County Championship Preview: Essex v Somerset
Somerset travel to the Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford this week to take on Essex in the LV= Insurance County Championship First Division.
Day one of this fixture is tomorrow (Sunday June 11th).
SCHEDULED HOURS OF PLAY:
Morning session: 11am to 1pm
Afternoon session: 1:40pm to 3:40pm
Evening session: 4pm to 6pm
HOW CAN I KEEP UP TO DATE?
You can also keep up to date using our dedicated Match Centre this website and on our Twitter feed.
In addition to this, a report on the day’s play along with quotes will be posted on this website.
Captain: Tom Westley
Head Coach: Anthony McGrath
2022 finish: Fourth (Division One)
2022 highest run-scorer: Sir Alastair Cook (966)
2022 highest wicket-taker: Simon Harmer (59)
Key winter moves: Essex moved quickly to sign Doug Bracewell on the eve of the season after all-rounder, Will Sutherland, was ruled out of his 11-match contract due to a back injury. Bracewell, back playing Test cricket for New Zealand after a seven-year absence, is a seamer who is more than adequate with the bat. Captain Tom Westley, player of the season Shane Snater and leading seamer Sam Cook all signed contract extensions.
Somerset have named a 13-player squad for this match.
The starting XI will be selected from the following: Tom Abell, Kasey Aldridge, George Bartlett, Shoaib Bashir, Sean Dickson, Josh Davey, Ben Green, Matt Henry, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Lammonby, Craig Overton, James Rew and Roelof van der Merwe.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Ahead of the return to County Championship action, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “The schedule is incredibly taxing and it’s important that people recognise that. After a demanding T20 fixture at Bristol we get on the coach the next morning to head for Chelmsford and try to prepare the best we can for what will be an incredibly competitive four-day game with a lot of the personnel undertaking both fixtures. That in itself presents a challenge, but I have to commend the players because their attitude is brilliant. They just go about their business and adapt very quickly in order to get the right mindset.
“In that first session we need to make sure that we start well, whether that be with bat or ball, and get into four-day mode before returning to T20 cricket again on Friday.”
This classic match sees us head back to 2010 when the two sides clashed at Castle Park Cricket Ground, Colchester, and features an truly masterful innings by one of this country’s greatest ever batters.
It was a fixture that Somerset won by 219 runs within three days despite being in big trouble on the opening morning.
Marcus Trescothick won the toss and elected to bat, but unfortunately for the Somerset skipper, that was as good as his morning got.
Trescothick fell for a third ball duck and when his opening partner Arul Suppiah joined him back in the pavilion, Somerset were 21 for two in the fifth over. That soon became 32 for three when Craig Kieswetter was bowled by Chris White.
Thankfully for the visitors, James Hildreth made a typically excellent 84, but he received little support and Somerset were dismissed for 215. David Masters was the pick of the Essex attack, claiming five for 43.
It was definitely a day for the bowlers and at the close of play the hosts were also struggling. As the players left the field the scoreboard was showing Essex on 126 for six.
The Somerset attack made short work of the Essex tail on day two as the hosts were all out for 151. Charl Willoughby and Alfonso Thomas both claimed four wickets.
Trescothick then showed those present why he is considered one of the finest talents that England has ever produced. On a bowler-friendly surface where the next highest score was 84, The man from Keynsham made a superb 228 not out. There was also another half century for Hildreth as Somerset declared on 367 for eight.
Despite 53 from Billy Godleman and 41 from Ryan ten Doeschate, Somerset were always in control, and Zander de Bruyn (four for 23) and Peter Trego (three for 27) ensured that the visitors triumphed by more than 200 runs with a day to spare. To make matter worse for the hosts, they were deducted two of the three points that they secured during the match due to a slow over rate.
WPA PREDICTIONS LEAGUE
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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you are planning to attend the match, all the information you need can be found on the official Essex Website.
Somerset’s next match is on Friday June 16th when we take on Surrey in the Vitality Blast at the Cooper Associates County Ground
Tickets for this match are still available.