Renshaw and Davies leave Essex just short of beating Somerset inside two days.

LV= County Championship Division One

Somerset v Essex, Taunton – Day Two

Harry Everett

Somerset only delayed the inevitable as Essex will surely complete the easiest of victories before noon on Saturday – ‘kids for a quid’ day sadly not the best advert for Somerset cricket.

On my way in this morning I was mentally preparing a piece all about Sir Alastair Cook’s 26,000 first-class run, or perhaps more likely his 71st first-class century.

Then when the Joe Root news broke, I guessed “Chef” would crown his return to save the England side as captain and opener supremo, but nay too.

First ball of the day his old teammate Peter Siddle had him caught by another man well into his 30s-James Hildreth – in the slips.

Load up the BBC Sport live feed and there is more content about Joe Root and the England captaincy than the county game of course. First tweet suggesting Tom Abell should be captain-“only one candidate,” sadly for the Taunton lad, he’s not on current form though.

Too many Cooks did not spoil Somerset’s broth this am, as Essex were double-cooked before Pete Trego had replaced me on livestream commentary on Good Friday. Nightwatchman Sam bowled by a fired-up Craig Overton for three.

To many Somerset fans’ surprise, the home side earned two bonus bowling points inside 63 overs as Matt Renshaw caught Matt Critchley at slip for seven for Overton’s fourth.

Two wicketkeepers then came together: Adam Rossington and Adam Wheater both on 0. Rossington was dropped by a diving left-hand from Craig Overton at third slip off Lewis Gregory who thought he had him later in the same over.

Rossington had just played a glorious straight drive for four, but Craig Overton had him lbw next ball for six to bring up his Michelle 5-fer; 5-39.

6-24 was Overton’s previous first-class best. When Steve Davies caught Wheater behind for four, then Snater gloved behind for eight, 7- 57 was the new entry being added into this column.

Simon Harmer showed some late resistance for 25* but Gregory wrapped up the innings with his first at 1.10pm – Snater lbw for two. Essex 180 all out, a phenomenal morning comeback from Somerset.

Essex scored 71-8 in the 130 minutes before lunch.

Somerset’s second innings did not go much better. Their equalling of Essex’s 180 (from one innings) with only five wickets down received the biggest cheer of the afternoon.

Moments later, Somerset were just four runs ahead at tea having lost all of their top five bar Matt Renshaw who stood firm on 36*. The least experienced of Essex’s three seamers, Shane Snater had three wickets with Somerset guilty of further poor shot selection.

Snater went on to get 6-36, but only once Steve Davies had held Essex up with 51, Somerset’s sole half-century of the match.

Snater was nearly on a hat trick. Gregory and Overton fell in the same over before Peter Siddle was dropped at short cover first ball – the overseas man fortunate to be the only not out Somerset batsman in the end. No one else lasted any duration of note-none of the final four reaching double figures.

Essex did have to bat twice in this match. 84 they needed to win as Cook and Browne came out to bat for two overs before close.

And Overton did add to his earlier tally, Browne caught by Green for one, but the two Cooks again defied Somerset to be 3-1 after two overs at the close.

Somerset are likely to lose six County Championship games on the bounce for the first time since 1960.

Essex should complete the formalities before my preseason game starts at Thorverton tomorrow afternoon. 81 to get.


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