Cricket: Somerset draw positives as rain ruins Surrey clash
PUBLISHED: 08:06 18 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:06 18 May 2019
©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468
Rain ruined the prospect of an exciting finish to the Specsavers County Championship match between Somerset and Surrey at Taunton, which ended tamely in a draw.
Only six overs were possible in the morning session before an early lunch was taken with Surrey, who had begun the day on 152-5 in their second innings and leading by 134 runs, having progressed to 187 without losing any more wickets.
Play did not resume until 2.15pm because of a wet outfield. Somerset then dismissed Morne Morkel (27), Will Jacks (54) and Dean Elgar (17) to leave their opponents 247-8 at tea.
But 34 overs had been lost to the weather and only 33 remained to be bowled.
Surrey were 229 runs ahead and a draw looked inevitable even before bad light - despite the new floodlights at the County Ground being on - interrupted the final session at 4.15pm.
After 15 minutes the players took the field again, only to shake hands two overs later with the visitors on 255-8, leading by 237.
Somerset took 11 points from the game, having won their opening two Championship matches, while title-holders Surrey claimed 12 points.
The first period of play saw nightwatchman Morkel, on nine, dropped by James Hildreth at first slip off Lewis Gregory with the total on 175.
Somerset could not afford such errors as 20-year-old Jacks, who had shown excellent temperament the previous day, progressed from his overnight 31 to a half-century off 84 balls, with nine fours.
Play ceased at 11.25am and on the resumption, after a break of almost three hours, Morkel, who had done his job, skied Jack Leach to long-on where Craig Overton took the catch.
For a short while it looked as though England left-arm spinner Leach might go through the Surrey tail, but the only real turn was out of the rough.
Jacks' impressive innings ended when Overton pinned him lbw with the total on 204 the over after Morkel had been dismissed.
Elgar, batting despite suffering from kidney stones, helped take the score to 235 before nicking a Tim Groenewald outswinger through to wicketkeeper Steve Davies.
At 247-8, Somerset took the second new ball, but by then any chance they had of forcing a win had long gone.
Rikki Clarke and Gareth Batty were soon facing the occasional leg-spin of Azhar Ali and medium pace of Somerset skipper Tom Abell as an excellent game reached a disappointing conclusion.