Somerset v Durham, Specsavers Championship Div 1, Taunton, 2nd day August 6, 2016

17 minutes, five wickets, Somerset win

ECB Reporters Network

Somerset 184 (Wood 3-24, Rushworth 3-47) and 180 (Davies 49, van der Merwe 47, Onions 4-50) beat Durham 189 (Hickey 36*, van der Merwe 4-59) and 136 (Stoneman 57, van der Merwe 4-45, Leach 4-56) by 39 runs

Jack Leach helped seal victory for Somerset © Getty Images

Somerset closed off a remarkable victory on the third morning of their Specsavers' County Championship game with Durham at Taunton.

Defending a target of 176 and with Durham 130 for 5 overnight, they took the visitors' last five wickets for just six runs in 22 balls, to win by 39 runs.

It was a truly intriguing 17 minutes of play during which Somerset used the spinning Taunton wicket to devastating effect. Jack Leach, who took five first innings wickets and Roelof van der Merwe were the instigators taking three and two wickets respectively.

Nightwatchman Graham Onions fell to Leach for 0, off the fifth ball of the day and off the left arm spinners' very next delivery, Paul Coughlin was caught by Jim Allenby at slip.

Stuart Poynter, who struck the only boundary of the morning, was eighth man out, lbw to Leach for 12, before van der Merwe dismissed Mark Wood and Chris Rushworth in successive balls to finish the job. Leach finished with figures of 4 for 46 and van der Merwe 4 for 45.

"I probably didn't see that happening overnight," Chris Rogers, the Somerset captain, said. "I thought we were in with an outside chance because the ball is turning and they had their tail end in. But it all went to plan.

"We beat the bat a lot yesterday evening, but today it all went our way and when that happens, it's quite fortunate.

"To finish it that way is fantastic. All credit to the guys too, we were down and out on a couple of occasions in this game.

"But they fought and what was really nice was that a couple of people who probably havent contributed as much as they would have liked to so far this season, were the ones who stood up and that is such a good sign for the club."

Durham coach Jon Lewis said: "It unfolded pretty quickly towards the end didn't it? But then again, it was like that for much of the game. I mean we are finished 20 minutes into day three. "I don't think this morning was the relevant part of the game. We got some good balls this morning and that can happen on a turning pitch.

"I think there are areas of the game that we could have been better in, over the first two days. But the players will lick their wounds and get back to it."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dumbo on August 8, 2016, 14:19 GMT

    @Daztaylor, completely agree. See Dobell's article abut the India tour this winter where several spin bowlers are mentioned, even a nod to Monty who clearly will not be selected, but Leach doesn't even get sniff. Although Leach would be very hard to replace in our team we do have RVDM who can do a job as can the young chap who played against Pakistan. I think our squad s actually built around the expectation of a few players being selected for lions or similar at some stage with the bowling stocks especially being fairly deep: Davey is barely getting a look in and Green must be ready for more game time. We also have quite a few young batsmen: Bartlett and the Zim chap for example who must be knocking on the door along with Hose and Rouse. I really hope some of these players start to get 'blooded' soon as i don't want a situation where 3/4 players go in quick succession due to retirement, as is likely with our top 4,and then all of a sudden we have 3/4 players with no experience

  • DazTaylor on August 7, 2016, 13:20 GMT

    @JG2704 Of course Leach will be ignored. He plays for Somerset. If he wants to play for England, he would need to play for Surrey or Essex I think!

  • JG2704 on August 7, 2016, 6:34 GMT

    @PAUL_SOMERSET ON AUGUST 6, 2016, 22:29 GMT - Life must be really good for you right now , to give Allenby credit. Re VDM - I always felt he would be a decent white ball signing and it seems that he has been our most consistent player in the SF stuff. I kind of like the tenacity of the guy

  • JG2704 on August 6, 2016, 23:04 GMT

    Wow. Looked at the scorecard early on to see if we managed to take any more wickets and we'd actually won. Such are the fine margins that we could even be top had the close game vs Middx gone our way as well as a few rain affected draws where we were on top - although the reverse fixture with Durham was a bit of a gift draw for us. I wonder if the media and selectors will continue to ignore Leach who once again seems to be going under the radar?

  • TiresomeYorkshireGit on August 6, 2016, 22:51 GMT

    I checked into BBC Sport at about midday and was astonished to see this result.

    County Championship cricket seems to be the antithesis of the other formats, writ large. Tough to win games, no one giving any ground, taking a draw for the five points available, but also to avoid conceding points to opponents.

    And yet the players appear to regard this format as the benchmark, even though it must be incredibly frustrating at times.

    I guess the County Championship is perceived as a brutal assault course : apparently they all think they can smack it into the next county in T20, say, but rarely are such liberties taken in the 4 day game, except when trying to push towards an otherwise unlikely result.

    But I for one find it utterly absorbing.

  • Paul_Somerset on August 6, 2016, 22:29 GMT

    A real "I was there" morning. You have to feel for the Durham fans who had made the journey and found themselves staring disbelievingly into space at 11.17 am. A fair point from Rogers that a couple of Maynard's hitherto questionable recruits finally imposed themselves on a game, so well done Davies and van der Merwe. And just to extend the love, even Allenby fielded with bucket hands at first slip. If Borthwick makes it to India, it will have to be as a specialist batsman - on the evidence of his efforts on this pitch his leg-spin isn't either handy or a useful bonus: it's a liability. If England need a spinner to turn the ball away from the right-handers, then step forward the Vettori of the Quantocks, as pictured above, arms aloft.

  • JimmysbetterthanMcGrath on August 6, 2016, 12:27 GMT

    It's also opened up the title race. Durham were looking like the favourites before today. Middles ex are struggling too. If Yorkshire beat Warwickshire maybe they are now favourites?

  • Dumbo on August 6, 2016, 12:12 GMT

    what a game! i didn't expect Somerset to do it quite so quickly. An interesting one for the pitch inspector: on one hand lots of wickets went down quickly and often in clumps, but on the other hand the wickets were shared out among spin and seam, indeed Durham seam and Somerset spin which showed that the pitch did offer everything and nothing at the same time! I do hope it is not penalized as we need results, not just boring 400 plays 400 draws.

    Anyway, Somerset now must be considered safe from relegation - must start with the negative first - but are we now outside contenders? At the end of the game we are second, albeit only until other games finish, but we are second and have won two in two. WE have Hants up next at home and then the Lancs who have gone off the boil. A few more positive results and who knows i suppose... with these wins and the 50 over wins our season is starting to look up after a very disappointing start, especially in the T20

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