Friday, April 26th, 2024

Worcestershire vs Somerset: Day one report & highlights

Jason Holder produced another devastating spell with the ball for Worcestershire on day one of the Vitality County Championship encounter with Somerset at Kidderminster.

The West Indies captain had dismissed David Bedingham, Graham Clark and Paul Coughlin in quick succession on the opening day of last week’s fixture at Chester Road.

He repeated that success by sending back Andrew Umeed, James Rew and Lewis Gregory in the space of 12 deliveries immediately before tea.

Holder found the ideal length during this spell as he backed up the excellent bowling throughout the day of Joe Leach and Matthew Waite.

It changed the complex of the game but Tom Banton from 181-6 and enabled Somerset to recover to declare shortly before the close on 309-9.

Jake Libby and nightwatchman Adam Finch negotiated five overs to reach 14-0 by the close.

Worcestershire rested leading wicket-taker Nathan Smith, who had played in the opening three games, and handed a first start of the season to left armer, Ben Gibbon.

Kashif Ali, who scored two centuries against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in the opening game, returned after recovering from a back problem in place of spinner Josh Baker.

Worcestershire batter, Brett D’Oliveira, won his first toss of the campaign and put the visitors into bat on a wicket with a bit more grass than last week’s game versus Durham.

It was a move that almost paid dividends in the first over from Joe Leach but Sean Dickson was put down at first slip before he had scored.

But it did not prove a costly miss as Dickson fell for 16 in Matthew Waite’s first over.

Dickson took a stride forward and aimed a stroke to leg but he was undone by a delivery which straightened on him at 24-1.

Leach bowled a more consistent line and length and deserved better figures than 0-19 from an opening six over spell before being replaced by Jason Holder.

Matt Renshaw was initially given a searching examination by Matthew Waite but gradually opened up with two boundaries as the 50 came up in 17 overs.

But the return of Gibbon led to a second breakthrough as Renshaw (30) was squared up by a testing delivery and Adam Hose held onto a low chance at first slip.

Leach returned to the attack after lunch and picked up some tangible rewards for his earlier efforts as Tom Lammonby drove hard and perished to a sharp catch by Holder at second slip.

New batter Tom Banton was beaten twice in an over from Waite as Worcestershire searched for further success.

It was Holder who turned the game on its head just before tea with his deadly three wicket burst.

Andrew Umeed, having battled away for two and a half hours for 47, pushed forward and keeper Gareth Roderick did the rest.

There was more joy for Holder and Worcestershire when James Rew (3) then nibbled at a delivery and provided Roderick with another catch.

It became three wickets in 12 balls for the all-rounder when Lewis Gregory (1) played back and was lbw and Somerset went to tea at 181-6.

Worcestershire tried to press home the advantage after tea and there was a second deserved wicket for Waite as Kasey Aldridge (9) went lbw to a delivery angled in.

But Banton and Migael Pretorious went on the attack to add 76 in 10.2 overs.

Pretorious made 49 off 34 balls before the safe hands of Holder low down at slip accounted for an edge off Leach after the second new ball was taken.

Banton looked set for a century but on 92 he pushed Gibbon to mid off and failed to beat D’Oliveira’s direct hit to the non striker’s end. In all, he struck one six and 15 fours.

Worcestershire all-rounder Matthew Waite, who bowled impressively and picked up two wickets, said: “I would say the day finished pretty even.

“At the end of the day, we had good parts where maybe we could have capitalised but they came with a good counter-attack after Jason’s three wickets just before tea.

“The pitch, the ball nipped day and there is a bit more carry this week. It’s a tricky pitch but you can get in and make a big one.

“Tom Banton played really well and got stuck in and, for us, that’s what it is going to be all about tomorrow.

“Is that the best I’ve bowled for Worcestershire? I would have to agree with that. Leachy said the same, probably the best I’ve bowled for Worcestershire, certainly better than anything I bowled last year.

“It was nice to get through 18 overs as well because I had a tricky winter injury-wise and be alright at the end of the day.”