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County Championship round-up: Stunning Somerset comeback, Hampshire go big and snow stops play


Somerset defeated Middlesex at Lord’s in the County Championship (Picture: Getty)

Somerset recovered from 89-9 in their first innings and produced a fourth-innings chase of 285 to beat Middlesex and complete a stunning comeback victory in their County Championship opener at Lord’s.

Jason Kerr’s side, who reached the Bob Willis Trophy final last summer, trailed Middlesex by 224 when they lost their ninth wicket on day two, but numbers 10 and 11 Marchant de Lange and Jack Leach almost doubled Somerset’s total to stay in contention.

Middlesex posted 313 in their first innings – largely thanks to opener Sam Robson’s brilliant 165 – but they were bowled out for just 143 second time around, setting Somerset 285 to win.

Captain Tom Abell impressed with 84 and, although Middlesex reduced their opponents to 187-6 on lunch on the final day, Somerset rallied through George Bartlett (76*) and Lewis Gregory (62*) to win by four wickets.

Of the other eight County Championship matches to take place, only two results were possible, with Hampshire thrashing Leicestershire by an innings and 105 runs and Gloucestershire beating Surrey by eight wickets.

Hampshire surpassed 600 in their sole innings, with James Vince boosting his England credentials with a brilliant double century and Liam Dawson and Tom Alsop also scoring hundreds.

Hants then produced an impressive all-round bowling performance – only one of their six bowlers failed to take a wicket – to seal an emphatic victory at the Uptonsteel County Ground in Leicester.

England hopeful James Vince produced the knock of the round (Picture: Getty)

In Bristol, Graeme van Buuren’s 110 off 98 balls helped Gloucestershire chase 228 in the fourth innings, despite England wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes making 133 to boost Surrey after a disappointing batting display.

The six other matches ended in draws, although they were not without drama, with 44-year-old Darren Stevens scoring his 35th first-class century for Kent against Northamptonshire and Glamorgan’s Billy Root upstaging his older brother Joe with a century against former county Yorkshire.

Essex’s stalemate with Worcestershire saw Tom Westley hit a double century, while Warwickshire’s Liam Norwell and Oliver Hannon-Dalby both claimed five-wicket hauls before the rain – and snow – came against Derbyshire.

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