Tom Abell and James Rew recorded the highest fifth wicket partnership (231) for Somerset against Lancashire in glorious sunshine this afternoon. Abell finishing 119* and Rew 114*.
It was the Jimmy Anderson show first thing at Taunton. England’s greatest wicket taker of all time bowled seven overs straight from his former England teammate Marcus Trescothick’s (MTP) end. 7-2-13-2.
Sean Dickson lbw for 0 and Tom Lammonby caught at slip for 15 had the Somerset fans hovering over their keyboards again to lament further top order failings.
Cam Bancroft reached seven, then was denied one in the covers – good fielding and immaculate line and length bowling prompting him to nick off next ball – Tom Bailey the wicket taker.
Saqib Mahmood replaced Anderson for his first spell of Championship bowling since last April.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore (TKC) remarkably plinked Balderson over long on in the 16th as Somerset passed 50 just after midday.
He got to 24 off 21 balls. Saqib Mahmood conceded four runs from his first three overs.
CDG got TKC – the most frustrating dismissal of the day, I guess it’s the ‘but that’s the way I play’ KP argument – to continue the theme of being famously known by their initials. 38 off 40 balls.
91-4 at lunch.
Vic Marks and myself on comms agreed (who am I to disagree with him…though criticising Jimmy seems harsh) Anderson was not at his best after lunch. 17 scored off his three overs since the interval. A decent batting surface “the best of Somerset’s three so far this season” Marks reasoned.
Abell reached his first half-century of the season in 109 balls with seven fours.
The 100-run partnership and Rew’s 50 came before tea. The young ‘keeper nailing Hartley one bounce into the Colin Atkinson Pavilion for four to get there. His 10th four brought up his 50 off 119 balls.
At tea it was already Somerset’s highest partnership of the season so far and Abell with the highest individual score of Somerset’s season. 199-4 also the first batting session of the season in which Somerset did not lose a wicket.
Proceedings continued Somerset’s way into the third session. Tom Abell working through third, past the solitary slip off CDG to get to 100 just over an over before the new ball was taken by James Anderson from the MTP end.
A 14th hundred of his first-class career. This one came off 203 balls with 13 fours and one six having seen him come in at 24-2.
Boy, have Somerset missed their skipper! Even though he only missed the Championship opener (the Warwickshire game), he only otherwise had one brief 2s outing before the defeat at Trent Bridge last week.
Somerset’s first two matches saw them need a top order bat to hang around in the first innings for others to bat around and help propel them up to batting bonus points. Skipper Abell did exactly that, the perfect foil for young left-hander Rew.
The new ball reaped no dividends for Lancs, Anderson and Bailey looking tired and bowling slightly short and wayward with it surprisingly.
Rew did get a life on 90*, Anderson dropping a left-handed grasp in his follow-through before the 200 partnership was reached.
Rew was running out of time in the day but eventually cover drove Mahmood for four to reach his second first-class ton and to further cement his spot after Steve Davies’ second team hundred earlier in this week.
The 300 was brought up by a Rew top edged pull shot agonisingly just over Bailey’s head at long leg. But the close was safely negotiated to 311-4.
The first day of Somerset’s season they can say they ‘won.’
Tonight Somerset fans sleep with eager anticipation of what gears these two may go through tomorrow morning before the 110 over bonus point cut off·