out of a total of 318-2.
Jones retired out at lunch and Johan Myburgh replaced him but he lost Hildreth in the fourth over after lunch when Hildreth was well caught by the diving Toby Roland-Jones at mid-on to dismiss him for 35 off the bowling of James Harris. Alex Barrow managed only seven runs before he was trapped LBW by Harris to reduce Somerset to 346-5. Lewis Gregory joined Myburgh and Gregory made hay, taking four fours off two Joe Denly overs and successive fours in Andrew Balbirnie’s first over.
However with the total on 391-5, Myburgh carved a Ravi Patel delivery straight to Joe Denly at cover to be dismissed for 31. Gregory hit Ravi Patel out of the ground for a six and reached a 59 ball fifty (1 six & 9 fours) before Patel had his revenge when Gregory was bowled behind his legs for 55. Craig Overton joined Craig Meschede with the total on 426-7 when one thought that a declaration might be made to give Middlesex an awkward thirty minutes batting before tea. Meschede and Overton added a further 22 runs before Overton was LBW to Ravi Patel for eight. Former Middlesex player Josh Davey joined Meschede and the pair took Somerset to 471-8 at tea, a lead of 281 runs.
Middlesex thought that there might be a declaration at tea time but the hosts decided to continue their innings so skipper Dawid Malan brought himself on to bowl his occasional leg-breaks. Davey helped himself, taking ten runs off Malan’s first over with Meschede taking thirteen runs off his third over to reach a 54 ball fifty (2 sixes & 5 fours). After seven runs came off the following over from Ravi Patel, Somerset declared on 508-8 after 136 overs; Craig Meschede was 56 not out with Josh Davey 33 not out. Ravi Patel finished with figures of 3-75 from 21 overs with Steve Finn taking 2-91 also in 21 overs with the impressive James Harris taking 2-56 in 24 overs.
Joe Denly opened the Middlesex innings with Nick Gubbins and Denly opened his account with two fine cover drives for four off Lewis Gregory in the opening over of the innings. Gubbins scored a four off the first ball of the next over, bowled by Craig Overton and the pair took Middlesex to 18-0 after four overs at which point the umpires consulted with regard to the light.
In order to keep play going, Marcus Trescothick immediately switched to an all-spin attack with Johan Myburgh being joined by Jack Leach. Joe Denly looked in good touch, taking seven runs off Leach’s first over and then hitting Myburgh for a four and a six in an over. However, with Denly 30 not out in a Middlesex total of 42-0, the umpires decided that the light was too poor even with spinners bowling.
MATCH REPORT - DAY 2
After Somerset took the three remaining Middlesex wickets as the visitors were bowled out for 190, the Somerset batsmen Marcus Trescothick and Chris Jones put on an opening stand of 204 for the first wicket. Before bad light and rain ended play for the day resulting in the loss of 17 overs, Somerset had reached 218-1 on a wicket that had flattened out.
In the morning, Gareth Berg and James Harris resumed the Middlesex innings on 157-7 against the bowling of Craig Meschede and Lewis Gregory. Berg was in good touch as the pair took the visitors to 182-7 before Berg drove Meschede straight to Craig Overton at extra-cover to be dismissed for 37 which contained eight fours. Toby Roland-Jones joined Harris but after Harris scored a four off Gregory he was trapped LBW, next ball for 17.
Roland-Jones drove Meschede for a four through the covers but Steve Finn was then bowled by Gregory for a fourth ball duck. Gregory finished with figures of 5-58 from 19.2 overs with Meschede finishing with figures of 2-51 in 16 overs – they were the only bowlers used by Somerset in the morning.
Trescothick and Jones began the Somerset reply with 67 minutes remaining before lunch. Trescothick pulled the first ball of the innings from James Harris for a four but Harris and Toby Roland-Jones bowled with discipline and only 24 runs came off the first twelve overs. Gareth Berg replaced Harris at the Old Pavilion End but a poor first ball by Berg saw Trescothick pull him for six over backward square-leg. With Jones hitting two fours in the over (the last one off an edge), fifteen runs came off the over.
Berg’s second over was a maiden before Steve Finn came on to replace Roland-Jones who had conceded just ten runs in seven overs. Finn opened with a maiden over and with a four coming in Berg’s third over, Somerset came into lunch on 44-0 after 17 overs.
