Bob Willis Trophy - 22 August 2020
Venue: Cooper Associates County Ground
Somerset v Gloucestershire
Craig Overton finished with figures of five for 26 as Somerset wrapped up a thumping 314-run Bob Willis Trophy win over Gloucestershire at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
After a delayed start, the hosts needed just 15 minutes to claim their opponents’ last two wickets and move to the top of the Central Group.
Overton took one of them and the last fell to Jack Brooks to complete a game dominated by Somerset’s potent seam attack.
The hosts took 20 points to boost increasing hopes of reaching the Lord’s final, while Gloucestershire had to settle for three, having been comprehensively outplayed.
Play began at 1.45pm after more heavy overnight rain had saturated the outfield. Brooks had five balls of an over to complete from the previous evening.
Somerset skipper Tom Abell then threw the ball to Overton, who struck with his third ball of the day from the River End.
Josh Shaw failed to keep down a rising leg-side delivery and George Bartlett dived forward to take a good low catch at mid-wicket.
Shaw departed for a duck and, with the sun shining after all the rain of the previous two days, Somerset closed in on a quick finish.
It came in the next over, bowled by Brooks, Tom Lammonby clinging onto a sharp catch above his head at backward point to dismiss Matt Taylor for three.
Somersset have now won three out of four Bob Willis Trophy games. And it would almost certainly have been four had bad weather not robbed them over victory over Warwickshire in their previous game.
Their seam attack looks as good as any in the competition and they will go into their final match against Worcestershire at New Road favourites to win the group.
There was little play on day three as Gloucestershire stumbled from 14 for three at the start of play to 63 for eight, chasing an unlikely 385 to win.
Overton and Davey ended the day with identical figures of four for 25 and their team were clearly unhappy when umpires Ian Blackwell and Paul Baldwin deemed the light too pour to continue with a possible five overs remaining.
While the Gloucestershire batsmen made for the sanctuary of the pavilion, Somerset’s fielders remained on the outfield and head coach Jason Kerr stood in lengthy conversation with the umpires
Clearly concerned that more rain is forecast tomorrow, Kerr and his players were desperate to complete victory, having been denied an almost certain win by the elements in their previous group match against Warwickshire.
Heavy overnight rain followed by showers meant no play before tea. When the players finally emerged from the dressing rooms at 4pm, Somerset had a potential 39.4 overs to clinch victory with a day to spare.
But at 5.25pm the rain returned, with Gloucestershire 61 for six, and a further ten overs were lost. When play restarted at 6.05pm, only eight remained in the day.
With three of them bowled and with the floodlights on, the umpires made the ruling on the light to complete a day of intense frustration for Somerset.
Craig Overton had made the first breakthrough of the day, comprehensively beating George Hankins’ defensive shot and uprooting two of his stumps in the first full over to make the score 23 for four.
Ryan Higgins confidently off-drove his first delivery for four and then top-edged a six over third-man off Overton, but soon it was 49 for five as Graeme van Buuren’s loose shot saw him caught behind off Davey.
Gareth Roderick failed to trouble the scorers, carelessly chipping a catch to Eddie Byrom at mid-wicket off Davey and at 49 for six, a three-day finish looked in prospect.
But the former Middlesex pairing of Higgins and George Scott survived for eight overs as Jamie Overton and Jack Brooks took up the attack.
After 40 minutes more were lost to rain, Craig Overton struck with the sixth delivery of the resumption, pinning Higgins lbw for 21.
But soon the light was not considered good enough to continue and Somerset will be praying overnight that there is sufficient play tomorrow to complete a dominant performance.
Tom Abell and Tom Lammonby hit unbeaten centuries as Somerset set Gloucestershire a target of 385 on the second day of the Bob Willis Trophy match at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
A day dominated by the home side saw Gloucestershire bowled out for 76 from an overnight 13 for four, Craig Overton claiming four for 25 and Josh Davey three for 21.
