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Somerset v Essex – The Bob Willis Trophy Final – Lord’s – Summary
Somerset 301 and 227/7
Essex 337/8 and 179/6
Essex won the toss and elected to bowl
Match drawn – Essex win the Bob Willis Trophy due to a bigger first innings score
Essex produced a dogged batting performance on the final day to secure a Lord’s draw with Somerset, securing the Bob Willis Trophy.
This was Essex third first-class title in the space of four years following an unbeaten campaign.
Edward Byrom’s 117 had gone some way towards Somerset – who also finished the season undefeated – posting a sizable first innings total of 301. Sam Cook the pick of the Essex attack with 5/72, while there were two wickets apiece for. Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer.
With the wet weather conditions meddling menacingly, a lead at the halfway point proved to be the vital component in Essex’s success. Sir Alastair Cook provided a timely reminder of why he holds a place amongst the greats of the game with a quite brilliant batting performance. The former England skipper conjured up a majestic knock of 172 from 289 deliveries. Skipper, Tom Westley, chipped in with a stylish half-century – his second-wicket stand with Cook 170 – as Essex established the crucial advantage – Lewis Gregory keeping Somerset in with a shout with superb figures of 6/72.
Tom Lammonby became the third centurion of the match, scoring 116 off 151 balls as Somerset set Essex 237 runs to win in 80 overs, this after declaring on 272/7.
But in a tense finale, Essex held their nerve despite losing Nick Browne, Westley and Cook for just 68.
Light-metre readings restricted the Somerset attack as the drama continued to rise. Meanwhile, another of the old guard carried Essex closer to the line – Ryan ten Doeschate dug in with Paul Walter and then Adam Wheater. His dismissal, handing Jack Leach his third wicket was a case of too little too late for Somerset at the end of a well-contested five days of cricket.
Somerset: Ben Green, Tom Lammonby, Tom Abell (Capt), George Bartlett, Edward Byrom, Steve Davies (WK), Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Josh Davey, Jack Leach, Jack Brooks
Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (Capt), Dan Lawrence, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (WK), Simon Harmer, Aaron Beard, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter
Officials: Robert Bailey, Russell Warren and Dean Cosker