Somerset wrap up sensational win
Somerset completed an absolutely sensational turnaround to inflict a record defeat on Nottinghamshire on the third day of this dramatic LV= Insurance County Championship clash at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
After being bowled out for just 163 on the opening day, even the staunchest Somerset supporter would have questioned whether a victory for their side was possible, especially by such an enormous margin.
James Rew completed his fourth First Class century of the season, and in doing so surpassed his previous high score, whilst the Somerset attack were once again virtually unplayable as the visitors were blown away, suffering their largest margin of runs defeat in domestic cricket, beating the previous 365-run defeat against Kent in 1899.
Somerset’s sensational 399-run win within three days saw the hosts secure 19 points to the visitors three.
19-year-old Rew’s career-best 123 not out was just one of the many highlights as his side ran up 514 for eight declared in their second innings to set their opponents an unlikely victory target of 492.
George Bartlett, unbeaten on 109 overnight, fell for a brilliant 134, just three short of his career-best score, while Kasey Aldridge weighed in with 50. Lyndon James had the best bowling figures for Notts with two for 64 from 18 overs.
The visitors then slumped to 92 all out in their second innings, Josh Davey taking four for 17.
Somerset began the day on 268 for four, knowing that the second new ball was just an over away. Any hopes Notts had of using it to re-establish their first day advantage soon disappeared. Bartlett and Rew batted confidently through the opening hour, taking few risks and eliminating the errors that had cost Somerset in their first innings.
They had taken their fifth-wicket stand to 89 and the total to 320 when Bartlett, who had begun his innings with his team 43 for two, was bowled by Dane Paterson, having faced 265 balls and hit 14 fours and a six.
Rew reached a typically unhurried fifty off 105 deliveries and played through the morning session without alarm and by lunch, he had moved to 60 and the lead was 342. Aldridge was on 17 and the afternoon session saw the pair build another substantial stand.
Rew unleashed sixes over long-on and mid-wicket off Matt Carter, whose off-spin posed as little threat as the seamers on what was looking a very flat pitch.
Aldridge took the lead past 400 with a cover driven boundary off Brett Hutton before Rew brought up the fifth First Class hundred of his short career off 172 balls, with 10 fours and two sixes. Aldridge, who has impressed with the bat this season, went to fifty off 88 balls, but was then bowled by James, having hit five fours. By then Somerset had posted 447 for six and their lead had grown to 424.
It was then just a case of when skipper Tom Abell would choose to declare. By the time he did, Craig Overton and Matt Henry had warmed up for their bowling duties with some lusty blows, Henry clearing the ropes twice, while the ever-vigilant Rew had extended his rock solid innings to span 216 balls and just over four and three-quarter hours.
Tea was taken before Notts began their mammoth task. It became even more mountainous when Haseeb Hammed was run out without scoring, sent back attempting a single to backward point and undone by Bartlett’s direct hit.
It was two for two when Henry, bowling around the wicket, jagged one into left-hander Ben Slater’s pads to pin him lbw and 10 for three when Matthew Montgomery edged a defensive shot off Overton to Aldridge at second slip.
Notts captain Steven Mullaney found himself walking to the crease at 14 for four after Joe Clarke had been snapped up at second slip by Overton to give Henry his eighth wicket of the match.
The extra pace of Somerset’s opening bowlers was making the pitch look very different, and when Josh Davey replaced Overton, his first over saw James edge a drive to Tom Lammonby at third slip.
Henry, whose bowling on the second morning had changed the course of the game, took a rest having taken two for 19 from eight overs and his replacement, Aldridge, soon had Mullaney caught behind for 23 to make it 62 for six.
Hutton sportingly walked when inside-edging Davey to wicketkeeper Rew, who claimed another victim when Tom Moores, on 24, nicked a ball from Aldridge. Davey then cleaned up Jake Ball and Dane Paterson to spark joyous celebrations on the field and among home supporters.