Sussex v Somerset, Hove, 4th day September 7, 2012

Somerset rise to challenge for Rose farewell

Somerset 134 and 396 for 5 (Hildreth 101*, Trego 89*, Trescothick 71, Suppiah 70) beat Sussex 221 (Joyce 65) and 308 (Nash 126, Goodwin 77, Thomas 5-68) by five wickets

Only once have Somerset pulled off a fourth-innings run chase of greater magnitude than this and Yorkshire still shudder at its memory. Sussex will feel similarly shaken after Somerset surged to a five-wicket victory which gives them the opportunity to steal the runners-up position in Division One at the last.

Peter Trego at his belligerent best, alongside a suave unbeaten century by James Hildreth, completed an outstanding win, which took them one point clear of Sussex, who must feel mugged. Warwickshire might have secured the title but the runners-up position will now not be settled until the final day of the season.

When Trego flicked Steve Magoffin, Sussex's one bowler of real threat, through square leg for four Somerset had overhauled a target outdone in magnitude only by their successful fourth-innings chase of 479 for 6 against Yorkshire at Taunton in 2009.

The loss of four quick wickets at the fag end of the third day had seemed likely to cost Somerset dearly, but Hildreth, who finished unbeaten on 101 from 180 balls, steadied matters on the final morning with Alex Barrow and then was content to tick along as Trego took command. Their partnership rattled along at more than six an over - 166 from 25 overs - and victory came with 40 overs to spare.

Trego finished unbeaten on 89 from 72 balls with 12 fours and four sixes. He is so consumed by attacking presence that bowlers can lose heart at the mere sight of him. He is surely unfortunate that England never give him a second thought in Twenty20. He could not be more dismissive of his chances. "There is more chance of me growing a second winkie," he said.

Trego destroyed a poor spell from James Anyon after lunch, helping himself to four boundaries in two overs from the bowler. The last was a rank long hop that he pulled for four and the previous deliveries were not much better. Three slog-sweeps for six against Sussex's spinners - the first against Monty Panesar which took him to 50, the last two against Chris Nash - took Somerset within range. Even Magoffin was despatched over the ropes. Hildreth ticked off his hundred in the nick of time.

Hildreth's most fortunate moment was on 28 when he inside-edged Nash but the wicketkeeper, Ben Brown, failed to make contact. But, on this occasion at least, the Sussex bowling attack consisted of Magoffin and ragamuffins.

Magoffin took Sussex's only wicket of the final day. Hildreth and Barrow had taken their partnership to 80 in 32.2 overs when Magoffin, with the new ball only five deliveries old, found the penetration to have Barrow caught at first slip. But the wicket soon looked flat again, there was no swing under idyllic blue skies and Somerset reassumed control.

Barrow walked off slowly, his dejection apparent. He is only 20 and had looked composed for his 40. But you are not really a man until you have seen off the likes of Magoffin with a hard ball in hand.

"Where would we be without Magoffin?" asked a Sussex supporter at the deckchair end as the Queenslander struck. It turned out to be a rhetorical question. "I'll tell you where we'd be. We'd be down the bottom with Worcestershire and Lancashire, that's where we'd be."

Magoffin would be a contender for a Division One team of the season. Only a small handful of bowlers have taken more Division One wickets this season at lower cost than his 54 at 19.29. But the talk at the end was of Hildreth and Trego and, as so often in Somerset cricket, it was happy talk.

It has been a tough season for Somerset, with lots demanded of promising young players before their time. They have held together magnificently. Brian Rose, their outgoing director of cricket, might not be dreaming of another runners-up trophy, but they aim to give him one all the same, and celebrate his departure in style.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Imraan on September 9, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    JG2704 on (September 09 2012, 08:54 AM GMT) ==> Well Yardy had stepped down His Captaincy On July 31st 2012. And as far as Your knowledge about Stepping Down and quitting is...... Well I would say yes it does sound worse when You use the quit, Quit means leaving something off against the happiness whereas Stepping down means Leaving off with own wishes and for some reasons @ JG2704. Anyways... I wish Sussex very good luck against Durham on Tuesday in the final County Match of this season .... I want Yardy to get His Captaincy back as Joyce is never a decent choice not only for Sussex but for any team He should never lead. Go Sussex ! Go Yardy ! Go Prior ! Go Everybody Go Sussex ! Let's hope for the best now. Luke Wright and Amjad Khan should deffenitely be playing against Durham. I wish I could play for Sussex :(.

