County Championship Preview: Middlesex v Somerset
Somerset travel to Lord’s this week to take on Middlesex in the LV= Insurance County Championship First Division.
Day one of this fixture is tomorrow (Thursday May 18th).
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: Toby Roland-Jones
Head Coach: Richard Johnson
2022 finish: Second (Division Two)
2022 highest runscorer: John Simpson (1,039)
2022 highest wicket taker: Toby Roland-Jones (67)
Key winter moves: Continuity was Middlesex’s main objective in the wake of promotion, with Stephen Eskinazi, Tom Helm and spin duo Luke Hollman and Thilan Walallawita all agreeing new deals. The county are yet to announce a replacement for overseas signing Keshav Maharaj, with the left-arm spinner’s stint at Lord’s cancelled after his freak Achilles injury while playing for South Africa.
Player to watch: Luke Hollman. Having originally made the breakthrough as a white-ball specialist, the homegrown leg-spinning all-rounder nailed down a regular place in the four-day side that secured promotion last season. Maharaj’s injury may well open the door even wider for the 22-year-old, who supplements his leg-breaks with valuable runs in the lower-middle order.
Lewis Gregory returns to the squad and Peter Siddle is also in contention for a recall, so Josh Davey misses out.
The Somerset squad for this fixture is: Tom Abell, Kasey Aldridge, George Bartlett, Steve Davies, Lewis Goldsworthy, Lewis Gregory, Matt Henry, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Lammonby, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, James Rew and Peter Siddle.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Ahead of the match, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “Everyone is looking forward to the game. I thought we played some brilliant cricket at times at Old Trafford, especially when you consider we had to come back from 12 for three. I feel that we dominated the game at times, and that’s testament to this group.
“There’s a lot of external noise around at the moment, but to me that’s irrelevant. Opportunities were discussed last week and neither side wanted to take those. Unfortunately that meant that the last day resulted in frustration for everyone. However, that can’t take away from how well we played over three and a half days. We will now look to take that confidence into the game against Middlesex.
“Lewis Gregory is having a great year and the plan was always to rest him in order to bring him back fresh for this game because he’s got a phenomenal record at Lord’s. When you bring someone back in, someone else has to miss out, and on this occasion it’s JD.
“I feel that we have built and developed throughout each of the games that we’ve played so far, and the aim is to go to Lord’s and win. We can then take that momentum into the Vitality Blast.”
For this week’s classic match we go back to August 2013. The two sides clashed at Lord’s and it was Somerset who came away with a resounding victory.
One the morning of the opening day, Somerset Captain, Marcus Trescothick won the toss and elected to bat.
Trescothick and fellow opener, Nick Compton added 79 for the opening wicket, with the Somerset skipper going on to make 64. Half centuries from Chris Jones (58), Alex Barrow (65) and Alfonso Thomas (54 not out) put Somerset in a strong position, but it was a century from Piyush Chawla that put the visitors in the ascendancy as they posted a first innings total of 449 all out.
Chawla then impressed with the ball, claiming three for eight from 4.5 overs. Craig Meschede (three for 25) and Lewis Gregory (two for 14) also caught the eye as Middle sex were dismissed for just 106.
Trescothick enforced the follow on and Gregory claimed five for 38 as the hosts were blown away for a second time, only mustering 164 as Somerset won by an innings and 179 runs in three days.
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 Middlesex CCC Website.
Somerset’s next match sees us begin our 2023 Vitality Blast campaign.
We welcome reigning champions Hampshire Hawks to the Cooper Associates County Ground on Wednesday May 24th.
Don’t miss out on the explosive action of the Vitality Blast! Get your tickets now!