LVCC cricket: Trego denies Sussex a win in Somerset

Luke Wells bowled superbly
Luke Wells bowled superbly

Peter Trego hit his second half-century of the match to save Somerset from defeat on the final day of an absorbing LV=County Championship match with Sussex at Taunton.

Chasing an unrealistic 425 to win, the hosts crashed from 69 without loss to 84 for five, leg-spinner Luke Wells and slow left-armer Ashar Zaidi sharing the wickets, after a solid opening partnership between Marcus Trescothick (33) and Tom Abell (36).

Sussex had a further 42 overs in which to take the remaining wickets, but were frustrated by Trego (95 not out) and Lewis Gregory (32), who produced a stubborn stand of 120 as Somerset moved to 208 for six when the players shook hands on a draw. Trego had faced 141 balls and hit 15 fours.

Earlier in the day, the visitors had taken their second innings score from an overnight 311 for two to 490 for four before declaring. Matt Machan was dismissed for 192, while Chris Nash finished unbeaten on 142.

Luke Wright smashed Abdur Rehman for 3 sixes in an over during a 12-ball cameo that reaped 39 runs before skipper Ed Joyce, seemingly erring on the side of caution, declared nine balls after the lunch interval.

Somerset looked in little danger when Trescothick and Abell were together. But the introduction of Wells from the River End paid dividends immediately as Trecothick, on 33, was bowled leg stump trying to sweep his first delivery.

We felt we didn’t get the rub of the green with a few decisions, but that’s cricket and you accept it.

Mark Robinson

It was the first of five wickets in as many overs. Johann Myburgh was caught close in also trying to sweep Wells, while James Hildreth offered a simple caught and bowled chance to Zaidi off a low full toss.

Abell, who had looked in great form moving to 36, edged Wells to second slip as he pushed forward and Jim Allenby was also taken in the slips as he nicked an airy drive off Zaidi.

At tea Somerset were 88 for five and in deep trouble. At that stage, Wells had figures of three for 14 and Zaidi two for four.

But the final session belonged to Trego and Gregory as Joyce switched his seamers and spinners around in a desperate bid for another breakthrough.

Trego played his normal positive game and reached his half-century off 83 balls, with nine fours, while Gregory offered sensible support with his best score of the season until falling in the penultimate over.

Somerset took ten points and Sussex nine from a match of fluctuating fortunes.

Sussex head coach Mark Robinson said: “It was a poor wicket for the first two days, seaming around and offering big turn at times. But in the end it has produced an excellent game of cricket.

“We felt we didn’t get the rub of the green with a few decisions, but that’s cricket and you accept it. Peter Trego was a real pain to us in both innings and showed the value of having a seasoned professional in the team.

“The timing of our declaration was a difficult decision. We were aware of some big run chases here and our batsmen were of the opinion that it was easier to attack than defend on it.”

Somerset skipper Marcus Trescothick said: “The partnership between Peter Trego and Lewis Gregory, which saved the game for us, was a great show of character.

“There are mixed emotions from the game. We had an opportunity and whether we let it slip or Sussex took it away from us by good batting is hard to say.

“Matt Machan played brilliantly on the back of a duck in the first innings and Chris Nash also batted very well. What did disappoint me was that we should have saved the game more easily today instead of putting ourselves in trouble.”

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