Century for James on Day Two

James Rew once again showed by he is so highly regarded as Somerset posted a competitive total of 361 all out on the second day of this LV=Insurance Division One clash with Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.

19-year-old Rew scored 105 as the visitors took charge of a game in which they had at one point been 12 for three.

By the close Lancashire were 72 for two in reply, 289 runs behind and left ruing seven dropped catches during the Somerset innings, with the sense of frustration only worsening after Matt Henry, batting at number 10, bludgeoned his way to a half century.

A bad day for the hosts was made even worse by the non-appearance of England’s James Anderson who failed to reappear at 11am after leaving the field just before yesterday’s close of play with what was described as a “minor issue”.

With Somerset resuming on 109 for four, Lancashire had a chance to make inroads into the middle order but without Anderson there was little of the previous morning’s cutting edge.

Tom Lammonby had determinedly made his way to 38 off 184 balls when he edged a wide delivery to Rob Jones at slip to hand Darryl Mitchell his first Lancashire wicket, but that was all the Red Rose had to celebrate in the morning session.

Rew was dropped by Jones on 70 off Will Williams not long after lunch and together with Kasey Aldridge he made Lancashire pay for as the pair constructed a partnership of 106 for the sixth wicket until Aldridge was caught by Luke Wells at first slip for 46 to give Mitchell his second wicket.

Ten minutes later Rew hammered a flashing square drive for four to go his second hundred against the Red Rose from 233 balls with 11 fours and maintain a remarkable record against Lancashire in his short career.

Rew’s departure, edging Mitchell to Jones, hastened a change of style as Craig Overton looked to attack in typical fashion, hitting four boundaries from his first 15 balls.

When Josh Davey lofted Tom Hartley to Williams at mid-off for nine, Somerset were eight down, but Henry joined Overton and proceeded to hit an unbeaten 50 from 39 balls, which included three mighty sixes off Hartley.

By the time Overton had been trapped in front by Williams for 35 and Jack Leach had fallen to a  diving catch by Dane Vilas off the same bowler for nine, Somerset had added 76 runs for the last two wickets and gained some precious momentum.

With Lancashire’s reply beginning a shade after 5pm, the hosts faced a difficult period before the close and when Wells departed brilliantly caught and bowled by Henry for one, the impression that it was Somerset’s day was undeniable.

And while Josh Bohannon  and George Balderson’s second wicket partnership of 67 tempered things a little, it was the West Countrymen who left the field the happier after Leach produced a beauty to bowl Bohannon for 31.

At the close of play, James Rew said: “It looked so tough out there while I was waiting to bat. You had Jimmy Anderson, the best swing bowler in the world, bowling in overcast conditions with a new ball. Full credit to Tom (Lammonby) who stuck in there and worked so hard to fight his way through that period.

“It wasn’t easy scoring conditions today. Credit to them. I thought they bowled fantastically throughout the whole innings and didn’t give us much to score off at all.

“Playing in Australia over the winter taught me not to give away my wicket and make them fight to get you out.

“With the change of mindset in the England team I think that has passed down to people like me who are playing slightly differently in county cricket. I have tried to alter my mindset and am looking to play more positively – I might not have shown that in an innings like today where I have batted slowly but I am looking to score. If they bowl well it just means there might not be scoring opportunities for me.”