Yorkshire v Somerset August 29th -September 1st

County Championship Yorkshire v Somerset August 29th -September 1st at Headingley 

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1

A DAY after it was announced that Jack Brooks will leave Yorkshire at the end of the season to join Somerset  he gave them a glimpse of what they can expect by taking four wickets against them at Emerald Headingley.

He gave Yorkshire an early breakthrough in the fifth over when he got one to rise at Eddie Byrom who gloved it to Andy Hodd.  Hodd, who is retiring at the end of the season, had to make their dash from Taunton where he was playing in a second team match to replace Jonathan Tattersall who was suffering from back spasms. 

Brooks next wicket came in the 55th over when Somerset Skipper Tom Abel played away from his body and edged Brooks to Hodd. 

 Lewis Gregory and Stephen Davies  were threatening  to end the day Somerset’s way as they piled the runs on. They added 114 in 18 overs Gregory, Somerset’s T20 captain, must have been still in T20 mode as he  got off the mark with straight six off Adam Lyth over long on into the building site.  He dished the same treatment out to Harry Brook who had replaced Lyth at the Football stand end.

Lyth was brought back at the Kirkstall lane end  switched ends and Gregory despoiled him into the North east stand.  On 45 Gregory went down the wicket to Brook sliced his smash over cover and found Josh Shaw who dropped a dolly. 

Gregory came in in the 69th and in the 11 overs up to the new ball he and Davies added 76 and in the second over with the new ball Gregory overtook Davies, when Gregory came into bat Davies had made 32.  Just as they looked set to see the visitors to the close  Gregory flicked Brooks off his legs and picked out Kane Williamson at  mid wicket.

Three balls later Davies sliced Brooks to Gary Ballance  in the covers.  It was a typical Davies  innings. Anything that was short and wide he dispatched to the cover boundary.  Davies reached his fifty when he squirted Brooks out to the point boundary for one of his ten boundaries in his fifty.

Brooks said: “It was hard work.  We bowled a bit short in the middle session.  We’re disappointed that we didn’t get them out for a lower score especially as we’re now down to three bowlers with Matthew Fisher injured.  There is enough in the wicket if you bowl it in the right areas.  Somerset are a good batting side and if you don’t bowl well at them they are going to score some runs.

At the moment I am still a Yorkshire player and I’ve got a point to prove. I am a professional and it’s my job. At the start of the season I never thought that I would be leaving but as the season went Onions got more frustrating.  Somerset came in with an offer and I’ve been impressed when I’ve seen them play about how they go about their game.  They are building a decent team but I’ve had some special times here.

Up to the arrival of Gregory  it didn’t look like Somerset would get 300 never mind well over 300. Former  Pakistan Test batsman Azhar Ali playing his third Specsavers Championship match for the Cidermen hit 89 after surviving a strong leg before appeal off Brooks.  After that he was a wall  as he batted the morning session and afternoon sessions without giving a chance.  But just as his second century for Somerset  looked on he played over a full length ball from Shaw and was was yorked.  During his knock he reached 10500 runs in first-class matches

His knock was patient knock  and he was easily overtaken by Hildreth as their partnership made 137 in 33 overs.  During their partnership  the Yorkshire bowlers got a couple  to zip past their heads which must have pleased Somerset skipper Able with having the Overton twins in their line up. 

Azhar Ali said: “It was  a testing time out there when we started.  We knew that when we went out to bat that it was going to be a big challenge for us but we wanted to get some runs on the board.  We kept saying to each other if we hang on it will get easier for the rest of the guys to come.”

Hildreth who regarded by many in cricket as the best batsman never to have played for England hit 81, those runs helped him  pass 1500 first-class runs against Yorkshire.  He reached  his fifty  when he pulled Fisher to the deep mid wicket boundary to bring up his 50 from 56 balls. Two balls later he drove Fisher straight for another four.  After lunch Hildreth pulled Brooks for consecutive boundaries.

On 75, he gave a chance when he pulled Brooks to Fisher at mid wicket but as he turned he dropped the chance. The drop didn’t prove to be expensive, he made only another six when he pushed forward at one that David Willey angled across him and edged it to Tom Kohler-Cadmore who took a low catch at first slip. Hildreth and Azhar shared in a third wicket partnership of 137 in 33 overs.

