County Championship Nottinghamshire v Somerset at Trent Bridge
Neil Whitaker reports
THE biggest cheer at Trent Bridge on the second day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Somerset came at 2.02 when news came through that Lancashire couldn’t claim a third batting point and couldn’t overtake Nottinghamshire, the Nottinghamshire players celebrated by losing five wickets for 48 runs.
Replying to Somerset’s first innings total of 463 Nottinghamshire came up against Craig Overton who took four wickets for 27 runs. Nottinghamshire lost their first wicket without a run on the board when Jake Libby edged the second ball from Lewis Gregory and the ball rebounded from Jack Leach’s chest at fourth slip to Craig Overton at third slip.
Following his catch Craig Overton got into the thick of the action with the ball. In the penultimate over before lunch he struck with the last ball of his first over when Nottinghamshire skipper Steven Mullaney gave catching practice to James Hildreth at first slip.
Without adding to their lunch score Ben Duckett tried to turn Craig Overton to leg but edged him to Marcus Trescothick at second slip who took a regulation knee high catch.
The loss of Duckett died up Nottinghamshire’s runs as they scored nine runs in seven overs and the edginess of their supporters transferred to the middle with risky singles and comfortable singles turned down. Inevitably Nottinghamshire lost a wicket when Ben Slater got an inside edge to a Craig Overton inswinger on to his off stump.
He got his final wicket of the innings when he beat Riki Wessels for pace and sent his off stump cartwheeling out of the ground.
Gregory added to his first wicket when Samit Patel tickled him to stumper Stephen Davies. Tom Moores became Gregory’s third and final victim when the Somerset seamer angled one across him and Stephen Davies gratefully accepted the edge. Nottinghamshire had lost four wickets for 16 runs in 29 balls.
The only lower order resistance came from the two Luke’s Wood and Fletcher who added 48 in 10 over for the eighth wicket. Surprisingly it was a subdue innings from Fletcher as Wood took the fight to the visitors and was the dominant force in the partnership.
It was left to Somerset skipper Tom Abell to wrap the Nottinghamshire innings up with a hat-trick. Fletcher edged him to Trescothick at second slip. Matt Carter under edged his only ball to Hildreth at first slip without moving his feet. Facing the hat-trick ball Harry Gurney showed the full face of his bat to Abell and edged him and Craig Overton took a diving catch to hit right at fourth slip.
Somerset skipper Abell said: “It was a strange one I didn’t anticipate that happening at the start of the day. It was nice to mop up the tail and finish the innings off after the lads had bowled really well in the first, but in the second we made hard work of it.
I took an hat-trick once before playing for the under 12’s, so it’s been a while but
I am very happy. I have worked on my bowling in the last few year but I use it as a fill in to give the boys a rest.
In this match the boys have been fantastic and have been on the money. I told the boys before the start of the match that we want the 24 points. We’ve still got a lot of hard work to do to get the last seven wickets.”
Following on 330 behind there were iconic cheers when Nottinghamshire scored their first run in the fourth over. Libby hung his bat out to Josh Davey who took the shoulder of his bat and Hildreth at first slip took an easy catch.
Both Jamie Overton and Davey must have run over a black cat as they both forced Slater and Mulleneo play and miss before Slater released the pressure by driving Davey to the extra cover boundary. In the next over Mullaney cut Jamie Overton to the point boundary.
Mullaney pulled a short ball fro Craig Overton over the square leg boundary for a six. On 15 Slater slashed hard at Craig Overton and the ball flew past the slips to the boundary. He and and Slater nearly made it to the close but with just over three overs remaining Mullaney edged a drive off Jack Leach to give Hildreth an easy catch at first slip. It was a tame end to Mullaney’s innings.
Night watchman Fletcher was dismissed off the first ball of the last over when he fended at a short ball from Jamie Overton and the ball flew to Gregory at third slip.