  • John on September 9, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Is quitting captaincy not the same as stepping down? Maybe the quit word sounds worse. My point was , when did Yardy actually step down?

  • Imraan on September 8, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    @ JG2704 on (September 08 2012, 06:50 AM GMT) No He did neither quit the Captaincy nor lose it, it was only His decision to Step down as Captain because He wants/wanted to concentrate on His own performance both with the bat and ball, JG. Well.... all in all I can say is that that there will be no Better Skipper than Michael Yardy for Sussex Sharks at least for the next 6 Years. Anyways.. I have been praying hard to My God and requesting so much to My Buddy ( Yardy ) for regaining His Leadership for Sussex as I can't see Joyce or any new skipper using Him in at no. 6 and not using Him as a Specialist Allrounder particulary in List A Games. Anyways... let's see what Michael ( Yardy ) would decide till the end of this season and as well before beginning of the New Season in 2013. I think Yardy will reconsider His Captaincy and start performing so well and as well as start winning the matches as usual for Sussex Sharks ! Go Sussex ! Go Yardy ! Just bring it ( Captaincy ) it ! Go Sussex !

  • Duncan on September 8, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Trego has done this before in a run chase...(in fact the one mentioned against Yorks in the article). Both he and Hildreth suggesting here they have the temperament to do it on a bigger stage. Sadly, I don't think that will ever happen now. Monty has also done this a few times before too! That is, take wickets in the first innings but then not do a lot in a big fourth innings run chase.

  • John on September 8, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    @Sussexx on (September 08 2012, 00:32 AM GMT) Did Yardy quit/lose the captaincy part way through the season then? Just that Sussex have had a decent season and were streets ahead of everyone in the T20/CB40 group matches

  • Imraan on September 8, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    That was a very poor performance from Sussex and especially that was a very poor Captaincy from a very poor Rookie Skipper of The Sussex Sharks. I don't know what Ed Joyce has been doing on the field and as well in the Dugout during the match, but I must say to the whole Sussex Management that He ( Joyce ) is not a good skipper and He will remain a Poor Skipper of not only Sussex but any team He would lead. I am so amazed of Sussex Management this year that why Mark Robinson ( The Sussex Coach ) has given a Captaincy role to a very immature Cricketer Ed Joyce. So what if He has played for 2 International Teams ? Does it mean that He can perish the Sussex Cricket Season ? If He has played for 2 Teams then does it mean that He has a License to lose the matches for Sussex Sharks ? Micheal ( Yardy ), what's wrong with You Mate ? Just get Your Captaincy back as You would have no impact whatsoever on Your performance as an Allrounder, You'll remain a Great Leader a Performer. Go Sussex !!!

  • Imraan on September 7, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    All I can say for the sake of the Sussex's Cricket is ........... Bring back Michael Yardy as a Skipper of the Sussex and see how Sussex would start winning the matches and remain The Champions. Play Joyce only as a Batsman not more than that. I reckon Yardy should reconsider as a Skipper of The Sussex Sharks without a Shadow of the doubt. Weather is always a bitter and better truth behind this Years County Cricket Season for all the Teams but not just for Sussex and Somerset. Come on Yards...... just come back as a skipper next year as usual. I need Your Captaincy back, I want to see You as a Skipper, Sussex Sharks is totally incomplete without Your Captaincy, Michael. Good luck for the next game against Durham, if possible change Your mind right now and start leading Your Team as a great and as well as a Successful Leader, Yards. Play Amjad Khan and Luke Wright in the final game against Durham ...... Go Sussex ! Go Yardy !

  • Simon on September 7, 2012, 23:16 GMT


  • John on September 7, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Magnificent win. I have to say how proud I am of Somerset's efforts in the CC this season. We've been without our captain Tres for most of it and our highest run scorer Nick - who I think got injured while playing for Eng Lions - not to mention loads of other injuries and then we get thee worst of the weather for pretty much the whole season, You can't win games if you don't get time to play them. Now if we win against Worcs , we'll finish 2nd which will be an amazing position considering what we've had to deal with. Problem is I can see weather denying us that opportunity.

  • No featured comments at the moment.