Somerset v Yorkshire, Taunton, 4th day May 31, 2013

Hildreth finds form to thwart Yorks

Yorkshire 450 for 5 dec (Lyth 105, Rashid 103*) and 104 for 4 (Lyth 57*) drew with Somerset 310 (Hildreth 115, Trescothick 74)

Once Somerset had avoided the follow on with their penultimate pair at the crease, a draw was the only realistic result. Yorkshire, who eventually had a first-innings lead of 140, had not the time nor the inclination to attempt to enhance that swiftly once three wickets had gone for 21 runs. Adam Lyth, who never tires of batting in Taunton, remained at the crease at tea and, indeed, thereafter.

At least, from Somerset's perspective, another batsman has found some form. On Thursday it was Marcus Trescothick. Now James Hildreth reached his first century of the season, indeed his only meaningful Championship score, before he was yorked by Moin Ashraf when just three runs were required to save the follow on. Like his captain, he is not as yet back to his very best, but his punched drive square of the wicket, a shot he plays as well as virtually anybody, was in good order.

Hildreth, who was on 76 overnight, reached his century with, depending on your point of view, 12 or 14 fours. Two were all run and so do not feature as boundaries in the scorers' official books and computers. Or, on this occasion, one scorer, as Gerry Stickley, of Somerset, was making his international debut at Lord's.

Craig Meschede partnered Hildreth competently enough until he drove too early at a slower ball from Steven Patterson and was caught at short mid-off. They had added exactly 100. At that stage, 29 runs were still required, but the pitch, effectively a third day one after the rain of Tuesday, was akin to one of Phil Frost's surfaces of old: all even bounce and of little help for seamers and spinners alike.

George Dockrell ensured Yorkshire would have to bat again by pulling Adil Rashid for four before he played on when failing to counter bounce from Ashraf. Yorkshire, then, had two options: to bat out the afternoon or to have a quick thrash in the hope of bowling out Somerset in, say, 30 overs. Not as unlikely as it would seem given Somerset's dreadful batting this season.

What happened instead was that Joe Sayers was caught at second slip by Marcus Trescothick for a single off Steve Kirby, as he had been in the first innings; Phil Jaques padded up to the second ball he faced; and Andrew Gale was leg before half forward to Peter Trego's medium pace. That was 21 for 3 but Lyth, who continued his fine run of form on this ground by reaching a half century off 106 balls with six fours, hardly played and missed.

"It was a boring draw in the end," Trescothick admitted, "and my own batting is a work in progress. But James Hildreth has been batting well in one-day games and he shepherded the lower order well. The last four wickets put up a good fight to save the follow on."

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  • Matthew on June 1, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Yes having initially doubted the merits of his signature most Yorkshire supporters are starting to warm to Plunkett. At the moment he's performing well, but I'm still well aware that form is temporary, especially for a player like Plunkett, and if he happens to lose a bit of form during his lay off doubts may. rightly or wrongly, start to creep in again. Brooks' injury, sustained in the final session of the Somerset match at Headingley when they were on the ropes, was very unfortunate and I can only hope it diesn't affect him too much when he returns

  • John on June 1, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    I suppose it's a relief to get a draw although Yorks must be feeling aggrieved. Somerset had that situation on quite a few occasions last seaon where rain hampered matches which Somerset were dominating so I do know how it feels.

    Another positive is that Hildreth has finally converted one of his starts into a ton.Anyone know when Craig is due back?

  • Mark on June 1, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    I suppose many people will think that Somerset were lucky to avoid defeat but, in reality, they made their own luck by fighting hard from a position where the follow-on looked odds-on. Even so, Yorkshire are showing, time and again, why they are going to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season: had a full day not been lost they would srely have closed out this match.

    Interesting to hear YorkshireMatt bemoaning the absence of Liam Plunkett. How his stock has risen! If Plunkett's confidence rises with his form I would not be surprised to see him winter with the Lions. Amid the general opprobium yesterday, I notice that Tim Bresnan escaped censure, having bowled an economical spell: Having Bresnan back will also do Yorkshire's chances a power of good.

    As for Somerset, the situation continues critical. The bottom three are all pretty awful this season and Somerset's survival may depend on their rivals being even worse than they are. Seeing the "battle" at Derby, they may survive

  • Matthew on May 31, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    A good effort from the team. With Plunkett and Brooks we may well have won even in three days. Let's hope they're back soon

  • Brian on May 31, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    While they couldn't force a victory this time, club President Geoff Boycott must be salviating at his county's recent performances, given his declared ambition that they win the county championship this season. However, given his public attack last season on Adil Rashid, Rashid's current first-class batting average this season of 255 should be one in the eye (or perhaps the contact lens) for Boycott, given that, even during a long career distininguished by one-dimensional cricket and a peculiar focus on maintaining his own batting average, even at the expense of his team, Boycott ended his career with a piffling average of only about 55. Maybe it's time to go reet back t't golf course, Geoffrey ...

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