Somerset v Lancashire, Taunton, 2nd day June 30, 2014

Trescothick sets new Taunton mark

Somerset 193 for 2 (Trescothick 107*, Petersen 57*) trail Lancashire 266 by 73 runs

Marcus Trescothick has scored more first-class runs at Taunton's County Ground than any other batsman. That's one fact. Another is that the vast majority of them will have been made on pitches a lot less stodgy than this slow, bare and dry surface, which has tested the patience and staying power of players and spectators alike.

It has been tough going so far - and one can only assume it will get tougher still for most of those out in the middle. But while a bit more pace in the pitch would be welcome, watchers who like slow burners and not too much biff, bash, bosh have been in their element. Above all, this contest between the title-dreaming hosts and the relegation-haunted visitors could bubble up into a brilliant finish come the final afternoon - and make the terrific centuries of either Trescothick or Paul Horton look even more valuable than they do now.

Where Lancashire opener Horton trod in making 140 out of a total of 266, Somerset opposite number Trescothick was desperate to follow. In fact, so determined was the former England batsman not to make a mistake during the searching new-ball spells of Glen Chapple and Kyle Hogg that he needed 31 deliveries to get off the mark, and 38 to reach 3.

Three? That not usually significant score took Trescothick's total first-class runs on this ground to 7,229 - one more than the previous record-holder Lionel Palairet, who served Somerset splendidly well between 1890 and 1909.

No doubt Palairet was popular, but few have been more popular in these parts than Trescothick. His loyal fan club suffered with him last season when he could not even sniff a century and now those members who insisted normal service would resume in 2014 have been proved right.

Hundreds against Sussex (at Hove) and Durham (Taunton) contributed to victories. This innings might have a similar impact - and, if it does, Lancashire will look back with regret on the moment Trescothick edged Wayne White hard and fast towards second slip where a seemingly startled Ashwell Prince could only help a shoulder high ball on its way to the rope.

Trescothick had made 25 at the time and, despite having already hoisted left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan for a six, was by no means finding life straightforward. He soon added three authentic fours, though, and almost instantly looked if not at ease then at least in control of the situation.

With Kerrigan turning the ball quite a long way at times, there was no question of batting with real freedom. Indeed, the slow bowler was convinced he had taken a return catch to remove Trescothick on 50 (umpire Rob Bailey ruling that no bat was involved) while Somerset's captain almost ran himself out going for the single which completed his half-century. Always built more for comfort than speed, Trescothick, at 38, really shouldn't try anything quite so risky and was fortunate here that former team-mate Jos Buttler missed the target with his throw from short cover.

By then, however, Trescothick had found just the partner he needed in Alviro Petersen. Both Chris Jones and Nick Compton failed to kick on after digging in but the hosts' third wicket pair prospered in the warmest sunshine of the day.

Most eyes, understandably, were on Trescothick, who completed the 54th first-class century of his career with a scampered two. Despite the slow start, this one still came from a perfectly acceptable 219 deliveries and included 15 fours as well as that early six.

Petersen, though, deserved plenty of praise, too. He did have a moment of luck, on 37, when slightly top-edging a pull against offspinner Steven Croft to deep midwicket where Kerrigan, perilously close to the rope, could only push the ball, above his head, for six. But the South African played with reassuring certainty for most of his knock and contributed fully to a priceless, and as yet unbroken, stand of 144.

"They dovetailed nicely because we were almost getting ourselves into a corner," Somerset's director of cricket, Dave Nosworthy, said. "Now we are in a decent position but not yet a controlling position."

And what of Trescothick's innings? "It was right up there in terms of quality and he's a pleased man tonight," Nosworthy added. "Being able to cope with the pressure and conditions like those is what sets players like Tres apart."

David Lloyd is a former chief cricket correspondent of PA and the Evening Standard

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    The pitch is obviously doing a bit - or even a lot!Good to see a wicket that challenges batsmen defense not just the flex of their arms as they launch another six into the river... With 8 wickets in hand and plenty of time left i would like to think Somerset can push on and get a substantial lead. If we keep on batting as we are and forget bonus points we could be looking at a total of 350 - will need Hildreth to turn his dinner with a knock i fear. Lancs will struggle to get over 200 leaving us around the 100 mark. Even this may be a challenege though as others have said. On a side note, irrespective of aggregate or greatest number of runs, well played Marcus. I must admit i questioned him last year and am more than happy to have bneen put firmly in my place with yet another brilliant season on the cards for him. Perhaps though he met step down fromthe hit and run 20/20 stuff to prolong his 4 day career?

  • John on July 1, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    Guess I should listen to people who went to the game before putting my 2 penneth in.

    Sounds like it's still going to take some work to pass the lancs total

  • Paul on July 1, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    I agree with Henrik. No quick runs are possible on this pitch, unless it's a quickfire nine you're after. After watching the bounce and turn Dockrell found yesterday morning to clean up the tail in his first over I can barely believe Somerset's score. It helps that Kerrigan is so tiny, so he hasn't been able to replicate Dockrell's bounce.

    Any sort of first-innings lead is crucial. You would not want to be chasing 100 on this pitch batting last. In fact, if Somerset can continue to grind it out until tea, then bring on Dockrell and Petersen quickly, this match could be nearing its conclusion tonight.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    JG2704, from where I am there are no quick runs to be had from this wicket. Somerset's best chance is to bat out the third day and hope that a lead of 225 runs or so - 300 from this pitch in one day looks to be a tall order ever for Somerset's batsmen - will prove to be too much for Lancashire on the final day.

    PS. Technically, Marcus Trescothick's 7,333 runs as of last night is the largest aggregate of runs scored at Taunton whilst Archie MacLaren's 424 still is the greatest number of runs scored at the ground. Palairet, the previous record holder for the largest aggregate, was one of the Somerset bowlers during MacLaren's record innings, a nice symmetry here!

  • John on June 30, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    Slow going today but pleased for Tres who is having a much better season than last. It seems that the weather is set fair for the next 2 days otherwise forcing a result could be more of an issue. I wonder if it may be worth a punt putting Trego up the order with licence when Alviro or Tres lose their wicket in search for quick runs - maybe depending on when we lose our next wicket.

  • Paul on June 30, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    What has happened to Buttler's keeping? He used to be generally tidy with flashes of athletic brilliance for Somerset. Now Peter Moores has worked his magic, he appeared stiff and unnatural today, jerking his gloves towards the ball too late to prevent byes.

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