Northants v Somerset, Wantage Road, 4th day July 15, 2014

Willey, Hall give Somerset scare

Press Association

Somerset 375 (Trescothick 124, Trego 77) and 249 for 8 dec (Jones 87, Middlebrook 4-40) beat Northamptonshire 221 (Willey 53, Gregory 6-47) and 351 (Hall 66, Rossington 62, Kettleborough 58, Willey 53, Gregory 5-75) by 52 runs

Northamptonshire produced a spirited rearguard on the final day of their LV= County Championship game with Somerset but it ultimately came to nothing.

Resuming on 108 for 5, the hosts dragged the contest into the final session but fell 52 runs short of what would have been their highest-ever run chase as they were bowled out for 351.

The visitors made early inroads as nightwatchman Olly Stone did not extend his stay too far into the morning session, pushing firmly at Lewis Gregory and edging to Marcus Trescothick in the slips.

Kyle Coetzer and Adam Rossington, unlike at other stages of Northants' disastrous campaign, put up some resistance as they showed what could be achieved by a selective and patient approach.

With the pitch remaining good, Coetzer, who was dropped by Nick Compton from a hard chance in the gully off Gregory, moved to his first half century since the first game of the season with his 10th boundary.

But in the final over before the break, Gregory collected the first 10-wicket haul of his career as he speared a delivery through the Coetzer's defences and into his leg stump.

It all continued in the same vein for the home side in the afternoon session as Rossington, this time in conjunction with Andrew Hall, ploughed on and his work gained some due reward when he passed 50 for the first time in the Championship with a pulled six off Alfonso Thomas.

It took the return of Craig Overton to end his resistance as he hit him in front with more than 150 still required but there was still a glimmer, albeit a small one, while Hall was still there.

He and David Willey chipped away and as they became more entrenched, their opponents' agitation visibly and audibly increased.

It was down to 84 required going into the final two hours and, along with Willey becoming the fourth half centurion of the innings, this had been taken to 53 when Gregory, who was excellent throughout, hit him in front with a full length ball.

And the end came in the next over when Hall, on 66, steered Overton to first slip with the hosts 52 runs short.

Trescothick could not hide his relief when he said: "They played well to keep us out there as long as they did. They kept getting partnerships, they've got Andrew hall coming in at nine with international hundreds under his belt and we were very worried.

"Going out after tea, [we were] very much thinking 'how can we possibly pull this back?' We would've loved to have finished it earlier to get the points but it was two teams working hard for Championship points.''

As for the losing side, head coach David Ripley was proud of what his charges produced. "We've been lacking a bit of pride sometimes and some of our defeats have been heavy.

"Over the whole four days we've won sessions and really competed well. There was a feeling there that we could get over the line and a lot of credit to the players."

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  • John on July 17, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    @JG2704- for those of us who don't get a chance to see him, what kind of pace is Lewis Gregory bowling at now? The last time I saw him he was a teenager and a brisk medium. He's listed as fast-medium but that encompasses everyone from the 125kph trundlers to the 142kph fireballers. How does he compare with, say, Chris Woakes?

    He's obviously got decent control and has excellent figures this year, especially for someone who only turned 22 in May. Is he an England bowler in the making or a decent county seamer who hasn't got that little extra to succeed in tests?

  • Dummy4 on July 16, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    Pleased with the fight shown by Northants in this game after a disaster of a season.

    Re bonus points how about a system that A. awards batting points based on the team's highest total in the match (375 for Som, 351 Nor) and B. awards bowling points on total wickets taken in the match (20 Som, 18 Nor). That would surely provide a more accurate outcome based on how close the match was while still ensuring the winning team takes home a significantly larger share of overall points.

    Batting points could still be awarded at the same intervals in 110 overs of either innings (highest total) and bowling points could be awarded at 9, 12, 15, 18 and 20 of total match wickets. Bonus point totals from this match would then have been Somerset 9, Northants 8...

  • Dummy4 on July 16, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    JG2704, the follow on mark follows this formula (number of days -1) x 50 so in a 3 day game it would be 100

    I think that this year's championship is hard to judge because of the 3/4 week gap between fixtures coming up so will be interesting to see which team(s) readjust quickest to the rigours of 4 day cricket

  • John on July 16, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Re bonus points - have always said that although it is transparrent , the system is poor. On the current system team A can have a very slight deficit in the 1st inns and then a huge advantage in the 2nd (having team B on the ropes) but team B gets the bonus points. If the 1st inns is all you have to go by then that's fair enough but when you have most of a game behind you then the bonus points should reflect all that has happened in the whole game. Also team A could score 100 more runs in the 1st inns but because team B scored their runs quicker they get more bonus points.

    Back to the game - well played Nhants for the fights shown. Glad we got the win and my hometown boy is showing some consistency in the CC. Hope he stays injury free. guttting that Durham folded vs Warwicks and Notts managed to scrape their win. As I said before I think our CC hopes were dented by the 2 Lancs draws.

    PS anyone know how long CK is out for?

  • John on July 16, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    Well I learn a new thing every day. For some reason I thought the follow on mark was 200 but that's just in 5 day cricket. It all worked out well in the end but I must admit I'm not a fan of the modern way re the follow on in general unless it's on a pitch which is likely to deteriorate. I suppose there was time left in this game so it wasn't so bad but if you make the side bat again then you know esp in rain interrupted games (which this wasn't) exactly what you have to do when batting last (if you get to bat again). There is no dilemma about what pace you have to go at or when you should declare etc. For me it takes all the complications out of it. I suppose it could be that the bowlers could be tired but I'm a believer in momentum...

  • Chris on July 15, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    Great game, very much set up by Trescothick's questionable decision not to enforce the follow on, although victory for Somerset gives vindication. Can't help but think, counterfactually, it may have been a little easier or perhaps less tense if we had put Northants in again but maybe Keiswetter's absence introduced a certain amount of caution in Trescothick's thinking. Or should I say reinforced Trescothick's seemingly inherently cautious approach to the game. But then, musn't grumble - it set up a surprisingly wonderful final day. It seems a bit harsh on Northants who did so much to make this game an enthralling tussle and yet they take away so few points - makes one almost think perhaps a team should be able to earn more points in the second innings if they come close to chasing a total or take most of the wkts required if bowling last - no doubt impractical and unworkable but I expect the lNorthan'ts fans (and lanc's fans too today) might feel it's a very sound and fair idea.

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