Adam Rossington took over the wicket-keeping duties after lunch in place of John Simpson who was to return after the tea interval. Steve Finn continued to bowl at the River End with Tom Helm coming on at the other end. Finn bowled with good rhythm and pace, bowling a total spell of eight overs and conceding just fifteen runs whilst Tom Helm bowled admirably conceding 23 runs in a seven over spell. Trescothick had looked in good touch unfurling a number of typical drives through the extra-cover area and reaching a 114 ball fifty which contained 8 fours and a six.
The hundred came up in the 37th over and Chris Jones reached his fifty (7 fours) off 112 balls out of a total of 122-0. Ravi Patel bowled four overs of his left-arm spin and troubled Trescothick but the pair were still together on 144-0 at tea with Trescothick 77 not out and Jones 65 not out.
Finn returned to the attack immediately after tea but Trescothick hit him for two fours in his opening over. Trescothick, who had failed to register a hundred in the County Championship in 2013, reached his hundred in the seventh over after tea with a four off Finn, coming off a total of 186 balls with 15 fours and a six. Trescothick and Jones brought up their 200 partnership in the 61st over before Trescothick edged a Steve Finn delivery through to ‘keeper John Simpson to be dismissed for 112 (off 201 balls, 1 six & 17 fours).
Nick Compton came into bat in failing light but he survived with Chris Jones finishing just five runs short of his hundred when the umpires brought the players off the ground due to bad light with Somerset on 218-1 after 66 overs. Steve Finn had figures of 1-65 from 15 overs with James Harris having figures of 0-34 in 14 overs, Toby Roland-Jones 0-32 in 12 overs, Gareth Berg 0-34 in 8 overs, Tom Helm 0-42 in 13 overs and Ravi Patel 0-6 in 4 overs.
MATCH REPORT - DAY 1
Only 46 overs play was possible on the opening day of the four day friendly match against Somerset at Taunton. All thirteen members of the Middlesex squad will play in the match (Somerset may use fourteen players) but only 11 players will bat and be in the field.
Dawid Malan won the toss for Middlesex and elected to bat first on a cold, overcast day at the County Ground. Joe Denly and Nick Gubbins opened the batting for the visitors and after Denly played out a maiden over from Lewis Gregory, Gubbins scored a two and a four in Craig Overton’s first over. Denly then scored successive fours in the next over from Gregory and Nick Gubbins scored three successive fours in Overton’s second over although the last one was a top-edge over the ‘keepers head.
Denly then hit Gregory for fours through the covers and a straight drive and with five runs coming off the following over from Overton, the Middlesex score was 41-0 after six overs. However, Somerset struck in successive overs when Gubbins was bowled behind his legs by Gregory for 19 and Joe Denly lost his middle stump to Craig Meschede’s second ball to be dismissed for 22.
Dawid Malan was joined by Neil Dexter and the pair added a further 34 runs for the third wicket before Malan was trapped LBW for 20 when Craig Overton returned to the attack at the Old Pavilion End. Adam Rossington managed only one four before he was LBW to Callum Stewart to reduce the visitors to 86-4. John Simpson joined Neil Dexter at the wicket and the pair battled through to lunch in bowler friendly conditions with Middlesex on 109-4 after 31 overs.
After lunch, Lewis Gregory returned to the attack and in the fourth over after the break, he had Neil Dexter caught at second slip by Marcus Trescothick for 28. Andrew Balbirnie joined Simpson and he got off the mark with a four off the last ball of the over. Former Middlesex player Josh Davey was in the middle of a fine spell of bowling and it was Davey who got the next wicket when Barrow held a fine diving catch at the wicket to dismiss Simpson for 22. When Andrew Balbirnie was well caught by Marcus Trescothick at second slip for four off Gregory’s bowling, Middlesex were reduced to 131-7.
James Harris joined Gareth Berg at the wicket and the latter played some fine cover drives in reaching 22 not out as Middlesex reached 157-7 before bad light brought the players off the field at 2.42pm. Rain arrived and no further play was possible, the umpires calling play off at 5.00pm. Lewis Gregory had figures of 3-44 in 14 overs with Craig Overton 1-29 in 9 overs, Craig Meschede 1-32 in 11 overs, Callum Stewart 1-29 in 5 overs and Josh Davey 1-14 in 7 overs.
Middlesex CCC is pleased to announce the following 13-man squad to play in a 4-day friendly against Somerset down in Taunton, starting tomorrow, Monday 24 March:
The match is a four day friendly, with play due to start at 11am. Entry is free for all.
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