Warwickshire v Somerset, Edgbaston, 2nd day

Overtons hint at future, Giles at past

George Dobell at Edgbaston

May 26, 2014

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Warwickshire 78 for 1 trail Somerset 411 (Hildreth 98, Compton 92, Overton 56) by 333 runs

Jamie Overton clubbed his way to a half-century, Warwickshire v Somerset, County Championship, Division One, Edgbaston, 2nd day, May 26, 2014
Jamie Overton brought up a maiden half-century from only 37 balls with nine fours and a six © Getty Images

With respect to the Gidmans, the Alis, the Shantrys and the Swanns, probably not since the Hollioakes has a pair of brothers emerged in the county game with the potential to achieve as much as the Overton twins.

On a sluggish pitch, in an anodyne match and with rain blighting progress once more, the pair - Jamie and Craig - produced the brightest cricket of the day to provide a hint of what should be a golden future for club and perhaps country.

The 20-year-olds thrashed 69 for Somerset's tenth-wicket in just 9.3 overs to take their side over 400 and inflict some psychological damage on a Warwickshire attack that had, until that point, gained the upper hand in claiming six wickets for 74 runs on the day.

Their stand was ended only two short of the record 10th-wicket stand by Somerset against Warwickshire. That the record was set back in 1971 in Glastonbury by cult heroes of the club - Kerry O'Keeffe and Hallam Moseley - should assuage any disappointment. It would have been a shame to see either of those fine players, or Glastonbury, eclipsed in the record books. Besides, one suspects that the Overtons will, before too long, find their own places in the record books.

Reputation has it that Jamie is the quicker, if more wayward, bowler and Craig the better batsman. But on the evidence of this performance, Jamie is also a highly promising batsman as he brought up a maiden half-century from only 37 balls with nine fours and a six. At one stage he plundered 18 in five balls from Jeetan Patel, who might well be the best offspinner in the county game at present.

Giles makes playing return - for charity

  • There is news of a comeback, of sorts, for former England limited-overs coach Ashley Giles. He has agreed to play for Nuneaton in the Premier Division of the Warwickshire League - the level below the Birmingham League - and will make his debut for the club in Kenilworth on Saturday. His last competitive game was in the Adelaide Test on the 2006-07 Ashes.
  • While he is not taking a fee for his involvement, it is understood that an anonymous benefactor has made a generous donation to the Brain Tumour Charity in return for his participation. Giles' wife, Stine, has suffered with the illness.
  • "I received a letter making this offer a couple of weeks ago," Giles told the Birmingham Mail. "It came right out of the blue but the more I thought about it the more I thought this was a chance to pay something back to this fantastic charity.
  • "When I see the Nuneaton lads I'll make it clear that, though the donation to the charity is the catalyst for all this, I will be taking the cricket very seriously. That's just the way I am on a cricket field. I want to help Nuneaton win some games.
  • "I am in pretty good shape. I was never the fleetest of foot in the field but I have done a lot of training over the winter and been running a lot lately. My hip will always be troublesome but if there is a bit of discomfort that's something I'll just have to put up with."
  • Giles, who will play as a specialist batsman but has not ruled out bowling, will not be available for the entire season as he will also be part of the ESPNcricinfo team covering the Test series between England and India.

While Jamie hit the ball hard, it would be wrong to dismiss his contribution as that of a slogger. This was an innings that contained hooks, drives, sweep and cuts and suggested that, in time, both twins may well develop into allrounders. Their partnership was the second highest of the Somerset innings.

But it is as bowlers that the pair will make their name. And, in his first over in the attack, Craig took the important wicket of Varun Chopra with a full delivery that swung just a little, took the inside edge and ballooned off the thigh pad to the slips. Gaining swing and seam movement at a lively pace, Craig was the pick of the bowlers.