Hildreth said: “We are very happy, our dressing room is very upbeat.  We thought  it was a 280 pitch and if we got anything over 300 we would be happy but to get nearly 400 on the first day is brilliant.

When we were two down for not many I was thinking well done skip for batting. The pitch is a bit up and down and there was a lot of movement off the seam.  We just fought it out and waited for the bad ball to cash in on.”

Craig Overton drove at a wide ball and Hodd took a comfortable catch.  The other wicket to fall was Marcus Trescothick who edged a drive off Willey to Lyth at second slip

Before play started both teams got what they wanted. Somerset wanted to bat so they had a toss which Yorkshire won and inserted Somerset in gloomy overcast conditions.

Day 2

A SIXTH wicket partnership of  173 between Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Andrew Hodd rescued the Yorkshire innings after they had lost three wickets for eight runs in 21 balls.

The partnership fell 11 shy of breaking the Yorkshire sixth partnership against Somerset  of 183 by Willie Watson and Ray illingworth at Harrogate in 1953. The partnership was broken when Josh Davey got his third wicket of the innings when he squared Kohler-Cadmore up who edged it and stumper  Stephen Davies took. a good low catch.  Davey got his fourth when Matthew Fisher was caught on crease and was leg before in the final over of the day.

Davey said: “Both Kohler-Cadmore and Hodd made it tough for us but to get two wickets at the end swung the day for us and the momentum is in our favour.  We didn’t bowl quite as well as we know we can. As a unit we didn’t keep the pressure on them.  We are still in a good position and there is a little bit off turn for Jack Leach. He’ll come more into the game as it goes on.”

Kohler-Cadmore said: “It was nice to finish the day from  in the position we were in. If we can get close to their score and put them under pressure but that’s all we have to do.  We have to bat deep  and if we can get anywhere near their score  it will be an interesting game. Then if we bowl well in their second innings it sets up an interesting chase. 

We decided to go for our shots on that pitch, if you nick it then you nick it.  I want to cement my place and perform  in the Championship team as well as the white ball.” 

Kohler-Cadmore cut Tom Abel uppishly in between Lewis Gregory at gully  and Jack Leach at point to get his first boundary.  The introduction of Leach into the attack in the 48th over produced the first six of the Yorkshire innings.  At the end of his first over Kohler-Cadmore took a step down the wicket and launched him into the building site for a straight six. 

That six got the partnership going, before that the pair knocked the ball around for singles and two’s.  Kohler-Cadmore hit his second six in the second over after tea again off Leach and again into the building site but the second one was a little bit wider.

He brought up his second Championship fifty for Yorkshire when he drove Craig Overton to deep mid-wicket for a couple.

Their fifty partnership came up when Hodd clipped Gregory off his legs for a couple to fine leg.  He brought up his own fifty when he rocked back to Leach and cut him through the covers for a couple.

Kohler-Cadmore ran Jamie Overton down to the third man boundary to bring up the 150 partnership.

Opener Adam Lyth was the first of the three to go when  five short off his fifty Trescothick took a brilliant one handed catch at second slip diving in front of first slip to dismiss him off Davey with one that seamed away from Lyth.  He should have been back in the hutch when he had made only five when  he drove Gregory to Leach at gully but Leach couldn’t hold on to it.

Eight runs later Gary Ballance clipped Craig Overton off his legs straight to Leach at mid-wicket.  Without adding to the score Leaning tried to turn Davey to leg but the ball got big on and he gave a simple return catch to Davey.  In his celebration Davey throw the ball up in the air and was nearly hit by hit on its return. 

At that point Yorkshire looked doubtful that they would save the follow but whether Somerset would impose it is a rude point.  After wanting a toss to bat first and with Leach. In their attack they would have wanted to bowl last.

It took Yorkshire just over seven overs to wrap the Somerset first innings up.  Jack  Brooks got the first of the two wickets to fall and his fifth wicket of the innings when Jack Leaning at third slip took a low catch diving in front of Lyth at second slip to dismiss Jamie Overton.

Yorkshire skipper David Willey took the final Somerset wicket when he got one to rise off a length at Leach and took the shoulder of his bat and flew over the slips but Lyth made a great running and leaping catch at the second attempt.

In reply Yorkshire lost their first wicket in the third over when Harry Brook was bowled off his pads by Gregory.  Kane Williamson was surprised by one that rose at him from Craig  Overton and Leach in the gully took the catch.

