Somerset v Durham, Taunton, 4th day June 9, 2013

Barrow eases Somerset nerves

Somerset 458 (Compton 166) and 266 for 8 dec. (Barrow 83*) drew with Durham 493 (Stoneman 122)
Scorecard

Alex Barrow hit a career-best 83 not out to ease any worries Somerset had on the final day at Taunton, steering his side to a draw with Durham.

Struggling Somerset, winless in the County Championship this season, looked in trouble at 135 for 5 in their second innings, leading by only 100 early in the afternoon session. But Barrow added 83 for the sixth wicket with Peter Trego, who made 38, and went on to eclipse his previous best first-class score of 69, made against Yorkshire at Headingley in 2011.

Barrow, 21, was unbeaten when the teams shook hands at 4.50pm with Somerset on 266 for 8. Both teams took nine points from a game in which the flat pitch had the final say.

The hosts began the last day on 7 for 0, trailing by 28. Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton took the score to 43 before Compton lifted a catch to long-leg off Mark Wood and departed for 18. It became 54 for 2 when Trescothick, on 25, dragged the ball onto his stumps trying to sweep Scott Borthwick and Somerset lose a third wicket when Arul Suppiah was caught at silly mid-on by Borthwick off Ryan Buckley for 19.

Durham must have scented an unlikely victory when James Hildreth was picked up at slip by Will Smith off Borthwick. At 79 for 4, Somerset's lead was only 44. But Dean Elgar helped Barrow steady things, contributing 31 to a stand of 56 before fencing at a short ball from Wood and edging a catch to Borthwick at second slip.

Trego used his experience to further dampen Durham hopes and by the time he was lbw to Ben Stokes, having faced 60 balls, Somerset had reached 218 for 6 and led by 183. Still Durham kept chipping away and Craig Meschede was caught behind trying to leave a delivery from Graham Onions.

At tea it was 234 for 7, with the outcome all but inevitable. George Dockrell was the last man out, bowled by Onions for four with eight runs having been added.

As in the first innings the Durham bowlers stuck to their task in excellent batting conditions. There were two wickets each for Onions, Borthwick and Wood, while young offspinner Buckley also impressed.

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  • SDHM on June 10, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Well played Alex! Hopefully the situation in which he made these runs will help him believe he belongs at this level - he get's a lot of stick from people like me for not quite being up to the standard required and he certainly hasn't looked it so far, but maybe this is the little kickstarter he needed. Has been keeping very well, which might have given him some confidence.

    That said, it doesn't take away from the fact that we have now played half the season, and we have not won a game. Surrey have a game in hand on us, Derbyshire have two - we are nervously looking over our shoulders. Rehman is arriving soon which should add some much needed potency to the attack, but the batsmen need to start standing up too. Maybe Alex has shown the more fancied players the way forward here.

  • JG2704 on June 9, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    As we've all been saying all along. Barrow is future England material lol

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