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County Championship: Somerset seal victory over Worcestershire

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Somerset's Lewis Gregory
Specsavers County Championship Division One, The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton (day three):
Somerset 202 & 255: Hildreth 111no, Trescothick 43; Barnard 6-37
Worcestershire 179 & 195: Barnard 45no, Fell 41; Gregory 3-35, Groenewald 3-51
Somerset (20 pts) beat Worcestershire (3 pts) by 83 runs

Somerset made a winning start to their County Championship campaign by beating Worcestershire by 83 runs at Taunton.

They failed to add to their overnight 255-9 as Ed Barnard (6-37) bowled Tim Groenewald, leaving James Hildreth unbeaten on 111.

Set 279 to win, Worcestershire lost early wickets and despite Tom Fell’s 41, they went into lunch on 85-6.

The tailenders added 74 for the last two wickets, with Barnard making 45 not out, but they were all out for 195.

A run-out ended the game with more than four sessions to spare as Barnard called Steve Magoffin for a second run and he was beaten by Matt Renshaw’s throw to the bowler’s end.

Worcestershire have begun the summer with back-to-back defeats following promotion from Division Two last season.

And their top-order batsmen were unable to back up Barnard’s all-round efforts as he hit a six and five fours in the second innings, to go with his 50 earlier in the game and match figures with the ball of 11-89.

Lewis Gregory and Tim Groenewald each took three wickets for Somerset, who supported their bowlers with some sharp catching, most notably Renshaw, who clung onto a difficult low chance at third slip to send George Rhodes on his way.

Their only setback was an injury to Eddie Byrom, who needed treatment on the boundary edge after apparently dislocating a shoulder.

Eddie Byrom

Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory (on reports of a 28-day approach by another club): “I honestly know nothing about an approach for me by another county.

“I am under contract for this season and have been discussing a new one. I have no thought of leaving Somerset.

“We are delighted to get off to a winning start. We learned from the first innings and bowled better today.

“Tim Groenewald produced a superb spell just before lunch and we all chipped in.”

Worcestershire captain Joe Leach: “We felt Matt Renshaw had put a foot on the rope before throwing the ball in to run out Steve Magoffin.

“As we lost by more than 80 runs, it probably wouldn’t have made any difference, but there have been big last-wicket partnerships and you never know.

“In the end our fielding has cost us the game. I don’t know how many catches we dropped, but it was too many.”

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