Sean amongst the runs on day one


Sean Dickson was amongst the runs on the opening day of this three-day pre-season match against University of Exeter at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The 32-year-old looked in good touch as he top scored for the hosts, who declared at tea after reaching 273 for six.

The first day of this match provided both batters and bowlers with useful and productive time in the middle, but there are concerns over the fitness of Tom Abell who retired not out after pulling up whilst running a two.

University of Exeter finished the day on 95 for four, trailing by 178 runs.

The toss was uncontested, and Somerset opted to bat first under grey skies in Taunton.

Tom Lammonby and Dickson opened the batting for the hosts and the pair weathered the initial storm, taking Somerset to 50 in the 15th over. They advanced the score to 71 before University of Exeter turned to spin after 17 overs.

Sam Daniel was brought on at the River End and although Lammonby scored six off the opening five balls, he struck to remove the Somerset batter with the final ball of his opening over, finding the edge with Johnny Connell taking a good low catch at first slip.

Undeterred, Dickson continued to plunder his runs and a top edged six took him to his half century from 59 balls and at the same time took Somerset to three figures in the 23rd over. A second six for Dickson shortly after saw Daniel dispatched over the James Hildreth Stand and into the River Tone.

At the other end, Abell (26) was timing the ball beautifully and looked in fine fettle as the pair added 61 to the total, but the former captain pulled up whilst running between the wickets and hobbled off the field in the penultimate over before lunch with the score on 138 for one. He was replaced by Lewis Goldsworthy, and at the break Somerset were 139 for one.

Unfortunately for the hosts, it was the students who initially had the better of things after the 40-minute interval. Luke Charlesworth opened the bowling after lunch from the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion End and struck with the very first delivery of the session as Dickson was trapped lbw for 73. It was soon 147 for three when Daniel took a catch off his own bowling to remove Goldsworthy for 0. James Rew was next to fall when he left one from Harvey Cutmore and was bowled for 17 at 165 for four.

Lewis Gregory and Kasey Aldridge brought up the Somerset 200 in the 45th over as the skipper helped himself to three fours and two sixes on the way to 37. However, he picked out Oliver Thilo on the boundary off the bowling of Raphael Wetherall at 209 for five. Aldridge and Ben Green then added 45 before the latter got the faintest of edges to a Cutmore delivery and was caught behind for 23.

Craig Overton then joined Aldridge in the middle and when the tea interval arrived Somerset were 273 for six, at which point the hosts declared.

Josh Davey opened the bowling and his third ball shaped away from Will Routledge who edged it through to Aldridge at third slip without a run on the board.

Following the early loss, Dylan Church and Johnny Connell dug in and the score had reached 37 when Ned Leonard found Church’s outside edge and Craig Overton took the catch at first slip. The batter departing for 16.

37 for two soon became 40 for three as Leonard got one to rise at Connell (20) who could only edge behind to Rew.

Jamie Baird and Charlie Mumford added 43 for the fourth wicket, but Baird departed for 12 when he tried to dispatch Shoaib Bashir into the Somerset Stand. He didn’t quite middle it and Aldridge took an excellent catch over his shoulder on the run.

Under dwindling light with spin from both ends, the students finished the day with Charlie Mumford unbeaten on 31.