Nottinghamshire’s Head Coach Peter Moores said: “It was a tough day at the office, we didn’t bat or bowl as well as they did. We have been under the pump. We didn’t bat well enough because it’s a blameless pitch. It was a shame that we lost Mullaney near the end and the night watchman in the last over.”
The Overton twins both batted with both guns blazing when they started the second day’s play and added 41 in six overs. Their partnership was broken when Craig Overton clipped Gurney off his to Wood at short mid wicket who did his best to drop the ball. When he did catch it Craig Overton stood at his his crease in disbelief.
Davey’s first two scoring shots were down the wicket to Patel and lofting him straight for consecutive fours. With Jamie Overton they quickly added 50 from 46 balls and Overton brought up the fifty partnership when he lofted Patel straight back over his head for a four.
Fletcher struck in his second over of the day when Davey caught on his crease tried to turn Fletcher to leg. The Somerset innings was over when Overton had a big swing at Patel and was caught on the long on boundary.
IT took Somerset 107 minutes on the third morning to wrap this match up and beat Nottinghamshire by an innings and 146 runs to take 24 points from the match.
The match was as good as over in the first full over of the morning when Craig Overton took the second hat-trick of his career and he had to thank Marcus Trescothick for taking all three catches at second slip. Overton said: “They were just loosens and they came out of my hand right and I got them in the right areas. The first one swung back in at him. The Wessels ball bounced on him and we had Trescothick at second slip to catch them. It’s nice to see him still going with those bucket hands and it’s nice that he’s signed a new deal with us. This hat-trick is special because it’s for Somerset and it has helped to win a game and got us to 200 points.”
First to go was opener Ben Slater added four to his overnight score before Overton squared him up and he edged it to to Trescothick at second slip. Samit Patel was also squared up and he edged Overton to Trescothick who took a comfortable catch falling to his left. The hat-trick ball was unplayable when Overton got one to rise at Riki Wessels and took the shoulder of his bat to give Trescothick his third catch of the morning.
Trescothick became the third player in first-class cricket to take an hat-trick of catches, the others took place in 1914 and 1946. He also became one of the few players to be involved in hat-trick as a fielder and as a bowler. He took a hat-trick in 1995 against Young England at Taunton.
After that explosive start Ben Duckett and Tom Moores settled things down and looked to be taking the match well into the afternoon session. But when their partnership reached 30 in 15 overs Duckett played across a straight ball from Lewis Gregory and was plum leg before.
Moores had a life when edged Josh Davey through the slips for a boundary but he was soon back in the hutch. Davey bowling around the wicket slanted one in at him who was squared up and edged it to James Hildreth at first slip.
Luke Wood didn’t move his feet and edged a loose drive off Gregory and Stephen Davies took a low catch diving forward.
The last wicket pair of Matt Carter and Harry Gurney decided to go for the big hits. Out of the first three balls that Gurney faced he only connected with one the brought him a boundary over square leg and the other two he missed by a mile.
Carter clipped Craig Overton off his legs for a six over mid wicket but in the next over he was adjudged leg before to Davey.
Overton added : “Everyone of the bowler’s has taken wickets and they have made decent players play and miss because they have bowled in decent areas. We made the most of the conditions in the first innings. Those three wickets that we got last night were crucial.”
Nottinghamshire skipper Steven Mullaney said: “We have been outplayed and that reflects in the positions that both sides find themselves in the table. Somerset are a very good side. Their bowling attack got more out of the wicket than we did. I dropped Hildreth when he was on 30 which I hold my hands up up but would that have made a difference, I don’t know.
I am pleased that we have managed to stay in the first division and all the players are delighted with that. I think any Nottinghamshire fans would be delighted if we told them two years ago that we would win two white ball trophies. We all want to do well and if we work hard at it we can get better. Captaining Nottinghamshire has been a challenge and at the moment I am looking forward to having a break. It’s been more mentally straining than I thought it would be.
We have signed players who are high quality and when we report back in November it will be all hands on deck.”
Posted on 25/03/2018
by Michael Blumberg