Monday, April 29th, 2024

Worcestershire vs Somerset: Day four report & highlights

Worcestershire produced another encouraging performance in picking up 15 points from their drawn Vitality County Championship encounter with Somerset at Kidderminster.

Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira and his team-mates were the side pushing for victory in the four-day fixture and their attack tried everything on the final day.

But some defiant batting by the likes of Jake Ball, Matt Renshaw and Tom Lammonby (77 not out) and Andy Umeed ensured the game ended with honours even as Somerset closed on 190-4 a lead of 48.

Worcestershire now have a week’s break from action before facing Kent at Canterbury but they can take great heart from their early season matches after promotion from Division Two.

They were in the ascendancy in rain-affected games against Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire and gave another good account of themselves in this fixture.

Although only four of the 14 games have been completed, the signs have been positive in the battle to become established in the top flight.

Today their attack bowled with great accuracy and Somerset were restricted to barely two runs an over for long periods of the day as they battled to survive.

With Jake Libby, Gareth Roderick, Brett D’Oliveira, Adam Hose and Joe Leach all making runs and Leach, Matthew Waite and Jason Holder bowling some impressive spells, there were plenty of positives over the four days.

Somerset resumed today on five for one after Holder had removed opener Sean Dickson yesterday evening.

The Worcestershire attack had to contend with a fierce wind blowing across Chester Road.

Holder could have struck again first thing this morning with Matt Renshaw surviving a low chance to second slip before he had scored.

Nightwatchman Jake Ball did a similar job to that by Adam Finch for Worcestershire on the second day in occupying the crease for a lengthy spell.

But he was fortunate when he edged Holder wide of third slip for four.

Renshaw was content to try and blunt the attack and the second wicket pair added 39 before Adam Finch made the breakthrough.

Ball (29) did not move to his feet to a delivery which jagged back in and was bowled.

D’Oliveira brought himself into the attack shortly before lunch and accounted for Renshaw.

He had battled away for 77 balls in making 12 but then attempted to sweep the leg spinner and popped up a simple catch to Kashif Ali at short leg.

Somerset reached 68-3 at lunch, having scored just 63 runs from 30 overs during the morning session.

The same hard fought battle between bat and ball continued during the afternoon with Somerset made to work for every run.

But Lammonby and Umeed got through tea unparted and completed half centuries off 126 and 117 balls respectively.

It was Ben Gibbon who broke the stand after adding 117 in 39 overs with a superb reflex caught and bowled to dismiss Umeed (60).

Worcestershire Head Coach Alan Richardson said: “I think first and foremost, you take great heart from the performance.

“We played some really good cricket for large parts of the game and put ourselves in a position to try and win the game.

“Ultimately, just a little bit frustrated we couldn’t quite get over the line. But lots of positives over the four days.

“What were those positives? We identified after the Durham game that we were a bit scruffy with the ball, not quite as disciplined as we would have liked, and we were better in this game and got our rewards in the first innings.

“With the bat, we talks a lot about fostering partnerships to try and make sure we don’t lose wickets too much in clusters.

“We know that will happen at times but we have to make sure that is not fatal for the rest of the game and we did that brilliantly well.

“Obviously some brilliant individual performances with the bat. Jake Libby and Gareth Roderick bowled batted magnificently, the partnership they had and the partnership Gareth had with Adam Hose which really gave us some nice momentum.

“Then Brett D’Oliveira and Joe Leach towards the end did fantastic to put us in a really good position.

“For me, addressing some of the stuff we didn’t quite do as well against Durham, and doing them better in this game, is something that should be a real positive.”