“I’m incredibly proud.” – Jason reflects on stunning victory

This week’s Vitality County Championship win over Warwickshire is a match that will remain in the memories of Somerset Members and supporters for years to come.

Somerset chased down 410 to secure their second highest ever successful run chase, and now that the dust has settled, we caught up with Head Coach, Jason Kerr to look back on the memorable four days.

“For everyone involved with the Club and for the neutral it was a fantastic game of four-day cricket,” he said as we sat in the dug out looking out over the scene of yesterday’s incredible win. “We always thought that it would go for four days, and we never felt like we were out of the game.

“Day three was the most pleasing thing for me. We epitomised the character and fight that we’ve shown for a number of years now in restricting Warwickshire from getting too far ahead and made it difficult for them to set a target.

“We way we approached the challenge with the bat on day four pretty much went to plan. The composure and skill that the guys demonstrated was fantastic. It shows how much they’ve grown as a group.

“The result was phenomenal and some of the individual performances were superb. Abes, Bants, Craig, Jack and Rewie were brilliant, and we shouldn’t overlook the start that Andy Umeed and TKC gave us. Collectively as a team it was brilliant, and if we can adopt that mindset and demonstrate that character moving forward then we’ll be in a good place.”

Was he surprised when Warwickshire declared on the morning of day four?

“A little bit. I thought they might bat for a bit longer. It’s not often that 400 is chased down, we know that, so I thought that they might bat on for a little bit. They obviously felt that they needed the whole day to get the 10 wickets because wickets had been hard to come by during the game.”

How did he go about preparing the players for the mammoth run chase?

“From our point of view it was simple,” he explained. “If we could occupy the crease, then we didn’t need to worry about the scoreboard. We felt that if we could bat until tea with wickets in hand then anything was attainable. In the end it went better than that and we played brilliantly, paced it brilliantly and at no point did the guys feel under pressure. The way we finished the game epitomised the day.

“My philosophy is about playing cricket without the scoreboard. If you’re thinking about the fact that you’re chasing 400, it makes it harder. However, if you can stay in the moment and play what’s in front of you, you’re going to score runs if you bat time. You can get up to five an over just by playing what’s in front of you and reassessing at each break. When we got to lunch, we were in a fantastic position because we had a platform with a huge amount of talent still to come. At that stage you can sense that the opposition are under pressure as they search for a breakthrough.”

How did Jason feel when Tom Abell hit the winning runs?

“It was a fantastic achievement,” he said. “When we celebrated on the balcony it was a case of realising what we’d actually done. That sort of thing isn’t done very often. At times, the closer you get to targets, the harder it can become. You need to manage your emotions the closer you get to the target. You notice when every run starts to get clapped and that happens because chasing 400 doesn’t happen very often. All that emotion builds up and then it gets released. It’s excitement and relief and it can be all different things to different people. I’m incredibly proud of the guys and you could see what it meant to them all at the end.

“The way Abes managed his innings was brilliant. He kept his composure, and he didn’t even give Warwickshire a half chance. He demonstrated the skill and ability that he has in the way in which he brought the game home. What he demonstrated yesterday is what we all see day in, day out. I’d go as far as to say that he’s one of the best batters in First Class cricket.”

Were the players aware of the fact that the chase was the second highest in the history of the Club?

“I’ve certainly made them aware of it and I think that will take time to sink in. You don’t get much time to reflect during the county season but I’m sure it will start to sink in soon. Everyone should feel incredibly proud of what they achieved this week.”