Marcus Trescothick became the second highest run scorer in Somerset’s history as he led a spirited response by his side against Surrey on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match at The Oval.
The 40-year-old lodged the 177th score of over 50 of his 23-year career with an undefeated 68 as Somerset reached 99 for 1 in reply to Surrey’s 463 on a day when 45 overs were lost to bad light and rain.
Trescothick moved above Peter Wight’s total of 16,965 runs for the county and now only Harold Gimblett, who made 21,142 runs for Somerset between 1935-54, stands above him in the county’s all-time list.
There were plenty of vintage Trescothick shots to admire between the showers, including a six over backward point when Mark Footitt dropped short. At times Footitt struggled to bowl a consistent line but he also troubled both Somerset openers with his raw pace.
The left-armer, who signed from Derbyshire in the winter, struck Trescothick on the chest and his plan to bounce out Tom Abell paid off when Abell, on 19, mis-timed a hook and was held at backward square leg. The 22-year-old opener had earlier demonstrated his undoubted talent with a couple of superbly-timed clips through his strong areas on the leg side.
As usual, Trescothick relished any width and a dab down to third man for his ninth boundary took him to his half-century before rain drove the players off for the third time.
A re-start was scheduled for 5.55pm, but with the players on their way to the middle they turned around as the rain returned.
In the morning session Somerset took the last five Surrey wickets for the addition of just 67 runs. Tim Groenewald picked up three of them to finish with 5 for 94, the 13th five-wicket haul of his career.
His out-swinger accounted for Ben Foakes (8), who was caught behind and he also had Zafar Ansari caught by Trescothick for 53.
Ansari batted well within himself but looked in good touch until he edged to second slip. Tom Curran and Gareth Batty were both run out looking to accelerate Surrey’s progress and Groenewald finished the innings off when Footitt drove loosely to extra cover.
After the end of play Tim Groenewald said: “It feels good to have got five wickets and to have contributed towards a good day for the team. I’m pretty happy to have played my part in finishing them off this morning.”
Talking about the bowling performance today Tim said: “We stuck at the task well this morning because we weren’t just going to lay down and die because that’s not what we are about. The guys came out and we were up for the challenge. We knew that if we went through the motions then they would get a big score and put us out of the game completely, but Lewis and Craig gave us a great start to set the tone and allowed me to come on and do my thing.
“I got the rewards, which on another day would have gone to them but we bowled really well this morning. Yesterday we had Sangakkara playing the way he did, but today was a different ball game altogether.”
Tim went on: “Now our batters have made a really good start for us in tricky conditions, because with the bad light and the rain it can be hard to get going, but Abes and Tres got off to a brilliant start and put pressure back on the bowlers which was good.
“Tres and Buck have now finished it off and given us something to build upon tomorrow.”