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Worcs vs Somerset

Solanki, Smith save Pears

Somerset fail to force victory at New Road

Smith: unbeaten 80 guided Worcestershire to safety

LV County Championship - Division One
New Road
Somerset 428-6 dec (M E Trescothick 142, J L Langer 107, C Kieswetter 59 no) v Worcestershire 225 & 225-4 (V S Solanki 93, B F Smith 80 no)
Worcestershire (7pts) drew with Somerset (12pts)

Somerset failed to force victory despite making Worcestershire follow-on on the final day at New Road.

The Pears resumed at 164-6 in their first innings in the rain-affected contest and were bowled out for 225 before lunch - veteran seamer Andrew Caddick (3-53) and left-arm spinner Arul Suppiah (2-28) sharing the last four wickets.

With a lead of 203, Somerset captain Justin Langer asked the hosts, who are rock bottom of Division One without a win all season, to bat again.

And Worcestershire slumped to 40-2 in early afternoon with both openers, Daryl Mitchell (4) and Stephen Moore (17), back in the pavilion.

But Somerset were unable to force a positive result as Vikram Solanki (93) and Ben Smith (80no) counter-attacked during a third-wicket alliance of 136 in 23 overs.

Medium pacer Zander De Bruyn (1-31) eventually found the answer by bringing one back to take out Solanki's off stump, but Smith, having survived a sharp chance in the gully on 48, went on to claim 15 fours in equalling his best score of the season.

There was just a brief scare when Moeen Ali (16) top edged a return catch to Caddick (1-42) with 25 overs available to Somerset and Worcestershire only six runs ahead - but the home side comfortably held out for a draw, closing on 225-4 - an overall lead of 22.

Day three

Justin Langer overhauled one of Sir Don Bradman's most prized records as Somerset attempted to turn the screw on LV County Championship strugglers Worcestershire on another showery day at New Road.

Langer's 86th first-class century made him the highest-scoring Australian batsman in first-class history, surpassing Bradman's career total of 28,067 runs, and even when the 38-year-old left hander departed for 107, there was no relief for Worcestershire.

Somerset declared at 428-6 following Craig Kieswetter's run-a-ball 59 not out, and after a two-hour stoppage, Worcestershire limped to 164-6 - still 115 short of their 279 target to avoid the follow-on.

With Somerset's seamers getting more out of the pitch, Stephen Moore was leg-before, stretching forward in Charl Willoughby's third over, and Vikram Solanki turned a catch to leg slip off David Stiff before the total had reached 50.

Daryl Mitchell showed some resilience, facing 70 balls for 20, but was then bowled by Andrew Caddick and Willoughby returned to have Moeen Ali held at first slip by Langer.

The wickets continued to be shared out as Ben Smith (30) cut Peter Trego low to point and Gareth Batty edged behind off Alfonso Thomas, but the 45-over session ended with top scorer Steven Davies undefeated on 40.

Worcestershire's troubles were in stark contrast to Somerset's batting. When Langer resumed on 89, he took 20 minutes to add the six runs he needed to pass Bradman.

Fellow Australian Matt Mason was the bowler when a well-timed drive past mid-off for four took the left hander to his target.

In his 615th first-class innings - 277 more than Bradman - he hit fours and two sixes from 133 balls, and, when he was caught at cover off Mason, he had taken his overall total to 28,080.

Wicketkeeper Kieswetter, maintaining his best season with the bat, thumped four sixes against a flagging attack. The first of these lodged the ball in a plastic fascia board above the Press Box and the third secured a fifth batting point as the West Country side went past 400 as early the 81st over.

James Hildreth went for 16 - bowled by Gareth Andrew after lifting the previous delivery for six - but Zander de Bruyn needed 24 balls to make nine before he holed out to long leg off Mitchell.

The persevering Mason was easily the pick of the attack, taking three for 111 from 28 overs, and medium-pacer Mitchell nipped in with two for 25 when called up by skipper Solanki as a fifth seamer.

Solanki was unable to retain any control in the field as Trescothick, with a century on the second day, and Langer led Somerset's bid to force a victory and cut Durham's 36-point advantage at the top of the Division One table.

Day two

Marcus Trescothick's third hundred in six LV County Championship innings allowed Somerset to pile up 312-3 on the second day against Worcestershire at New Road.

With the opening day lost to the weather, the Cidermen were keen to make up for lost time after being asked to bat on a green pitch by home skipper Vikram Solanki, who was without Ashley Noffke and Kabir Ali due to injuries.

Trescothick hit 142 from 201 balls and was well supported during century stands with Arul Suppiah and Justin Langer.

Suppiah, dropped on 14 by Matt Mason in his follow-through, contributed 47 to an opening partnership of 140 before falling lbw to Mason.

Trescothick enjoyed a let-off on 73 when Stephen Moore was unable to hold a fierce drive to extra cover off Gareth Andrew (0-65).

The second-wicket stand was worth 169 when Trescothick, who struck 27 fours, was caught behind attempting to run a ball from Mason (2-74) to third man.

In 14 visits to the middle in the County Championship, the 33-year-old left-hander has scored four hundreds and posted five half-centuries including three dismissals in the 90s.

Peter Trego was caught at mid-off for just a single off Daryl Mitchell's (1-23) bowling in the next over.

Langer finished unbeaten on 89 and requires just another six to overhaul Don Bradman (28,067) as the highest scoring Australian in first-class cricket.

Day one

Worcestershire and Somerset were unable to get under way on day one of their LV County Championship match at New Road due to heavy rain.

Second-placed Somerset were looking to make up some of the 36-point deficit on league-leaders Durham when they travelled to rock-bottom Worcestershire on Tuesday.

But they now have just three days to secure a fourth win in five games after the weather conditions prevented play.

Injury-hit Worcestershire have yet to win since their promotion back to the top-flight and currently trail Warwickshire by 27 points.

Match Details

21st - 24th Jul 2009
New Road, Worcester
M R Benson and P Willey


Batsman R
Mitchell c Kieswetter b Willoughby 4
Moore c Kieswetter b Thomas 17
Solanki b de Bruyn 93
Smith not out 80
Ali c Caddick 16
Davies not out 7
Extras 4nb, 4lb 8
Total Close, 56.0 Overs 225 - 4
Full Batting Card


Bowler O M R W
Willoughby 14 6 40 1
Caddick 11 2 42 1
Thomas 6 0 31 1
Stiff 10 0 47 0
Trego 4 1 29 0
de Bruyn 6 1 31 1
Suppiah 5 4 1 0
Full Bowling Card