Durham v Somerset, Chester-le-Street, 3rd day April 12, 2013

Kieswetter gives Somerset hope

Les Smith at Chester-le-Street

Somerset 132 and 96 for 2 (Kieswetter 39*) need another 139 runs to beat Durham 250 and 116

Craig Kieswetter has had a fine match, taking everything that came his way behind the stumps and playing an instrumental role with the bat to put Somerset in a position from which they are well placed to win.

A wicketkeeper is only as good as his bowlers but Somerset's impressive attack offered Kieswetter eight chances in the match and he snaffled the lot. His batting could also been crucial in a low-scoring match. In Somerset's first innings, promoted up the order to No. 3 in the absence of Nick Compton and Alviro Petersen, he came in with 12 on the board and steadied the ship for the best part of 20 overs. When he walked to the crease for the second time, his side was in a healthier position but still had a lot to do in pursuit of the 235 set by Durham. By the time bad light brought the day's play to an end he had 39 to his name. His approach was exactly what Somerset needed, watchful in conditions which still favoured the bowlers, but severe on anything loose, scoring five boundaries.

Only 35 overs were bowled in the day and play didn't get going until 1.40pm. After a gloomy morning, the improvement in the light was barely discernible but nobody, apart perhaps from the fielders on another bitter day, was complaining. Three hours later the light worsened and that was it again.

It took Somerset half an hour and eight overs to take the last two Durham wickets. First to go was Phil Mustard who had batted splendidly on the previous evening, but was furious with himself when he was run out attempting a second. The fielding and throw by Jamie Overton were excellent but it was a waste. Overton, who turned 19 two days ago, was Marcus Trescothick's choice to do the bowling from the River End, and he showed a youthful eagerness to pitch the ball short, especially when he was bowling to Graham Onions. That may not seem such a good idea if Overton finds himself facing Onions on Saturday.

Last man Chris Rushworth put bat to ball and had the third highest score of the innings, but he nicked to Kieswetter to give Alfonso Thomas his fourth wicket of the innings.

The importance of Marcus Trescothick's batting to Somerset was clearly demonstrated by the jubilation with which the Durham players reacted to his dismissal for 6 in the first innings. When he went in for the second time he looked much more secure, defending solidly and driving beautifully straight and through the covers. It was a surprise, therefore, that when Ben Stokes replaced Onions he bowled him with his fifth ball. Earlier Onions had trapped Arul Suppiah on his crease with a delivery that nipped in and stayed a little low.

Suppiah's dismissal brought in Kieswetter and, if he can carry on tomorrow as he started this afternoon, Somerset may have the edge.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on April 13, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (April 13, 2013, 9:02 GMT) Yeah good game but bad start to the season for Somerset. Disappointed Nick didn't play - he may have made a difference esp without AP. I wonder if Somerset could have asked (or if they did ask) ECB for approval for playing Nick - if just for this game without AP there. Still well played Durham and I hope that this season if Somerset fail it will be nothing to do with the weather. Well played your side too. You must be pleased to start with such a big win

  • ALAN on April 13, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    well played Durham a well deserved victory, superb bowling and a great start to a possibly difficult season.

  • George on April 13, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    First game of the county season and I'm already gripped. I love Cricket and I think the IPL is a good competition but as much as I've tried, it doesn't captivate me in the same way that a game like this does.

  • Mark on April 13, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    @JG2704 A game like this is so much more fun if you are a neutral! It must be agony for the two sets of fans!!

  • Dummy4 on April 12, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    What a game it turns out to be, it will depend on which team will keep their nerve. Durham needs to take early wickets. Somerset needs someone to anchor a match-winning innings. That is all required of this game. Wonderful game, cricket, is it??

  • John on April 12, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    @Dave Brown on (April 12, 2013, 19:57 GMT) arrrggh - think you're tempting fate a bit.

    Also I'd say that this particular batting line up doesn't look so solid after the present 2 at the crease

  • Mark on April 12, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    This is a cracker of a match and will be a great one to win for either side. A Durham win would kickstart their season and would be great for morale in a season that most people seem to think will be tough for them. However, if Somerset can overcome a deficit of 120 in a low-scoring match to win, that would be an amazing achievement.

    It looks as if Somerset may have the edge right now, but it would only take one early wicket to swing the balance again. The first session tomorrow will, most likely, be decisive. I am looking forward to following the action tomorrow.

  • John on April 12, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    After the end of day 2 I'm as happy (as a Somerset fan) as I realistically hoped I'd be at the end of day 3.

    Still not confident though. With Tres gone and Nick (thanks ECB) and AP not about our batting line up looks a bit fragile. I'd say the 2 at the crease would have to score the majority of the remainder of the runs.

  • Dummy4 on April 12, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Although 139 behind, i'm actually putting Somerset as favourites. A solid batting line-up can not fail twice... can it? As the old cliche goes 'the first half an hour is cruical'. No more can be said; two quick wickets and Somerset are up against it. 40 runs added and all looks sweet: we will see! Come on Somerset!