Somerset v Yorkshire, LV= Championship, Division One, Taunton, 3rd day May 26, 2015

Overton sibling rivalry puts pressure on Yorkshire

Yorkshire 438 and 171 for 5 (Leaning 52) lead Somerset 485 (Cooper 99, Hildreth 82, Abell 62, Trescothick 56, J Overton 50, Patterson 5-70) by 124 runs
Scorecard

Craig Overton produced an impressive three-wicket burst to rattle Yorkshire © Getty Images

As you might expect, the Overton twins have a good deal in common, in physical terms of course and in their talent at sports. They share, too, a fiercely competitive nature and if Somerset are to win this match then the edge to their sibling rivalry will have been a key factor.

The two have been familiar figures in the Somerset team since the spring of 2012, when they made their debuts just a few weeks apart. Yet with one or the other usually injured, as happens with young bowlers, they have played together in only nine first-class matches.

Jamieis the quicker bowler; Craig, the allrounder, is acknowledged - even by his brother, a little grudgingly, as the better batsman. When they do take the field at the same time, though, those theories are there to be challenged.

As Yorkshire found to their cost, their eagerness to outdo each other became the dominant feature of the day.

First, the two 21-year-olds shared a last-wicket stand of 76 as Somerset, who seemed to have it all to do after Yorkshire finished on 438 in their first innings, scored with such freedom through the morning session that they were able to collect maximum batting points and a lead of 47, despite Steve Patterson's 5 for 70.

Much of that was down to Tom Cooper, the Australian-born Netherlands international, who missed out on a first hundred for Somerset by just one run, having hit 18 fours before he was dismissed on 99, strangled down the leg side off the bowling of Liam Plunkett.

He and Craig Overton had taken the total past 400 to claim the fifth batting point with 15 overs to spare, but then came the bonus of a wonderfully boisterous game of anything-I-can-do with his brother that lifted Somerset's total from 409 for 9 to 485 all out in just 34 balls.

Craig's 31 from 25 deliveries was more than respectable but he was comprehensively eclipsed by Jamie, who smashed 50 from a mere 18 balls. His last scoring shot, a second consecutive six after pausing to replace a broken bat, soared over cow corner - in this instance the Marcus Trescothick stand - and into the river beyond, before Adil Rashid, the legspinner on the receiving end, had him caught at slip.

Each was so intent on outdoing the other that when Craig hit four consecutive fours off Patterson in the 100th over of the Somerset innings, Jamie responded immediately by smacking Rashid for four boundaries in five balls in the 101st.

The crowd, enjoying some welcome sunshine, lapped it up. It was typical of Jamie, who disputes the supposition that Craig is the superior batsman and clearly relishes the chance to show it. They have batted together only four times in first-class matches yet three of Jamie's four highest scores, including two of his three half-centuries, have been made while in partnership with Craig, which is a remarkable statistic.

Craig was not going to concede defeat, however, on a day both agreed was their finest in tandem so far. He may have played second fiddle with the bat this time, but he was determined to pick up the baton with the ball and went on to produce the spell of the afternoon to put Yorkshire in some peril.

It is not a pitch that offers up wickets easily, as Yorkshire's attack discovered. But when Craig began to find some reverse swing he struck three times in the space of 19 deliveries. Jack Leaning, after adding 52 to his first-innings hundred, was the architect of his own demise, caught at deep backward square on the pull with the last ball of the 39th over.

But the ball that dismissed Andrew Gale, caught at second slip from the first delivery of the 41st, was unquestionably down to Craig's skill and it was a nervous Glenn Maxwell, facing the prospect of a debut pair, who came out to face the hat-trick ball.

He survived but had made only 2 when Craig knocked back middle and off with a full-length delivery, at which point Yorkshire were five down and only 70 in front.

Rashid and Jonny Bairstow kept their heads to steer Yorkshire to the close with no further losses but their lead is only 124 and the new ball is available in only 12 more overs. The contest is well set for an interesting final day.

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