Centuries for Andy and Curtis in vain
Centuries from Andy Umeed and Curtis Campher were not enough to prevent Sussex Sharks from coming out on top in this Metro Bank One Day Cup match at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
Umeed claimed his first List A ton whilst Campher scored the second hundred of his short stay at the Club but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to see Somerset over the line as a trademark century from Cheteshwar Pujara guided the visitors to a four-wicket victory.
Pujara hit an unbeaten 117 off 113 balls as his side chased down at target of 319 with 11 balls to spare. Tom Alsop contributed 60 and Oli Carter a rapid 44.
Umeed (119) and Campher (101) had propelled their team to 318 for six after winning the toss.
Sean Hunt and Fynn Hudson-Prentice restricted Somerset to 36 for one off 10 overs. George Thomas was the man to fall, caught behind off the latter for five. Hudson-Prentice had George Bartlett caught by wicketkeeper Carter, driving at a full-length ball and when James Rew, on 22, lofted a catch to long-off to give off-spinner Jack Carson his first wicket, Somerset were 80 for three in the 20th over.
Umeed accepted the challenge and set about bettering his career-best List A score of 77, made in the previous game against Northamptonshire. The opener reached a 68-ball fifty with a four through mid-wicket off Henry Crocombe.
Campher greeted the introduction of leg-spinner Archie Lenham by dispatching his second ball for six over mid-wicket on his way to a 45-ball half-century and Umeed followed suit off the same bowler as the pair raised the tempo.
Umeed produced a succession of sweetly-timed strokes in moving to his maiden List A hundred, off 115 balls, with nine fours and two sixes.
The stand with Campher was worth 163 from 23 overs when Umeed got an inside edge onto his stumps off Hudson-Prentice to make the score 243 for four.
Campher reached his ton off 79 balls, with nine fours and three sixes, before being caught at long-on off Carson, and skipper Sean Dickson’s rapid 40 at the end of the innings, which included a huge six into the River Tone, ensured his side reached a competitive total.
Somerset gave the new ball to debutant JT Langridge and the 17-year-old left-arm seamer did not disappoint, taking a wicket in his second over as Tom Haines sliced a catch to deep backward square.
It was 47 for two when Tom Clark edged a pull shot off Jack Brooks to wicketkeeper Rew, but by then Alsop was well set and it seemed inevitable that Pujara would flourish in the afternoon sunshine.
So it proved, as the pair added 92 in 15 overs, Alsop reaching a 49-ball half-century before nicking a ball from George Thomas and seeing Rew take an excellent catch standing up to the stumps.
Pujara followed Alsop to fifty, also off 49 balls, the Indian batter calmly picking gaps in the field to keep the Sharks up with the required run rate. However, they lost a fourth wicket when James Coles was bowled for 21, pushing forward to the left-arm spin of Josh Thomas, younger brother of George.
Hudson-Prentice was lbw aiming a reverse sweep at Josh Thomas and at 202 for five in the 34th over the visitors hopes rested with Pujara.
Carter injected a late surge, smacking four fours and two sixes, proving an ideal foil for Pujara, who reached his 16th List A century off 105 balls.