Somerset beat Durham in remarkable match

Celebration

Somerset closed off a remarkable victory on the third morning of their Specsavers County Championship game with Durham at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

Defending a target of 176 and with Durham 130 for five overnight, they took the visitors’ last five wickets for just six runs in 22 balls, to win by 39 runs.

It was a truly intriguing 17 minutes of play during which Somerset used the spinning Taunton wicket to devastating effect.  Jack Leach, who took five first innings wickets and Roelof van der Merwe were the instigators taking three and two wickets respectively.

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Nightwatchman Graham Onions fell to Leach for 0 off the fifth ball of the day and off the left arm spinners’ very next delivery, Paul Coughlin was caught by Jim Allenby at slip.

Stuart Poynter, who struck the only boundary of the morning, was eighth man out, lbw to Leach for 12 before van der Merwe dismissed Mark Wood and Chris Rushworth in successive balls to finish the job.

Leach finished with figures of four for 46 and van der Merwe four for 45.

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After the match Somerset Captain Chris Rogers said: “I probably didn’t see that happening overnight.  I thought we were in with an outside chance because the ball was turning and they had their tail end in, but it all went to plan.  We beat the bat a lot yesterday evening, but today it all went our way and when that happens it’s quite fortunate.

“To finish it that way is fantastic.  All credit to the guys too.  We were down and out on a couple of occasions in this game but fought back hard.”