Essex are beaten inside two days at Taunton 

Brian Jeeves

Somerset v Essex – Vitality County Championship Division One – The Cooper Associates County Ground – Report

Essex 156 and 138

Somerset 128 and 170 for seven 

Somerset won the toss and elected to bowl

Somerset won by seven wickets

Essex found themselves on the wrong end of a seven-wicket against Somerset as no less than thirty-seven wickets fell inside six Vitality County Championship Division One sessions at Taunton.

Eyebrows were raised when twenty wickets fell on day one, leaving Essex with the upper hand. 

Jamie Porter and Sam Cook claimed five wickets apiece. Porter finished with five for 37, and Cook 5/38 as Essex skittled the home side for 128, to secure what had earlier seemingly an unlikely first innings advantage. 

Tom Lammonby top-scored for the home side with 38, while Andy Umeed contributed 31. However, those around them fell cheaply on a day dominated by the bowlers.

Earlier, it was the Somerset attack that had dominated. Migael Pretorius returned figures of four for 36, while Craig Overton and Jake Ball chipped in with two apiece as Essex was dismissed in fifty-one overs for 156. Returning skipper, Tom Westley hit 43 off 84 deliveries.

The bowlers continued to hold all the aces. Josh Davey and skipper Lewis Gregory claimed four-wicket hauls as the Essex batting order again crumbled, this time for 138, leaving the hosts with a target of 167.

Following suit, Somerset limped over the line, losing seven wickets. Shane Snater took 4/55, while Cook took his match figures to seven for 93, but all in vain as the visitors slipped to their first defeat of the season and in double-quick time. Sean Dickson top-scored for the home side with 42.

Speaking to Richard Latham of the ECB Reporters Network, Essex Head Coach, Anthony McGrath, said: “When we arrived here to train last Thursday the ground was pretty much under water and the wicket was wet, but both teams wanted to play, which did them credit.

“It’s not for me to say whether the pitch was fit for first-class cricket. It produced a fast-forward game, which I am sure the crowd enjoyed. Thirty-seven wickets falling inside two days certainly meant few dull moments.

“I am always disappointed to lose, but we had started the season well and are right up there where it matters, as are Somerset now.

“Jamie Porter and Sam Cook probably felt a bit jaded today, which was understandable considering the number of overs they bowled in a long final session yesterday.

“We probably need twenty or thirty more runs in our second innings and losing four wickets for one run at the end of it hurt us.”

Essex returns to Vitality County Championship Division One action on Friday, May 17-20, when Warwickshire visits the Clud County Ground (11am).

Somerset: MT Renshaw, SR Dickson, TA Lammonby, ARI Umeed, T Banton, JEK Rew (WK), L Gregory (Capt), C Overton, M Pretorius, JH Davey, JT Ball

Essex: D Elgar, T Westley (Capt), NLJ Browne, JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, NRM Thain, HG Duke (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, SJ Cook, JA Porter

Umpires: JD Middlebrook and AG Wharf

Scorers: LM Rhodes and P Parkinson

Match Referee: P Whitticase

Elsewhere, Peter Handscomb hit a century for Leicestershire against Middlesex in their Vitality County Championship Division encounter at Lord’s

Leicestershire posted 306. In response, the home side were 64 for one at the close, with Sam Robson on 28* and Max Holden 26*.

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk