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29th Match, Taunton, May 17 - 20, 2024, County Championship Division One
(T:189) 554 & 194/2
(fo) 178 & 564

Somerset won by 8 wickets


Renshaw, Umeed wrap up points for Somerset as Denly defiance in vain

Unbroken stand of 134 secures eight-wicket win as Kent rearguard goes in vain

Matt Renshaw's unbeaten 82 saw Somerset home, Somerset vs Kent, County Championship, Taunton, May 20, 2024

Matt Renshaw's unbeaten 82 saw Somerset home  •  Getty Images

Somerset 554 (Banton 133, Rew 114, Gregory 77, Lammonby 69) and 194 for 2 (Renshaw 82*, Umeed 73*) beat Kent 178 (Denly 61, Overton 3-38, Evison 3-52) and 564 (Crawley 238, Denly 67, Compton 65, Bell-Drummond 62) by eight wickets
Matt Renshaw hit an unbeaten 82 as Somerset moved into second place in Vitality County Championship Division One with an eight-wicket victory over Kent at Taunton.
The visitors battled their way to 564 all out in their second innings from an overnight 409 for 5, Joe Denly leading the fight with 67 off 129 balls before being last man out. Grant Stewart hit six fours in contributing 37, while Josh Davey recovered from illness to take 2 for 40.
That left Somerset to make 189 for victory in a minimum of 54 overs. The outcome was never in doubt as opener Renshaw cracked six fours in a 122-ball innings and Andy Umeed made 73 not out to help their side take a maximum 24 points. Kent had to be content with two.
The home bowling attack anticipated a tough day under clear skies on a flat pitch. It might have been shorter had Craig Overton not spilled a chance offered to second slip by Harry Finch in the opening over, completed from the previous evening by Migael Pretorius.
Finch went on to make 20 and helped Denly take the total to 455 before Davey, who had not bowled on day two because of a sickness bug, took up the attack from the River End and had the wicketkeeper caught behind edging a defensive shot.
Having switched ends, Davey struck again with the score on 480, pinning Joey Evison lbw for 17 and leaving Kent 104 ahead with three wickets remaining. Denly batted throughout the morning session with few mishaps, but lost another partner on the stroke of lunch when Beyers Swanepoel edged to Overton at second slip off Pretorius.
If Somerset thought the job was almost done, Denly and Stewart proved them wrong with a stand of 59 at the start of the afternoon session, Stewart opting to counterattack and taking three fours off a Davey over.
The patient Denly went to a trademark fifty off 110 balls with a nick through the slips for four. It was one of few false shots amid stubborn resistance and Somerset were struggling for another breakthrough when skipper Lewis Gregory took responsibility for wrapping things up.
Stewart had faced only 41 balls when playing one big shot too many and getting an inside edge onto his middle stump, having helped Kent extend their lead to 177. With only last man George Garrett left at the other end, Denly was forced to open up and gave wicketkeeper James Rew his sixth catch of the game when advancing down the pitch to a short ball from Gregory.
With Garrett still missing from their attack because of a groin injury sustained while bowling in the first innings, Kent faced a huge task to make inroads into Somerset's top order. But they struck with the score on 24 when Sean Dickson, on 6, chased a wide leg-side delivery from Swanepoel and glanced a catch to wicketkeeper Finch.
Tom Lammonby has been in great form this season and moved briskly to 30 off 24 balls before his brimming confidence led to an error, skying offspinner Marcus O'Riordan to deep mid-off where Zak Crawley took a comfortable catch.
Tea was taken immediately with Somerset 60 for 2 and Renshaw unbeaten on 24. A further 129 runs were needed with a minimum of 40.2 overs left in the day and, with their Australian left-hander at the crease, the hosts had good cause for optimism.
Umeed has settled consistently into the No. 4 batting role in recent games and again looked in good touch as the third-wicket pair blossomed in the final session, Renshaw bringing up the hundred with a square cut for two off O'Riordan.
With the sun still shining brightly over the Cooper Associates County Ground, Renshaw's fourth boundary took him to a 76-ball half-century, his third of the season. Umeed progressed carefully to his second Championship fifty for Somerset and went on to pass his previous best score for the county of 60 before ending the match with a six and extending the unbroken stand to 134.
Kent had given their all after a poor first innings batting effort, but could not prevent unbeaten Somerset building on an impressive start to the summer.