Yorkshire v Somerset County Championship at Headingley

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1

A THIRD wicket partnership of 199 in 62 overs between Gary Ballance and Tom Koehler-Cadmore swung the first day of the Specsavers County Championship match against leaders Somerset, Yorkshire’s way at Emerald Headingley.

The partnership was broken when Ballance edged a drive off Tim Groenewald to Jamie Overton at second slip.  The pair fell seven runs short of breaking the Yorkshire record third wicket partnership of of 205 made F S Jackson and David Denton at Taunton in 1897.

Ballance’s 111 was  his fifth Championship century of the season and his first since he hit 100 against Hampshire at Emerald Headingley in May.  He reached his century when he drove former Yorkshire player Jack Brooks to the extra cover boundary. His second fifty came in 59 balls. On 110 Ballance guided Jamie Overton to James Hildreth at first slip but the ball rebounded out of his midriff and he couldn’t make the catch so It didn’t prove to be that expensive.

 Ballance said: “We knew that we had to battle hard for the first session and if we did we would get our rewards at the end.  When we came off at both me and Koehler-Cadmore said that they had bowled well but we were very disciplined. We didn’t find it easy but once you’ve got a start you’ve got to kick on.  Hopefully tomorrow we can bat well. The pitch is slower than usual for an Headingley pitch.”

In their last match against Essex at Chelmsford both Ballance and Kohler-Cadmore failed to reach over 16, today Ballance made 33 and Koehler-Cadmore.  When they came together Yorkshire had lost two wickets in three overs and the match looked to be swinging Somerset’s way.

But in the late afternoon sessions Ballance and Koehler-Cadmore were in full control. The only time Somerset got close to breaking the partnership was in the 65th with Ballance on 43 mistimed a drive off Dom Bess and edged it just wide off Craig Overton at slip who made a valiant attempt to take the catch but it was always going away from him.

Ballance reached his fifty, which came from 135 balls and included nine fours, in the first over after tea when he rocked back to Bess and pulled to the mid wicket boundary.

Koehler-Cadmore reached his fifty in the over after Ballance when he worked Jamie Overton off his legs for a single.  He hit one boundary less than Ballance and his fifty came from 100 balls. His best shot of the day was when he beautifully drilled Tom Abell to the extra cover boundary and at the close of play he was unbeaten on 77.

Somerset skipper Abell decided not to have a toss and trusted the over head conditions to play their normal role at Headingley.  For the first hour it looked his plan would work as all their pacemen; the Overton twins, Groenewald and the returning Brooks, playing his first match against Yorkshire since he left after last season, had the Yorkshire openers playing and missing.

But the Yorkshire openers Adam Lyth and Will Fraine did their job and wore the bowlers down.  Lyth pulled Jamie Overton for a six over square to bring up the Yorkshire fifty in the 18th over.

Fraine drove Groenewald to substitute Roeluf Van Der Merwe who couldn’t hold on to the chance. He went down the pitch to Bess and drove into the Emerald stand  for a straight six. Somerset didn’t get a breakthrough until four overs before lunch when Fraine clipped Brooks to Bess,who has been on loan at Yorkshire,at square leg.  Despite his earlier chance Fraine was beginning to get into his stride and looked comfortable.

Three overs later Lyth cut Bess to Abell at short cover, with his dismissal the Yorkshire fans were fearing the worst.  Ballance added: “An opening partnership can make a huge difference, if they can get through the first hour and then the new ball becomes softer.”

Somerset’s head coach Jason Kerr said: “It was a challenging day for us but they played outstandingly well and we weren’t at the races today. We decided to bowl because it’s a fresh wicket and it felt like there was something in the surface but we didn’t get the ball in the right areas.”

Day 2

Harry Brook hit his first Championship century since May 2018 against Essex and became the third Yorkshire player to hit a century in the match but they failed by six runs from beating their highest score against Somerset of 525 for four declared at Emerald Headingley in 1953.

 Brook came in at the fall of night watchman Josh Shaw’ s wicket at 305 and was the last man out 215 runs later.  He shared in an eighth wicket partnership of 115 in 19 overs with South African Test player Keshav Maharaj.

When Maharaj came into bat Brook was on 57 but he soon dominated the partnership hitting 72, to go with his 85 that he made against Essex on Tuesday,out of their 115.  As in that match he was dropped early on at the mid wicket boundary, today he was on eight and was dropped by George Bartlett off Dom Bess. 

 He went down the wicket to Bess and clipped him over the square leg boundary for his six reached his fifty when he pushed Bess out into the covers for a single,  his fifty came from 64 balls with four fours and a six.

The partnership was broken when Maharaj went down the wicket to Bess and dragged him to Jamie Overton at long on.

Somerset should have got rid off Brook when he was on 25, he edged Tom Abell between stumper Steven Davies and first slip James Hildreth but neither of them moved.  Brook glanced Jamie Overton off his legs to the fine leg boundary for his first Championship fifty of the season came from 59 balls and included seven fours.

He protected last man Duanne Olivier as Somerset spread the field offering Brook easy single, as a result of Brook’s tactics the runs dried up and the prospect of them posting their highest score against Somerset vanished.

Brook steered Abell through point for a couple to bring up his first Championship century  after reaching his century he flayed the bat at Abell and found Azhar Ali on the long off boundary.

Tim Groenewald got the first wicket of the morning when he bowled night watchman Shaw.  Shaw got an inside edge to a wide ball and lost his off stump. Shaw’s six came from 35 balls and he faced 25 balls before he got off the mark.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore reached his first Championship century of the season when he drove Craig Overton to the extra cover boundary.  In his next over Craig squared Koehler-Cadmore up and took the outside edge to Jamie at second slip.

Yorkshire lost their third wicket of the morning when Brooks got one to rise sharply at Jonny Tattersall which surprised Tattersall and the outside edge and Jamie Overton took the catch above his head.

Matthew Fisher on 10 bottom edged a drive off Jamie just wide off Craig at second slip.  In the fifth over after lunch Fisher turned Bess off his legs to Tom Banton at shot leg who kept down to take the catch.

Skipper Steven Patterson became the third Yorkshire player not to reach double figures when he pushed at Bess and was beaten and edged him to Davies.

Needing 371 to avoid the follow on Somerset lost their first wicket in the fifth over when skipper Abell was squared up by Fisher and Brook at third slip took a good catch moving to his left.

Azhar Ali didn’t move his feet to Olivier, hung his bat out and gave Adam Lyth at second slip an easy catch.

After 14 overs Patterson brought Maharaj into the attack and he struck with his fourth ball when Banton pushed forward at Maharaj and edged it to stumper Tattersall who took a low catch.  Bartlett miscued a pull shot off Olivier to Patterson at mid on who took a tumbling catch.

Somerset’s Bess said: “Yorkshire batted really well yesterday on a slow wicket but they dug in and got big scores and built partnerships.”

He added: “Bartlett wasn’t happy with himself with the way he got out and in my opinion Banton wasn’t out.  Azhar Ali got a good ball, we are up against it but if we are going to win the Championship we have to show some fight tomorrow and the next day.

I am in the Somerset side where I want to be and I want to prove a point and tomorrow is a great opportunity for me.  A draw is possible for us, but we have to work very hard tomorrow.”

Day 3

YORKSHIRE’S  latest signing South African Keshav Maharaj took the remaining six Somerset first innings wickets to fall on the third day as Yorkshire enforced the follow on with Somerset 324 behind.  

Maharaj ran through the Somerset line up six wickets for 47 in 18 overs and ended the first innings with seven for 52.  It was the first Championship seven wicket haul by a Yorkshire player since Ryan Sidebottom took seven for 44 against Middlesex in 2014 at Scarborough.  Maharaj loves playing against Somerset because he took 11 wickets for 102 for Lancashire against them at Taunton last season.

He said: “ I thought Dom  Bess bowled well on the first two days but he came on when the ball was older and softer then  when I came on to bowl. My role is to keep the runs down. I put the ball in the right place and got the wickets.”

Resuming on 76 for four Somerset lost their first wicket of the day in the fifth over of the morning when James Hildreth pushed forward at Maharaj’s arm ball and was leg before.

On three Bess edged Matthew Fisher but Harry Brook at third slip dived across in front of Adam Lyth at second slip and put the chance down. Luckily it didn’t prove to be an expensive drop because in the next over Bess played down the wrong line trying to smother Maharaj and was Maharaj’ second leg before victim. In Maharaj’ next over Craig Overton was beaten by the turn and lost his off stump.

Jamie Overton danced down the wicket to Maharaj and drilled him over long off into the Emerald stand.  In Maharaj’ next over Overton deposited him again into the Emerald stand but this time over long on.

Maharaj picked up his fifth wicket when Steven  Davies played him away from his body and got an outside edge to Lyth at slip who took a low catch.

In the first over after lunch Overton backed away from Duanne Olivier and cut him over point for a six to bring up his first Championship fifty of the season.

