Somerset v Durham, Royal London Cup, Group B, Taunton July 27, 2014

Hildreth, Gregory deliver thrilling win

Press Association

Somerset 315 for 5 (Hildreth 146*, Gregory 105*) beat Durham 311 for 7 (Collingwood 113) by five wickets

Somerset James Hildreth hit a breathtaking 146 not out and Lewis Gregory an unbeaten 105 as Somerset began their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign with a five-wicket victory over Durham in a high-scoring game at Taunton.

The visitors posted a challenging 311 for 7 after winning the toss, Paul Collingwood leading the way with 113, including 12 fours and three sixes while Keaton Jennings made 45, Phil Mustard 40 and Gareth Breese 34 not out.

In reply, Somerset slipped to 106 for 5 before Hildreth was joined by Gregory in an exhilarating unbroken stand of 209 - a sixth-wicket record for the county in List A cricket - which thrilled a 4,000 crowd and enabled the hosts to reach their target with 20 balls to spare.

Hildreth faced 134 balls, hitting 13 fours and three sixes, while Gregory's career-best score came off 71 deliveries, with 13 fours and one six. Their partnership occupied just 145 balls.

Earlier, Durham lost three wickets in making 37 from their initial 10 overs of Powerplay. Opener Mark Stoneman had made only 3 when he cut a simple catch to George Dockrell at backward point off Gregory. It was 25 for 2 when Colin Ingram at midwicket took a sharp catch to send back Calum McLeod for 10, with Tim Groenewald the successful bowler.

And that became 36 for 3 when Scott Borthwick, on 6, was run out by Gregory's throw to wicketkeeper Alex Barrow from mid-on, having hesitated in answering Mustard's call for a quick single.

Left-arm spinner Dockrell felt the weight of Collingwood's bat in the 23rd over with a four and six over long-on. Mustard ended the same over with a straight six, but fell shortly afterwards for 40, caught behind aiming to cut Craig Overton.

It was another six off the expensive Dockrell that took Collingwood to his 50 off 49 balls. He shared a century stand in 14.3 overs with Jennings, who hit seven fours before being well caught at deep midwicket by Dockrell off Alfonso Thomas.

Collingwood reached an immaculate hundred off 83 balls, with 10 fours and three sixes, in the 39th over. He eventually fell to a stunning one-handed catch at extra-cover by former England team-mate Marcus Trescothick, diving to his left.

From 237 for 6, Durham finished strongly. Breese and Gordon Muchall, who made 29 not out, adding 54 in 5.3 overs after John Hastings had provided Dockrell with a third catch and Gronewald, who finished with two for 44, with a second wicket.

Somerset's top order failed as it had done so often in the NatWest T20 Blast, Trescothick, Nick Compton and Peter Trego all falling in the first six overs with only 21 on the board as Graham Onions struck twice.

Ingram helped Hildreth steady things with a stand of 82 in 15 overs, but when the South African left-hander was stumped stretching forward to sweep Breese for 31 and Barrow quickly followed to Collingwood for a duck Somerset looked out of it.

A feature of the stand between Hildreth and Gregory was their scampering between the wickets, putting pressure on the Durham fielders. But both also cleared the ropes and struck numerous handsome boundaries.

Hildreth reached his hundred with a sweet square drive for four off Jennings, having faced 104 balls and hit 10 fours and a six. There are few more attractive batsmen to watch at their best in the county game.

Gregory lost nothing by comparison, moving to a 40-ball half-century, with four fours and a six, and matching his partner shot-for-shot in reaching a near-faultless maiden hundred.

Hildreth paid tribute to his batting partner, saying: "So much credit goes to Lewis Gregory because he played a fantastic innings and took a lot of the pressure off me. It was a great partnership to be involved in and I enjoyed every minute."

Collingwood took consolation from his side's performance in a memorable game: "The quality of cricket played by both teams was outstanding. When a lad comes in at number seven and hits a 70-ball hundred you have to take your hat off to him.

"But we were in control of the game for long periods and that is something to take forward into our next match."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Derek on July 29, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    That was a pleasing sight to see!! I was playing a cricket match locally which we lost heavily. Looking up at the results via Cricinfo seeing Somerset have done a great result particularly Gregory's century. This has given me some confidence in Somerset's peformances and will keep up their winning momentum. We have Notts away next on Tuesday (today) and that will be a cracker, we are seeking some revenge after last year semi-final defeat.

  • John on July 28, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    Wow - How did that happen?

    I was all geared up to comment on the decline of our SF sides esp without Jos and now Craig. I went out to do some bits and when I turned the PC on again was shocked (in a nice way) when I saw the result/scorecard.

    We all know what Hildreth can do on his day but was surprised at Gregory. The guy came onto the scene a few years ago with some promising SF performances but with injury issues seemed to disappear. This year he has been given an opportunity in the CC side and taken it with both hands. Maybe he'll get a place on the next Lions tour to round off a great season

  • Android on July 27, 2014, 23:28 GMT

    Simply one of the great Somerset stands. Quite why Hildy has never gone on to become a great England player is an enigma wrapped up in a mystery. His talent is unquestionable.

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    A fantastic game for all , myself included, who witnessed it. After what seems a prolonged absence 50 over cricket is back and not before time.

    Fantastic centuries by all three. Even as a Somerset fan it was a pleasure to watch Colly remind us what a fantastic player he has been over the years.

    Lewis truly showing his all rounder capabilities and to be honest if C.Overton is worthy of a Lions call then quite how Lewis isn't is a mystery.

  • Paul on July 27, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    So many memories to take from this game. A fast, perfect, pragmatic, punchy Collingwood century. An extraordinary flying catch from Trescothick to dismiss him. Onions' unexpected transformation from unplayable in his opening spell to short and frazzled when Hildreth and Gregory imposed themselves.

    A mention for Colin Ingram, who came in with Somerset in big trouble and Hildreth initially sticky at the other end. Ingram did really well to keep the scoreboard ticking over and ensuring the target never receded so far that risks needed to be taken. He might have been a bit unlucky to have been given out ... his boot can only have left the ground momentarily, and it was a surprise that the umpire felt confident enough to raise his finger.

  • Tim on July 27, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    What a fantastic match! Happy that Somerset won which seemed unlikely 1/2 way through their innings. Three excellent hundreds from Collingwood, Hildreth and Gregory. Some exc bowling from Onions in his 1st spell as well. Overall think the current Somerset side is better suited to 50 over format than 20/20 I guess we will see in the next few matches.

  • No featured comments at the moment.