That gave Somerset a first innings lead of 161. Skipper Abell and Lammonby then both finished 101 not out after an unbroken second-wicket stand of 211 had guided their side to 223 for one when Abell declared, aware of the forecast of rain on the final two days.
It was 20-year-old Lammonby’s maiden first class century to follow his maiden first class wicket in Gloucestershire’s first innings. The visitors were left with a tricky eight overs to negotiate, losing Ben Charlesworth, Chris Dent and Tom Lace before closing on 14 for three.
Gloucestershire were under pressure from the opening delivery of the day, having already lost four first innings wickets. Davey made the first breakthrough with the total on 29 when nightwatchman Matt Taylor was caught at point for 12.
The heat of battle between the two West country rivals was turned up when Jamie Overton thought he had George Hankins caught behind for six with the score 48 for five.
Umpire Paul Baldwin disagreed and Overton showed his displeasure, first by crouching with head in hands and then unleashing three successive bouncers at the Gloucestershire batsman.
The final ball of the over saw Hankins edge a low catch to Craig Overton at second slip and Somerset felt justice had been done.
Lace, who showed better technique than a number of team-mates, was bowled by Jack Brooks for 21, attempting to drive, with the scoreboard showing 56 for seven.
Gareth Roderick fell lbw to Craig Overton and Gordon Scott was caught behind off Lammonby’s left-arm seam before Ryan Higgins was last man out for 15.
With a commanding lead, Somerset were able to approach their second innings positively. They suffered an early setback when Eddie Byrom chipped a catch to mid-wicket off a leg-side delivery from David Payne.
But from then on Lammonby and Abell took control, looking increasingly assured in a partnership that had added 81 by tea, which was taken at 93 for one. Suddenly, batting appeared straightforward on a pitch that had never looked to have any demons in it.
The final session saw Abell score more fluently to begin with, producing some textbook drives. Left-hander Lammonby, who had never scored even a half-century in first class cricket, moved cautiously to that landmark, having faced 122 balls and hit five fours.
Abell was first to his ton, with two to third man off Ben Charlesworth. It was his second hundred of the competition and was made off 153 balls, with 17 boundaries.
Lammonby was forced to hit out in a bid to reach three figures before the declaration and did so to great effect. Twice he cleared the ropes and a pulled four to fine leg off Scott took him to his century off 160 balls.
After one more delivery Abell called a halt and soon his seamers were cutting through Gloucestershire’s batting as they had done in the first innings.
Davey had Charlesworth caught behind with a ball that lifted and bowled Lace with the first ball of the final over after Craig Overton had pinned Dent lbw. Only the weather would now appear to stand between Somerset and a third win from four Bob Willis Trophy games.
Gloucestershire captain Chris Dent said: "We have come up against one of the best bowling attacks in the country and been found wanting. But it is a fantastic learning experience for our players.
"We have to improve if we are to compete strongly in the First Division of the County Championship and games like this teach you so much. Tomorrow we could see someone play a career-changing innings if they can score some runs in such tough circumstances.
"Somerset have by far the best attack we have faced this season, tall bowlers like the Overtons, who hit the pitch hard, and skilful operators like Davey and Brooks. But we haven't performed as we wanted to with bat or ball."
A dramatic opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy match between Gloucestershire and Somerset makes for an intriguing day two.
22-year-old George Bartlett ended unbeaten on exactly 100 as Somerset were bowled out for 237, having been 89 for five and 176 for nine after losing the toss.
Bartlett’s valiant innings occupied 143 balls and featured 17 fours. David Payne claimed four for 44 and Ryan Higgins four for 72, but a last-wicket stand of 61 between Bartlett and Jack Brooks frustrated the bowlers.
By the close, Gloucestershire had slumped to 13/4, Chris Dent and Graeme van Buuren falling to Craig Overton and Ben Charlesworth and nightwatchman Josh Shaw to Josh Davey in the first seven overs.