Ballance pulled Jamie Overton to the square leg boundary which nearly sent the square leg umpire graham Lloyd flying.  Five runs later he got an inside edge on to Davey whose looping run is reminiscent of Mike Hendricks that just missed his leg stump and raced to the boundary

Day 3

YORKSHIRE need another 411 runs with eight wickets left to beat Somerset or more realistically bat for 96 overs to save the match.

Somerset  captain Tom Abell’s  first Championship century of the season put his team on the verge of victory to keep the pressure on Surrey at the top of division one.

When he came into bat bat after Somerset had lost three second innings wickets for 29 and Yorkshire were in control.  Eddie Byrom was the first to go when he  played down the wrong line to Willey and lost his off stump. Azhar Ali drove Matthew Fisher straight to Gary Ballance at cover who took a low catch. Nine balls later Marcus Trescothick fenced at a widish ball from David Willey and edged him to Adam Lyth at second slip.

Abell became the sixth batsman in the match and the fourth Somerset batsman to reach 80 and he should have been the sixth not to reach the nineties because he was dropped by Harry Brook at gully off Willey.  He reached the nineties when he cut Fisher to third man boundary.  He reached his ton which came from 147 balls and included 11 fours and two fives with a wristy four to deep mid wicket boundary off Willey

He said: “It was a fantastic day for us after yesterday when we wern’t at our best.  To hit my first century of the season was a special feeling. It’s been a while since my last one and it's a proud day for me. To score a century for Somerset is something I’ve wanted to do since  I was a kid.

It’s going to be a tough challenge tomorrow because Yorkshire have got some world class players.  But we are going to ask as many questions as we can.  We feel that we are in the game with a chance.  There was some spin in the first innings for Jack Leach and hopefully he’ll have a big role to play tomorrow. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

His first five came when he was on 20 when he and James Hildreth scampered a quick single off Willey after Abel had dropped the ball on the legside, Willey ran to field the ball turned and threw at the bowler’s end which mich missed and ran the boundary.  His second five brought up the hundred partnership up with Hildreth.

Again the unfortunate bowler was Willey.  Abel late cut him and set off for a single.  Lyth lobbed the ball over Abel and missed the stumps and the ball ran to the boundary.

Abell said: “I’ll take my runs anyway they come.” In the early stages of Abel’s partnership with Hildreth it was Hildreth who easily outscored his captain.  Hildreth brought up his second fifty of the match when he cut Willey to the cover boundary.  His fifty  from only 60 balls with 10 fours.  Yorkshire thought they had got rid of Hildreth in the first over lunch they  went up for a catch behind down the legside off Brooks.

With  Hildreth looking set to reach his century he  tried to chop Lyth  to the third man boundary but top edged it to Hodd who caught it at the second attempt.  The pair added 135 their partnership had the Yorkshire fielders  holding on to the ropes.  Gregory and Craig Overton's partnerships put them on the floor.

Abell added: “I like batting with Hildreth.  He was outstanding as he has been all season.”

Hildreth was replaced by Stephen Davies and the first over after tea pushing for runs he edged a drive off Fisher to Lyth at first slip.  Lewis Gregory started off as he did in the first innings by hitting 12 off his first five balls including a straight six off Jack Leaning into the Football stand. He hit consecutive fours off Fisher.  The first off his legs and the second was a Chinese cut. He pulled Jack Brooks for a six over cow corner.  He reached his fifty with a six off Fisher over extra cover. His fifty came from 35 balls and included three sixes and six fours.   As he lived by the sword he died by the sword going for another big drive he picked out Kane Williamson at mid on. Abell said: “I’ve never seen anyone hit a ball as he does.”

Yorkshire lost their first second innings wicket when Brook was bowled by one that kept low from Gregory.  In his next over Lyth pushed forward at him and Davies took the catch.

Earlier in the day Josh  Davey took his first five wicket haul in Championship cricket when Yorkshire lost their first wicket of the day in the third over of the morning when Willey had an expansive slog at him and the ball flew to Hildreth at first slip. Abell added: “he was outstanding and I felt really chuffed for him.”

Without adding to the score in the next over Andy Hodd tried to turn Gregory to leg but got an outside edge and the ball sped to Hildreth  after adding only one to his overnight score.

