LV= County Championship – Somerset v Surrey at Taunton

LV= County Championship – Somerset v Surrey at Taunton

Table-toppers marginally on top after day 1 of Somerset v Surrey in front of 1827 fans at Taunton, there's plenty of cricket left in this match yet-the first (& last) summer holiday red-ball game here!

Tom Lawes' 4-41 saw Somerset bowled out for 170 having won the toss and opted to bat on a sunny Tuesday in Taunton. Jamie Overton also took 2-21, including his twin brother, on a slightly less dramatic return to his old stomping ground than the double concussion subs he enforced last year.

The table-toppers then lost both former England test openers before 15 were on the board, but one of the best test openers(/threes) in the world, Tom Latham and young Ben Foakes wannabe Jamie Smith (44) came in and made hay in the sunshine putting on 63 for the third wicket...until Foakes himself was brought in just after 5pm.

Just make the most of this whilst you can-after Friday it's another 52 days until Somerset play another County Championship match here, with just four August One-Day Cup games here in between.

Somerset brought Ben Green in for injury-hampered, Blast winning skipper Lewis Gregory. Green fresh from 115 in the 2s v Hampshire last week. In Surrey's only change, Gus Atkinson replaced Australia all-rounder Sean Abbott -whose successful stint is finished for this year with the Blast over and no chance now of a rogue, late Ashes call-up.

Earlier this morning Lammonby whipped Worrall to midwicket on eight, 12-1.

Will Jacks came into the attack after 45 minutes, with just 12 overs of the new ball and plenty more seamers yet unused in the Surrey line-up. It was between his first two overs that Abell was strangled down the legside off Tom Lawes though an oh too regular dismissal for the perfectionist Somerset skipper, one we'll attempt to ask him or Shane Burger about after play.

Lawes looked impressive, quick and jagging away, had Sean Dickson (25) well held high to his right by Tom Latham at second slip.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore (TKC) thwacked through the covers then brought up the team 50 with a skied, straight six off Jacks last ball of the 19th over.

Bartlett gave Lawes a third, edging to Jacks at third slip for 6, 57-4. 

Top Championship runscorer James Rew kept Surrey at bay alongside TKC Gus Atkinson and Jamie Overton eventually getting their first overs in the 26th and 27th overs.

A hard diving chance to his left from Jacks at third slip off Overton's second ball, saw TKC earn a life on 22.

Rew showed his composure, not getting off the mark until his 32nd ball, a trademark clip to deep midwicket for four. 85-4 at lunch.

That composure was surprisingly lacking soon after lunch though as he shocked all in the ground by top-edging a Clark short ball nearly as high as the floodlights for 5. Still shy of the much-talked-about 1000-run mark for the season.

Aldridge dug-in for 20 then prodded to Latham for another slip catch off the returning Jamie Overton, 138-6. 

TKC was probably the last serious hope of a first-innings centurion for Somerset, when his standard white-ball lack of footwork led to him dragging on for 59, 140-7 Somerset were down to relying upon the kind of miracle rearguard performance seen last decade by Jamie Overton (bowling for the opposition) and Tim Groenewald (in the WPA commentary box!) 

The Overton-twin-battle did not live up to the drama of the concussion battle of last year, Craig flicked Jamie for four through fine leg, but gloved behind later the same over for five. 145-8.

Matt Henry hit some nice back foot punches through the covers for 16, but once he fell, Ben Green oddly did not trust the man with a first-class batting average of 28. Shoaib Bashir only allowed to face three balls before Green turned down two singles to the boundary then was bowled by Worrall (2-41) the next. 

Somerset did then see the back of half of England's former test opening partnership last ball of the first over. That Overton/Henry partnership combining again - the Kiwi bowling, to the bat edge, to the North Devon man in the slips. Cue Kiwi v Kiwi battle as Latham came in at three. 

Overton came back on from the River End in the 15th and Jamie Smith took him for four consecutive fours-three glorious, one edge, four different areas, none needing any running. One potential edge/deliberate run down to third…Smith suddenly 27 off 23 after 15 overs of quiet, Craig Overton’s frustration had woken the locals from their afternoon siestas. 

Anyone who follows Test cricket would know Latham is right up there with Elgar & Karunaratne over the past decade for southpaw test openers, the nuggety variety often more effective at run scoring than dashers like Warner. Khawaja, (Burns?), Chanderpaul other names that may come close but not with the longevity of my original trio this century. Latham one of those underrated classy performers who finds a way in test and ODI cricket wherever he plays.

Ben Green being turned to after 21 overs encapsulated how little difficulties the Surrey pair were having against Aldridge, Shoaib Bashir just two overs into his spell at this point. The 'V' Green credited most of his T20 wickets to were long off to square leg on the boundary. Now, third ball Smith bizarrely shuffled down and middled to Lammonby's left-hand-another great piece of fielding from Somerset. Ben Green the wicket machine, 78-3. 

Latham continued to pull and sweep well as he is renowned for doing so, Foakes a perfect foil in this right/left-hand combination. They stayed together a while without every scoring quickly - proper red-ball cricket this.

Come 17.30, Henry with his third ball back got enough shape away from an impeccable line to draw Foakes in to edging to Rew for 8. Rew's 30th dismissal this year - 28 catches and two stumpings. Not bad for a 19-year-old who's also leading the runscorer in the top division of cricket in the UK...

The 100 came up in the 30th over as Dickson (Duckson?!) ducked under a head high chance off Overton when Latham 43. Bizarre and potentially pivotal...guess he'll just say 'I did not pick it up.'

Will Jacks did his best to run himself out with just 6.1 overs remaining, but Dickson missed by a yard when both batters converging in the middle of the wicket.  And so Surrey finished just 32 behind with six wickets still in hand.


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