Last-wicket pair give Somerset hope on opening day

PUBLISHED: 19:48 01 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:48 01 August 2020

Steven Davies of Somerset in batting action (pic Nick Wood/TGS Photo)

Steven Davies of Somerset in batting action (pic Nick Wood/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Steve Davies and Jack Brooks transformed a modest Somerset total with a last-wicket stand of 107 on the opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy match against Glamorgan at Taunton.

The hosts had looked set to miss out on any batting points after crumbling to 149 for eight, Ruaidhri Smith claiming three of the wickets.

But after Josh Davey had contributed 20 to help revive Somerset fortunes, last man Brooks came out to smash a 38-ball half-century on his way to making 72, off 58 deliveries, with nine fours and two sixes.

Davies, who had been dropped twice, top-scored with 81 not out as the menace went out of the Glamorgan seam attack. Somerset were finally bowled out for 296 before their opponents replied with eight for no wicket.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Smith, who finished with three for 41, but was forced to hobble off injured in the closing session.

Before play started there was a minute’s silence in recognition of those who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The players also took the knee in support of improving diversity and inclusion in cricket and the community ahead of the opening ball being delivered.

Somerset won the toss, but were soon being put under pressure in overcast conditions on a pitch offering pace and bounce.

Young openers Tom Lammonby, making his first-class debut, and Eddie Byrom did well to take the score to 38 against some testing pace bowling before being parted.

Byrom was bowled off an inside edge by Graham Wagg (two for 59) for 22. Tom Abell, on three, then had his stumps scattered by Marchant De Lange (two for 37), and James Hildreth was caught at point off Dan Douthwaite for 16.

At lunch, the score was 92 for three and Glamorgan’s position would have been stronger had Charlie Hemphrey not dropped Lammonby on 14 at second slip off the impressive De Lange.

The 20-year-old Devonian left-hander batted through the morning session to be unbeaten on 40 at the break. But in the fifth over off the afternoon Lammonby fell lbw to the accurate Michael Hogan for 41.

Smith picked up three wickets in the session, sending back George Bartlett, who was worked over by De Lange before falling for a battling 23, Roelof Van Der Merwe and Jamie Overton, whose departure for Surrey at the end of the season was announced earlier in the day.

Douthwaite accounted for Craig Overton leg-before and Glamorgan were well on top as Davies survived a couple of chances to slip on his way to a 76-ball half-century.

Davey began the recovery, helping Davies add 40 for the ninth wicket, but when he top-edged a steeply rising ball from De Lange to mid-on Somerset were still 11 runs short of a batting point.

Brooks played positively from the start and had blazed his way to 45 with a succession of belligerent shots before being dropped off Wagg, a tough chance to Billy Root over his shoulder at mid-wicket.

It was all the luck Brooks needed to register his first half-century for Somerset since joining them from Yorkshire. He bludgeoned a tiring attack and Davies lost little by comparison as the pair ensured a respectable total.

When Brooks was eventually caught and bowled by Wagg, Glamorgan were left with seven overs to bat in the day. Nick Selman and Hemphrey found the new ball seaming around for Craig Overton and Davey.

Overton conceded four byes with a bouncer that flew over wicketkeeper Davies’ head and the first six overs were completed without a run off the bat as the openers concentrated on survival.

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