Essex start day two slowly against Somerset

PUBLISHED: 13:51 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:51 24 September 2020

Essex's Adam Wheater (centre) celebrates with teammates after catching out Somerset's Tom Abell (right) off the bowling of Aaron Beard during day one of the Bob Willis Trophy Final at Lord's, London.

Essex's Adam Wheater (centre) celebrates with teammates after catching out Somerset's Tom Abell (right) off the bowling of Aaron Beard during day one of the Bob Willis Trophy Final at Lord's, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Sam Cook collected the only wicket to fall in the morning session as Somerset scored 104 runs to reach lunch on 233 for 5 against Essex in their Bob Willis Trophy clash at Lord’s.

Although Cook struck in the eighth over of the day when he had Steve Davies caught by Adam Wheater for 27 with the total on 139, Eddie Byrom continued his impressive form from the opening day to underpin the West Country side’s solid display.

The 23-year-old Byrom, who was born in Zimbabwe but holds an Irish passport, had not previously passed 30 in red-ball cricket this season but he steadily built on his overnight 51 to go to lunch just three runs short of a century.

He found an effective accomplice in Craig Overton with the pair posting a half-century partnership from 63 balls and soon after, they took the score past 200.

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With little assistance from the pitch for spin ace Simon Harmer, Essex skipper Tom Westley relied on his pace attack to shoulder the majority of the bowling with Jamie Porter, Cook and Aaron Beard sending down 53 of the first 59 overs of the innings.

It was not until the latter stages of the morning’s play that Harmer joined the attack when introduced at the Nursery End before he tried his luck from the Pavilion End but again, without reward.

Early in the session, Cook had prised out Davies when the batsman nibbed at a ball outside off and as caught by Adam Wheater off a thin outside edge to give the pace bowler figures of 3 for 44.

But that was the last success the Essex bowlers were to enjoy as they toiled away in vain to break a sixth wicket stand that has so far realised 94 runs despite the regular rotation of his pace attack by Westley.

Byrom drove selectively and often powerfully on both sides of the wicket amongst a range of strokes without risk whilst Overton played with an uncomplicated approach. He reached his half-century from 85 balls that included 9 boundaries and was 51 not out at the break.

Byrom has so far faced 177 balls during his innings of 97 spanning 4 hours 10 minutes and having struck 14 boundaries and Essex will be seeking a quick breakthrough after lunch in their bid to contain Somerset’s efforts to build a sizeable first innings score.

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