Gloucestershire all-rounder Ryan Higgins said:
"We bowled really well up to their last-wicket partnership and will take a lot from the day. But we put pressure on our batsmen by just letting things slip at the end of Somerset's innings and you can't afford to do that against top sides.
"George Bartlett played brilliantly, handing the situation his side were in really well, and all credit to him. I was happy with four wickets because I wasn't at my best, particularly in my opening spell.
"Things improved for me after that and it is proving a fruitful competition for me with the ball. Unfortunately, we allowed Somerset to walk off with a spring in their step at the end of their innings and that made things more difficult for our batsmen in those 12 overs to close of play."
The start of the day had seen Somerset plunge into trouble after visiting skipper Dent had elected to field, with threatening clouds gathering.
Left-arm seamer Payne, fresh from eight wickets in the previous game against Glamorgan, bowled Eddie Byrom for a duck with a fine delivery at the start of the third over.
With the total on 29, Somerset captain Tom Abell edged Shaw through to wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick, departing for ten, and at the end of a morning session interrupted for 40 minutes by a heavy shower, Somerset were 42 for two.
Higgins grabbed an important scalp soon after the interval, pinning James Hildreth lbw for 13 and it was 57 for four when opener Tom Lammonby was well caught low at third slip by Tom Lace off the same bowler, having made 24.
Gloucestershire looked to be taking a firm grip when Steve Davies was caught down the leg-side by Roderick off Payne for 16 in the 35th over.
But Bartlett looked in better form than his team-mates from the outset and by tea he had moved confidently to 43, off 89 balls, with 7 fours, looking particularly strong off the back-foot through the off-side.
Craig Overton provided support as batting began to look more comfortable under clearing skies and had contributed 32 to a stand of 75 when leg-before to Higgins with the total on 164 in the final session.
A clatter of wickets followed, Roelof van der Merwe edging Payne to George Hankins at second slip, Jamie Overton caught behind aiming a mighty swing off the same bowler and Davey taken at first slip by Dent off Higgins, having been dropped by Hankins the previous ball.
At 176 for nine, Somerset, whose top order batting had been fragile in previous games, looked in danger of ending their innings without a bonus point.
But Bartlett, whose half-century had occupied 109 balls, began to cut loose and found a reliable partner in Brooks, not for the first time providing valuable runs at number 11.
They should have been parted with the score on 195 when Hankins spilled another chance at second slip offered by Brooks off Matt Taylor.
Gloucestershire’s fielding let them down as another chance offered by Brooks went begging and four overthrows contributed to the last-wicket stand.
Bartlett continued to punish anything short through the covers and point. A richly-deserved hundred was reached with a single to third-man off Taylor and the young batsman leapt to punch the air in celebration.
Brooks was caught at mid-off for 24 off the next delivery, but momentum was with Somerset and Craig Overton was quick to build on it by trapping Dent lbw for five in the third over of Gloucestershire’s reply.
Charlesworth edged to second slip, van Buuren was caught behind and Shaw fell leg-before as the fiery Overton and accurate Davey threatened with virtually every ball.
Gloucestershire won the toss and elected to bowl.
Edward Byrom | Thomas Lammonby | Thomas Abell | James Hildreth | George Bartlett | Steven Davies | Craig Overton | Roelof van der Merwe | Jamie Overton | Joshua Davey | Jack Brooks |
Christopher Dent | Ben Charlesworth | Graeme van Buuren | Tom Lace | George Hankins | Ryan Higgins | Gareth Roderick | George Scott | David Payne | Joshua Shaw | Matthew Taylor |
|Somerset win by 314 runs||Somerset second innings|
|Gloucestershire second innings|
70 all out
|Somerset First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||1b 8lb 4nb 0p 0w||13|
Fall of wickets
|Gloucestershire First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||0b 5lb 2nb 0p 0w||7|
Fall of wickets
|Somerset Second Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||1b 4lb 10nb 0p 0w||15|
Fall of wickets
|Gloucestershire Second Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||0b 5lb 2nb 0p 0w||7|
Fall of wickets