James Rew masterclass on day two
James Rew once again demonstrated what a phenomenal talent he is by scoring his maiden double century as he put the Hampshire bowlers to the sword on a record breaking day to remember at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
Throughout the summer, the 19-year-old has shown that he is worthy of all the superlatives that have come his way, but today his performance was simply magnificent and he became the youngest First Class double centurion in the Club’s history.
When he walked to the middle yesterday morning, the home side were in danger of capitulating at 41 for four. When he left the field to a standing ovation just over 24 hours later he had achieved a career best score of 221 and had taken his side to 500.
His innings spanned 432 minutes and consisted of 310 balls, and it is a knock that will be remembered for many many years to come.
Somerset began the day on 196 for five and it didn’t take Rew and Kasey Aldridge long to bring up the 150 partnership for the sixth wicket. Rew then moved effortlessly to his century from 184 balls and the home side secured a first batting point soon after.
Aldridge had reached 88 when he was caught behind off the bowling of Dawson at 268 for six. The partnership with Rew was worth 188 and is a record for the sixth wicket for Somerset against Hampshire, beating the previous best of 159 between Neil Burns and Graham Rose at Southampton in 1993.
Dom Bess, back with the club where he launched his career, marked the first innings of a short-term loan from Yorkshire by being positive from the start, hitting seven fours and a six in partnership of 94 in 22 overs with Rew before falling to another catch behind off Dawson, who was extracting some help from the dry pitch.
The left-arm spinner also accounted for Alfie Ogborne, making his First Class debut, and Jack Brooks on his way to figures of four for 118. However, if Hampshire thought their trials were almost over at 392 for nine, they were mistaken. 19-year-old Shoaib Bashir, marked his third Championship appearance by coolly settling in to strike three sixes and three fours in a 61-ball knock of 44 not out.
With Rew cutting loose at the other end, the tenth-wicket stand of 108 occupied less than 17 overs. The ball flew to and over the boundary in front of the Somerset Stand with increasing regularity before an on-driven single took Rew to 200 off 297 balls, a moment he greeted with an understated clenched fist salute.
His marathon display of concentration ended when Vince, who had introduced himself into the bowling attack for the first time at 480 for nine, trapped him lbw looking to clear the ropes again. Several Hampshire players offered handshakes as Somerset’s latest prodigy left the field to a standing ovation.
It seemed the day could not get worse for Hampshire, but after tea had been taken, Jack Brooks penetrated Weatherley’s defence with his first delivery to knock back off stump. Fletcha Middleton and Nick Gubbins had responded aggressively with an unbroken stand of 39 when the rain that threatened for most of the day arrived to interrupt proceedings.
The resumption brought another first ball drama, Middleton fending a steeply rising delivery from Aldridge to third slip and departing for 24. The rain returned with seven runs added, and another restart at 5.45pm saw 4.2 more overs bowled before a torrential downpour brought a premature end to what had been a memorable day of cricket.