Sidebottom burst keeps Yorkshire fighting on wicket-filled day at Taunton

Thirteen wickets fell on day one at Taunton as a day Somerset were dominating ended with three quick Ryan Sidebottom wickets to leave the hosts 41/3.

Yorkshire were bowled out for 202 less than two overs after a late tea break, as Jamie Overton took three wickets whilst Dom Bess, Lewis Gregory and Jack Leach all took two each.

Somerset named two spinners, to no massive surprise, and Adam Hose instead of Peter Trego for Hose’s County Championship debut.

For Yorkshire, Ben Coad did not travel, despite having his name on the scorecard, leaving Matthew Waite to came into the side along with Karl Carver the left-arm spinner. Waite came in as a like for like replacement for ex-England all-rounder Tim Bresnan who remains at his wife’s bedside awaiting the birth of his third child.

A slow-moving first session, where spin was introduced very early, ensured Somerset went into lunch the happier of the two sides. The two openers, Alex Lees and Adam Lyth, departed with the visitors’ score on 34 and the whole Yorkshire top four were restricted to only 79 runs off the opening 32 overs.

A very fast Jamie Overton spell straight after lunch inspired Somerset to make Yorkshire’s 79/2 at 1.40 become 95/6 by 2.14pm.

Jamie Overton made Peter Handscomb and Jack Leaning depart to go with his earlier Lyth scalp.

Handscomb’s habit of standing ludicrously deep in his crease to all types of bowling may work well on Australian pitches like his home ground the MCG, but it could be blamed for his undoing here.

A pitched-up Overton delivery came in just enough to miss the blade and pinned him dead in front, his deep starting foot position on off stump making the lbw look even more plumb than it might have looked to a more orthodox stance.

Leaning top edged a pull shot, caught by twin brother Craig off another Jamie thunderbolt.

Andrew Hodd and Azeem Rafiq provided the highest partnership of the match so far with just 39 runs, but Craig Overton bowled Rafiq for 6 before the second session’s drinks break had even been reached.

Hodd’s keeping instincts were clear for all to see with both reverse and orthodox sweeps being his most productive shots off Somerset’s spinners. He also was not afraid to use his feet and come down to Leach, once beautifully depositing him in the sight screen between the Sir Ian Botham Stand and Colin Atkinson Pavilion.

Hodd reached his 50 off 55 balls, with nine fours and one six. He fell for 59, caught by Tom Abell at mid-off, bowled Gregory and only a few runs, but a fair while, later Yorkshire were all out for 202 after Sidebottom and Carver had plodded them past the 200 mark.

The start of the Somerset innings felt like an England Old Boys reunion with Sidebottom ambling in to Marcus Trescothick.

However, it was the current South African international Dean Elgar, the man who Somerset have so heavily relied upon in the opening five Championship games, who fell first, Sidebottom having him caught for just six.

Abell’s last innings of 71* under no pressure with the draw secured on Monday vs Middlesex was clearly a standout exception in a series of low scores. He failed again-a second ball duck today. The 23-year-old edged Sidebottom to wicketkeeper Hodd to leave his side on 7/2.

Sidebottom did win the battle of the old boys not long later though. Trescothick played around a straight one to see his bails go cartwheeling, and the bowler nearly did so in his celebration too.

Attempting to defy the curse of the Somerset Benefit Year, James Hildreth batted through to the close with Steven Davies for watchful company.


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