James excels again as Somerset beat Worcestershire
Yet again, James Rew showed that he is one of the brightest young talents in the English game as he helped lead Somerset to victory over Worcestershire Rapids in this Metro Bank One Day Cup match at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
Somerset bounced back from Friday’s defeat against Warwickshire to get their campaign back on track, and once more it was Rew who grabbed the headlines with yet another century and a stunning catch as his side came out on top by 36 runs.
The 19-year-old ‘keeper scored his second career List A century, and his sixth of what has been an incredible season, as Somerset posted 287 for nine after winning the toss. His 101 came from just off 93 balls and included eight fours and two sixes. Lewis Goldsworthy also caught the eye again on the way to 47, while Ben Gibbon overcame a nightmare start to claim three for 58.
Worcestershire looked marginally ahead when reaching 232 for five in reply, but three wickets fell for 0 runs and they collapsed to 251 all out, Ben Cox top-scoring with 58 and both Rob Jones and Joe Leach contributing 41. Curtis Campher finished with three for 51.
The game got off to an eventful opening when Somerset raced to 22 off the first over, sent down by left-arm seamer Gibbon. George Thomas flayed three boundaries, with six wides and four leg-byes also contributing to the total.
There were already 31 runs on the board when Thomas fell to the final delivery of the second over, caught behind pushing forward to Leach.
Andy Umeed and Goldsworthy shared a partnership of 65, taking the score to 96 in the 18th over before Umeed edged a leg-side delivery from Cameron Jones through to Cox and departed for 34.
Goldsworthy had swept a six off Josh Baker, but he and Rew were largely content to milk ones and twos, laying the foundation for a large total. The pair had advanced the score to 147 when Goldsworthy attempted to cut a ball from Brett D’Oliveira that was too close to him and got an edge through to Cox.
By then, Rew was well set, scoring prolifically through the leg side and making good use of the reverse sweep. He moved to fifty off 52 balls and was joined by skipper Sean Dickson in another fruitful partnership. Dickson launched two big sixes on his way to a valuable 37 off 40 balls.
Rew was steadily accumulating while occasionally cutting loose. George Bartlett and Campher both fell before the young wicketkeeper reached another landmark in an already memorable season, striking his eighth four to move to a 91-ball hundred.
After adding a single, Rew was caught at deep backward square off Gibbon to leave Somerset 274 for seven with 13 balls of their innings remaining. They lost two more wickets and Worcestershire could feel relieved to keep the score below 300.
The visitors then lost three of their top order inside 12 overs, Azhar Ali getting an inside edge onto his stumps off Ned Leonard, who then had D’Oliveira well caught by Shoaib Bashir at deep backward square.
When Jake Libby was brilliantly caught by Rew, one-handed diving to his right, off Lamb, Worcestershire were 75 for three. However, Jones was going well and shouldered major responsibility for his side’s fortunes.
Somerset needed more wickets and that soon came to pass when Kashif Ali called for a quick single to mid-wicket and Jones failed to beat Goldsworthy’s brilliant left-arm direct hit at the wicketkeeper’s end. Kashif was then caught and bowled by Jack Brooks, who had dropped him the previous over. However, Cox and Leach then put together a sensibly paced stand of 73 in 13 overs.
Cox moved to a 56-ball fifty and Worcestershire were within 55 of victory when he top-edged a short ball from Campher to Goldsworthy at mid-wicket. The tide then began to turn very much in the host’s favour when Josh Baker was caught at cover in the same over.
Leach had begun to free his arms, hitting a six and four fours, but when he was trapped lbw by Goldsworthy’s left-arm spin, the Rapids had lost three wickets on the same score and were 232 for eight. They never recovered as Goldsworthy and Campher mopped up the final two wickets.