He said: “I got nervous after reading all the messages of good luck last night.  It’s going to be a big day tomorrow and we’ve got to take each all as it comes.  If we can get through the new ball and get a couple of big partnerships.  Today we could have a batted a bit longer and got closer to their score.  I got the phone call to play on Tuesday lunchtime just as I was about to have lunch at Taunton.  After a few taxis and trains I got here.  On the first day I knew that I had made the right decision to retire.”

On eight Brooks bottom edged Gregory inches wide off Craig Overton at gully.  He got a leading edge to Craig Overton and that man Davey at mid on took a steeling catch.

Day 4

SOMERSET beat Yorkshire by 224 runs to claim their third consecutive Championship victory over the Tykes for the first time in their history.

The Overton twins shared six wickets, with Jamie who was wicketless in the first innings taking  four wickets for 25 as Yorkshire were dismissed for 194. Jamie said: “It was a pretty tough pitch and it was slow, we just had to keep going.  Kane Williamson and Josh Shaw batted well in the morning  and we were lucky to get Shaw out before lunch. Then to get Williamson out just after lunch give us a push for the second session.

My role in the team  is to be aggressive but today I had to get them to play more and try to hit the stumps as much as I could.  In the afternoon the ball started to reverse swing.  I was disappointed with my performance in the first innings and I felt that I owed it to the rest of the lads. It was a good team performance, James Hildreth played well in both innings and Azhar Ali batted well in the first innings and put us in a good position.

We’ll keep pushing Surrey to the end. There are still lots to play for and if we get a couple of more wins who knows.”

Somerset Head coach said: “I am very pleased  for the team. It was quite a slow surface and to bowl a team out for 194 was quite an incredible effort.  I thought we bowled well in the morning  but knew that if they could establish some partnerships it would be tough to bowl them out.”

Yorkshire Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon said: “Unfortunately we let periods of potential dominance slip, and you can't afford to do that.  Our first-innings bowling started really well but in the the second hour we  released the pressure. Then we were clawing it back. We started well in both innings, but we weren't able to maintain the pressure for long enough.”

He added: "That's a little bit of inexperience in that respect.   Batting wise, similar. We fought really hard, but we had a clatter of wickets in both innings, which costs you.  We can see that there is  fight in the team. We had a clatter of wickets today, but we still gave everything to try and save it and we  took it deep."

Night watchman  Shaw and Williamson defied the Somerset attack until  10 minutes before lunch when Shaw became Lewis Gregory’s third victim.   He tried to work Gregory to leg but missed the ball and was plum leg before.   His 42 was his best score in Championship cricket.  When  he swept Jack  Leach to the square leg boundary he passed his previous best of 29. With Williamson they added 90 in 31 overs.  Shaw dug out a yorker from Craig Overton for a single to fine leg to bring up the fifty partnership.  

Williamson, who top scored with 51, was the next to go in the first over after lunch.  He reached his fifty when he clipped Craig Overton through long on for a boundary. Two balls later he tried to flick Overton  off his legs and stumper  Stephen Davies took an easy catch.  During his knock Williamson passed 10,000 first-class runs when he reached 12.  His innings included two sixes.  His first came when he danced down the wicket to Leach, who had come on after 21 overs, and lofted him for a straight six. Two overs later Williamson hit him for his second six this time over long on.

Williamson’s dismissal started a collapse and it was only a matter of time before Somerset clinched the victory.  Tom Kohler-Cadmore played down the wrong line and was leg before to Craig Overton.  Gary Ballance was bowled through a small gate by Jamie Overton. Jack Leaning was late on his shot and Jamie Overton sent his off cartwheeling out of the ground.

Andrew Hodd and Matthew Fisher  showed the kind of resistance that the upper order should have showed.  Hodd made 24  to go with his 85 in the first innings. On 23 guided Gregory to the slips and should have been taken but Marcus  Trescothick  grounded the ball after diving to his left from second slip in front of Hildreth at first. But it proved not to be an expensive miss because he only added another single before Gregory returned to the attack and sent his leg stump out of the ground after Hodd had tried to smash him to mid wicket.

Fisher who came in  when Yorkshire were seven down resisted the Somerset attack for 107 minutes.  After he lost Hodd, he added another  45 in 18 overs with skipper David Willey. The partnership was broken when Fisher fended at Jamie Overton and Gregory at third slip took an easy catch.

The match was over 15 balls later when Jack Brooks backed away from Jamie Overton and hung his bat  out and Trescothick took a low catch diving to his left in front of Hildreth. 

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