Jack the hero on day one

Jack Leach celebration

Jack Leach was the bowling hero on the first day of Somerset’s Specsavers County Championship match against Surrey at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

The 24-year-old left arm spinner picked up four wickets in his 18 overs as Surrey finished the day on 236 for 8.

Having chosen to bat first, Surrey made a quickfire start before losing their first wicket, at 26, when Rory Burns was caught at second slip by Marcus Trescothick off the bowling of Craig Overton.

Arun Harinath followed with the score on 70, once again caught by Trescothick at slip, this time off the bowling of Jim Allenby.  The former Glamorgan all-rounder also struck shortly before lunch when trapping Gary Wilson lbw for 12 at 90 for 3.

Sangakkara looked in decent touch until the first over after lunch when he offered a return catch that bowler Tim Groenewald gratefully accepted.

Left handers Steven Davies and Zafar Ansari added 85 for the fourth wicket but, having been dropped at short leg by Trescothick earlier in his innings, Davies eventually played around a Leach delivery, from the River End, and was given out lbw, for 49, off 119 balls.

Then, off the final ball before tea, Ansari, who struck four boundary fours and a six over long on offered a catch to Trescothick at short leg to leave Surrey on 201 for 6.

Leach picked up a third wicket, that of Tom Curran, caught at slip by Allenby for 0 at 201 for seven and shortly after sent back captain Gareth Batty lbw for 0 at 201 for 8.

At that stage, Surrey had lost four wickets for no runs in 28 minutes.  Ben Foakes and Mathew Pillans dug in after tea and together rescued what was a rather desperate situation, for Surrey.  They added an unbeaten 35 for the ninth wicket when the players were forced off the field due to rain, thunder and lightning.

Afterwards Jack Leach said: “The ball was coming out well for me and we had a good day today.  Jim Allenby bowled well too and everybody backed each other up in the bowling department and I got my rewards either side of tea.  It wasn’t the sort of wicket that we see often at Taunton because it had a lot more grass on it but it still offered me some assistance. There’s more carry and when it spins it’s quicker off the surface which is good for me so there is plenty in it.

Jack Leach celebration

“Its difficult to say what the par score is on this wicket, but we have got to finish them off quickly in the morning.  Then we really need to be focused on batting as long as we can and getting a big total on the board and then hopefully getting another chance to bowl at them.

“It’s nice to back up my five fer at Lords because you want to be consistent with your performances.  It was a great experience for me to do well at Lord’s but to then come back to what I call the Home of Cricket and do well is very pleasing.  We bowled well as a unit and were a bit unlucky early on with a few going through third man but we got our rewards later on.”