County Championship Preview: Somerset v Northamptonshire
Somerset welcome Northamptonshire to the Cooper Associates County Ground this week in Division One of the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Day one of this fixture is tomorrow (Thursday May 4th).
SCHEDULED HOURS OF PLAY:
Morning session: 11am to 1pm
Afternoon session: 1:40pm to 3:40pm
Evening session: 4pm to 6pm
Tickets for this match are still available.
Gates will open at 10am.
Ticket buyers can print and download their online tickets via their SCCC account.
All ticket or Membership collections will be from the Jack White Gates (St James Street).
The Club Enquiries Desk will be based in the Reception of the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion and not in the Andrew Caddick Pavilion on matchdays.
Due to the busy nature of a matchday, our telephone lines will closed for the duration of the game and will reopen at 10am on Monday April 24th.
Information on everything that you will need for a matchday at SCCC, including how to redeem your guest passes, how to download your e-tickets and how to use the SCCC Ticket App can all be found in our FAQ section at the foot of our Membership page:
Scorecards will be available from the SCS Shop and Reception in the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion.
Matchday food and drink will be available from Stragglers Coffee House, The Bolting Horse concession in the St James Street car park and the Lord Botham Stand.
Matchday dining is also available in the County Room. We offer breakfast, a carvery lunch and afternoon tea.
HOW CAN I KEEP UP TO DATE?
Our live stream will once again be available for fans to watch via this website and at our YouTube channel.
You can also keep up to date using our dedicated matchday blog via this website’s Match Centre and on our Twitter feed.
In association with Vertu Motors, Somerset County Cricket Club will be providing radio ear pieces to enable Members and supporters to enjoy our live ball-by-ball match commentary. These will be available to purchase from Reception in the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion at a cost of £12.
In addition to this, a report on the day’s play along with quotes will be posted on this website.
Captain: Luke Procter
Head Coach: John Sadler
2022 finish: Sixth (Division One)
2022 highest run-scorer: Luke Procter (961)
2022 highest wicket-taker: Ben Sanderson (41)
Key winter moves: Northamptonshire have a new captaincy team with 2022 top scorer Luke Procter in charge and former Hampshire gloveman Lewis McManus as his deputy. England all-rounder David Willey, who has rejoined his childhood club, will miss the start of the season on IPL duty. Big-scoring Sam Whiteman arrives fresh from captaining Western Australia to their second successive Sheffield Shield, and the club have also secured the services of 23-year-old Australian fast bowler Jordan Buckingham. Former Somerset seamer Ollie Sale adds extra pace to the attack.
Player to watch: Emilio Gay misses the start of the summer due to injury, but all eyes will be on his return. The stylish left-hander enjoyed a breakthrough 2022 season which brought him more than 800 runs, including a career-best 145 against champions Surrey. In his absence, ex-Leicestershire batter Hassan Azad has signed a short-term deal as injury cover.
The starting XI will be chosen from the following squad: Tom Abell, Kasey Aldridge, Cameron Bancroft, Jack Brooks, Sean Dickson, Lewis Gregory, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Lammonby, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, James Rew, Peter Siddle and Roelof van der Merwe.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Ahead of the match, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “In our opening three games we’ve had some really good individual performances, but there have been a couple of sessions in those games where we haven’t turned up and that’s cost us.
“Two draws and a loss is certainly not the ideal start, but we’ve had a great week in terms of preparation and we will be going out there to maximise the number of points that we can get from this game.
“We need to perform for the duration of the four days. We need to turn those good individual performances into a collective performance. If we do that, then we will get the right result. Craig Overton is available for selection again and that will make a huge difference for us.
“Getting that first win on the board is huge. Winning gives you confidence in your processes. Momentum is so important in sport and if we can get some wins as we head into the Blast that will give us huge confidence as we get back into Championship cricket later in the season.”
For the classic encounter between Somerset and Northamptonshire we go back to the summer of 2001 and a fixture that saw a double centurion, four other batters scoring hundreds, a five-wicket haul for a future England international and the final First Class appearance for a former England Test batter.
It was a game that Somerset won by four wickets.
Northants arrived at Taunton for the final game of the season knowing that a win could save them from relegation to Division Two, whilst Somerset were sitting second in the table.
Somerset Captain, Jamie Cox won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Steffan Jones and Richard Johnson made early breakthroughs as the visitors slipped to 31 for two. However, David Hussey (208) and Russell Warren (144) ensured that Northants posted a competitive total of 463. Jones and Johnson both claimed four wickets.
Cox (82) and Matt Wood (122) shared an opening stand of 163, and Mark Lathwell (92) and Keith Parsons (139) plus a quickfire 77 from Ian Blackwell saw Somerset secure a healthy first innings lead after being dismissed for 650.
Tony Penberthy (101) and half centuries from Jeffrey Cook (88), Graeme Swan (61) and Paul Taylor (53) took Northants to 432 for nine when the declaration came, leaving Somerset chasing a total of 246. Blackwell was the pick of the Somerset bowlers, claiming five Northants wickets.
Cox and Wood once again laid down a solid foundation, putting on 147 for the first wicket. Despite four wickets for Swan, the hosts reached their required target for the loss of six wickets.
The result condemned Northamptonshire to relegation, and it marked the final First Class appearance of Somerset’s Mark Lathwell.
Lathwell made his First Class debut in 1991 and went on to make a total of 142 First Class appearances for the County, scoring 7988 runs. His impressive performances for Somerset in the early 90s earned him a call up to the England squad and he featured in two Ashes Tests in 1993.
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WPA PREDICTIONS LEAGUE
So, you think you know your cricket do you? Here’s your chance to prove it!
Powered by WPA Health Insurance, the new game allows you to score points on every Somerset matchday.
Collect points throughout the year for correct predictions and make your way up the leaderboard to prove that you are the font of all cricketing knowledge!
The top Scorers for each competition will receive a prize.
Watch. Predict. Win!
Somerset’s next match in the LV= Insurance County Championship is against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford and begins on Thursday May 11th.
Tickets for this match are still available.