Somerset were grateful for the pair's intervention. With both James Hildreth - pushing at one angled across him - and Nick Compton - bottom-edging an attempted pull - falling just short of well-deserved centuries after a fourth-wicket stand of 163, Somerset were in danger of losing their way.

With Boyd Rankin impressing on his first first-class appearance since the Sydney Test more than five months ago, Somerset's middle and lower order were unable to capitalise on the platform provided for them. Craig Kieswetter took more than 80 minutes over his 12, while Pete McKay, deputising for the injured Tim Ambrose, claimed four catches in a highly proficient display of keeping. The best of them was a leg-side diving effort to dismiss Peter Trego off an attempted hook.

Ambrose has sustained a minor calf strain and hopes to return in time for Warwickshire's next Championship game, against Lancashire, on June 8.

While this slow, low surface did little for Rankin, he occasionally generated sharp pace and generally maintained a pretty decent line and length for a man coming back from such a lay-off. In the grand scheme of things, it was satisfying to simply see him playing with a smile on his face after a period when he came so close to walking away from the game.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Jonathan_E on (May 27, 2014, 16:53 GMT)

To the people who thought they'd never see Jamie Overton as a potential batting all rounder: After his recent figures, I certainly wouldn't see him as a potential *bowling* all rounder, he's getting clouted all round the park. Needs to go back to the nets and work on actually taking wickets (first) and keeping the runs down (second), because at the moment he's doing neither.

Posted by Balladeer on (May 27, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

In response to the first paragraph: the Robsons are looking pretty sprightly as well this season. Sam's a shoe-in for test selection, but Angus is looking good for Leics too. Although, of course, he won't get picked for anything if he stays there.

With Trott and KP stepping down, the South African era is over: is the Australian era about to begin?

Posted by jackiethepen on (May 27, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

The Overton brothers would fill the spot vacated by Flintoff if one of them came good. But I must confess I thought - not another t20 style innings to be highly praised. I just worry that no one is picking up on the radar a future Cook or Bell, a really outstanding young batsman that we know will play for England and will have the promise of class and depth to carry him through the years as a Test player. Looking back now someone on YouTube made a video of their talented response to Shane Warne at Perth in 2006-7 Ashes where we were whitewashed 5-0. The video was called The Future of English Cricket. How prescient when other fans at the time were just moaning. But where now are our Cook and Bell? We've got to stop thinking short term and give someone like James Taylor a chance in the side, chance to build and develop alongside Cook and Bell. Someone who could partner Root.

Posted by stevetynycwm on (May 27, 2014, 5:55 GMT)

What names from the past. I remember walking into the county ground after school on a May afternoon and watching Kerry o'Keeffe bowling us to a wonderful win, and believing this was going to be the year for the championship. As for Hallam, what a team man, I can see that run up and those swinging arms now. Never saw a championship game at Glastonbury but did get to a Sunday league game .

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 3:51 GMT)

Somerset have a long list of good young players like the Overtons, Dockrell, Meschede, dibble, Burke, Abell, Gregory, Barrow, Jones etc which bodes really well for the future. Who knows that this core of players can produce the nucleus of a great team that goes on to win the CC title in the years to come. If Trescothick decided to hang up his boots, then we have Hildreth to take over the captainacy.

Posted by Cottard on (May 26, 2014, 22:34 GMT)

Never thought I'd see Jamie Overton as a batting all rounder but after today's performance he's certainly contributed more with the bat than with ball so far this season. I did see him bat against Durham, as last man, when, at the non-striking end, his twin brother was on the verge of his second first class fifty for Somerset, a stunning, brutal match changing innings and Jamie played this enormous, almost classical, heave to the more bucolic corner of the county ground - unfortunately bat didn't connect with ball and the middle stump cartwheeled; that was that for brother Craig, he had to settle for a not out and five wickets in the second innings; not so bad, I suppose. But so much for brotherly love and a forward defensive. Oh well, lets hope Jamie and Craig bowl in tandem tomorrow and take a hatfull of wickets..

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