Tim Groenewald played down the wrong line to Maharaj and was plumb leg before, his partnership of 44 with Jamie Overton for the ninth wicket was the highest of the Somerset innings.

Jack Brooks got off the mark with a straight drive to the boundary off Olivier and was the last man out when he pushed forward at Mahraj and edged him Tom Kohler-Cadmore at second slip.

Overton said: “It was tricky, because some spun and some didn’t so I stuck to my method of keeping my pads out of the way and it worked, if it spins and takes the outside edge it’s a good ball. Hopefully I can do the same in the second innings.  

I don’t think we bowled badly on the first two days but we had been in the field for 150 overs hopefully tomorrow we can bat all day for a draw and I think we can bat all day because we’ve got a lot of batting left.  It’s going to take one big effort.”

In their second innings Tom Abell and Azhar Ali made a much better fist of it and made Somerset’s second Championship opening fifty partnership of the season.  Somerset then lost three wickets in 24 balls 11 runs. The opening partnership of 90 was broken when Azhar Ali was beaten by the pace of Fisher, nipped back and was leg before.

Despite Maharaj’ seven wickets in the first innings skipper Steven Patterson resisted the temptation to open with Mahraj and didn’t bring him until the 16th over.  He got his first wicket of the second innings in his ninth over when Hildreth sliced a big off drive off the South African and Patterson at mid off took a simple catch.

Maharaj added: “I wanted to open the bowling but Patterson said ‘If the seamers are going to get wickets it’s going to be with the new ball’ but I was soon on.”

Fisher got his second wicket when he squared up Abell who edged one that left him  to Jonny Tattersall. Maharaj said: “I thought that Fisher bowled extremely well to get his two wickets.”

After getting hit for three fours in his previous by Tom Banton, Duanne Olivier in his next over bowled two quick bounces as it to say to Banton hit those to the mid wicket boundary. But he saw off Olivier and took his score to 58 at the close.

Maharaj got his second wicket of the innings when Bartlett edged a drive off him to give Lyth at slip a comfortable catch.

Overton added: “It disappointing to lose Abell and Azhar Ali but Banton is still and hopefully he can bat all day tomorrow.”

Day 4

IT took Yorkshire 92 minutes on the final morning to take the remaining six Somerset wickets to beat them by an innings and 73 runs to condemn them to  their second consecutive defeat.

Somerset skipper Tom Abell said: “We were comprehensively outplayed by a good Yorkshire side, we weren’t good enough from day one and we paid the price.  From day one we were on the back foot and they got a big first innings total so when we batted we were behind the eight ball and failed to establish partnerships.

We felt that we had a good chance on the first morning if we got a couple of early in roads that we would put them under pressure but we weren’t at our best on that first morning.

We’ve had a fantastic campaign so far and we’ve still got a lot to play for.”

After hitting consecutive boundaries off Matthew Fisher’s first over Tim  Groenewald sliced a drive of the fifth ball to Will Fraine at point.

Yorkshire skipper Steven Patterson got his 400th first class wicket when he ended Tom Banton‘ s 132 minute stay at the crease ended when he bowled him through the gate with his third ball of the morning.  Banton couldn’t believe that he had been late on the shot and just stood for a couple of minutes looking down at the ground.

Patterson said: “When we got them  five down I know that I needed to contribute to the match that’s why I brought myself on and to get those wickets near the end was fantastic. “

He got his second wicket when Dom Bess played inside a straight one from him and was bowled.  Patterson got his third of the morning when Steven Davies cue ended a drive and the ball just reached Duanne Olivier at mid off who had to dive forward to take the catch.

The Overton twins added 28 in seven overs and both of them hit  Keshav Maharaj for straight sixes into the Emerald stand. Craig was the first when he stroked Maharaj for a straight six into the Emerald stand.  Jamie took a couple of strides down the pitch and copied his twin by launching him into the Emerald stand.

But it was Maharaj who broke the partnership  with his 10th wicket of the match when Jamie Overton played down the wrong line and was leg before. Patterson added: “Maharaj showed his quality.  To bowl with that amount of control, his 10 wickets was the difference the sides.”

Three overs later Patterson polished the match of when Craig Overton pushed down the wrong and was leg before.

Patterson said: “ I am very proud of the lads in this match, but if we are going to put ourselves in position to win we are going to have to score big runs and that’s what we did in this match. To beat a top side like Somerset by an innings after being put in is a testament to how hard the lads have worked.  All I am asking for is another performance in our next Championship match which is in a few weeks time.

Our batters have looked good all summer but have failed to score the big runs.  Our two openers got us off to a fantastic start in this match.”


July 28, 2019 11:50 pm

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