Somerset’s three-day match against Gloucestershire ended in a predictable draw when bad light brought the game to an end but not before Steve Davies and James Hildreth shared an impressive unbroken fourth wicket stand of 131.
The wicket-keeper batsman followed up his 34 in the first innings with a blistering 70 off 47 balls with 13 fours and one six whilst Hildreth ended unbeaten on 58 which came from 72 deliveries and included eight fours and three sixes.
The pair came together when Somerset found themselves 17 for 3 in the sixth over and remained together to see the hosts to 151 without further loss from 48 overs.
The day began with Gloucestershire on 98 for one off 34 overs and the second wicket pair of Will Tavare and Graeme van Buuren looked quite comfortable from the start. Van Buuren went to his half century and shortly afterwards retired on 51 which brought George Hankins to the wicket to join Tavare. The pair took the score onto 148 when Somerset captain Tom Abell introduced Pete Trego into the attack at the River End, a decision that was met with immediate success.
With his third ball Trego had Hankins trapped LBW for 17 and next ball he had Phil Mustard caught down the leg side by ‘keeper Steve Davies.
Jack Taylor survived the hat trick ball but soon after he became Trego’s third victim, caught at second slip by the ever reliable Marcus Trescothick and by the time rain stopped play and an early lunch was taken, the visitors had moved onto 166 for 4.
After lunch Gloucestershire lost Tavare for 76, LBW to Roelof van der Merwe, and took their total onto 245 for eight when they declared, 23 runs in arrears. Trego ended with three for 34, Josh Davey claimed two for 34 while Jim Allenby bowled a miserly 12 overs, 8 of which were maidens for just 13 runs.
Somerset’s second innings didn’t start well when Trescothick was run out for five, Tom Abell was bowled for five shouldering arms to Craig Miles who then bowled Adam Hose for the same score.
When Davies joined Hildreth the situation looked precarious, but not for long as the fourth wicket pair quickly took charge and then dominated the bowling with an array of attacking shots that gave the brave fans who were present something to cheer about and everybody something to look forward to in the season to come.
Afterwards Davies said: “It was nice to get some time out in the middle and towards the end I was feeling pretty good and hitting the ball well which was nice. I think today has been a pretty good one for us as a team. We bowled a lot better today than we did last night and our lengths were a lot better and everyone was hitting the gloves a little bit harder.
“It’s been a good workout for everyone and personally good to get a few runs. I haven’t kept wicket for a little while so I was getting used to it again and I am really looking forward to doing a season of it.”
Talking about his two century partnerships in the game Steve said: “Both Tregs and Hildy struck it beautifully, but Tregs seemed to find the middle of the bat every shot and it was a pleasure to watch from the other end, and Hildy showed his class today. I was pretty unlucky to get out in the first innings and lost my way a bit but today at 17 for three so I thought I’d try to be positive and put pressure back on them and it worked with a nice partnership with Hildy.”
To view a scorecard from the match click here. Tomorrow Somerset face Gloucestershire in a 50-over contest that gets underway at 10.30am. Entry to the Cooper Associates County Ground is free.
The Somerset squad is as follows:
Jim Allenby (c), Johann Myburgh, Peter Trego, Tom Abell, James Hildreth, George Bartlett, Roelof van der Merwe, Ryan Davies (wk), Jamie Overton, Paul van Meekeren, Josh Davey, Max Waller and Dom Bess