|Scorecard:||Somerset v Yorkshire|
|Event:||LV County Championship 2013|
DateLine: 31st May 2013
Somerset v Yorkshire
John Ward from Taunton, day 3
Close of play: Yorkshire (450/5 dec) v Somerset (232/6).
Yorkshire, by a considerable margin the more focused of the two teams, are hoping to win this match, reduced to three days through rain, on the final day, the crucial question being whether they succeed in enforcing the follow-on. At the close the home county need another 69 runs to do so with four wickets in hand. There were several individual highlights during the day, starting with a century from Adil Rashid, while Somerset were given hope by fighting innings from Marcus Trescothick, in his 300th first-class match, and James Hildreth.
It was Yorkshire all the way from the start of play, when Yorkshire were 341 for five. Rasheed took care to move from 47 to 50, the landmark taking him only 59 balls, but then he and Andy Hodd clinically took advantage of an unthreatening bowling line-up. Rarely did either look in any difficulty or play a false stroke, but when they did, Somerset were unprepared for it. Hodd on 41 edged a ball that should have been caught by either wicketkeeper or first slip, but was missed by both. After reaching 50 off 84 balls, Hodd was again missed in the slips. Somerset at this stage appeared to be merely going through the motions in the field.
A typical quick-footed cover-drive brought Rashid his century off 119 balls, and in the next over Yorkshire declared, with Rashid on 103 (14 fours) and Hodd on 68 (his highest for Yorkshire) off 99 balls. The bowling figures were not a pretty sight to Somerset eyes, the best figures being two for 106 by Gemaal Hussain. In the circumstances the Irish off-spinner George Dockrell did a good holding job, taking one for 52 off 20.2 overs.
Somerset had six overs to bat before lunch, and they nearly lost the wicket of Marcus Trescothick. Yorkshire were convinced he should have been given out lbw to Ryan Sidebottom for 2, playing across the line to a straight ball, but the umpire would not co-operate. Somerset thus went in to lunch on 15 for no wicket. The only real target they had to aim for was 301, which would enable them to avoid the follow-on.
Soon after lunch Arun Suppiah, in dismal form, was trapped lbw by Steve Patterson for 5. But Trescothick was now dominating the scene, and when Somerset brought up their 50 in the 16th over, he had 43 of them. But then he became unaccountably bogged down, and lost Luke Gregory, lbw padding up to Patterson for a rather painful 3. Thanks to the intervals, Patterson and Sidebottom were still bowling, the latter economical but at times erratic in direction.
A leg glance for four brought Trescothick his fifty off 76 balls. But he was never quite the same again, and was eventually dismissed lbw to Rich Pyrah for 74, scored off 101 balls; 103 for three. At tea they had reached 112 for three, with the South African Dean Elgar and James Hildreth at the crease.
Elgar fell soon after the break, slashing a virtual long hop from Sidebottom to backward point for 28; 120 for four. The locals insisted that this was a typical weak batting performance for this season, with one wicket after another being thrown away. Hildreth and Alex Barrow responded with some positive batting; the fifty partnership came up and looked promising, but then Adam Lyth came on to bowl his occasional off-spin, perhaps because of the fading light. Barrow (26) seemed quite bemused by a slow yorker and managed to chop it on to his stumps.
The very next ball, Peter Trego managed to drive a tame return catch to Lyth; 172 for six. Craig Meschede played out the next delivery with great care, preventing what would have been an unlikely hat-trick. He then started to build a partnership with Hildreth, who seemed to be finding his way back to form, reaching his fifty off 78 balls. They were still together at the close, when the score was 232 for six, giving Somerset hope of saving the follow-on and escaping with a draw on the final day. Hildreth had 76 and Meschede 12.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 John Ward)