Somerset 206-7 v Surrey
An explosive afternoon spell of 5 for 32 in ten overs by Rikki Clarke sent Somerset sliding to 206 for 7 by tea in their crucial Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Surrey at the Kia Oval.
Marcus Trescothick’s 65 from 84 balls, in an opening stand of 96 with Ed Byrom (42), had earlier given Somerset the perfect start after they had won a toss and opted to take first use of what initially seemed to be a good batting surface.
But the rot set in for Somerset when 36-year-old all-rounder Clarke was given the ball immediately after lunch and, in the space of 34 balls, took five wickets for 17 runs. Only Steven Davies, on 51 not out at the interval, survived the carnage to lead a late order hunt for as many valuable batting bonus points as possible for relegation-haunted Somerset.
Clarke began Somerset’s dramatic collapse to 138 for 6 by having George Bartlett well held at first slip by Kumar Sangakkara for 4, and he then pinned had James Hildreth leg-before for 1 and bowled Tom Abell for a fourth-ball duck in his next over. Byrom followed, fending weakly to gully, and Peter Trego lost both his off and middle stumps when bowled for 2 through an airy drive.
Davies, however, batting fluently against his former county, was joined by Craig Overton in a determined seventh wicket stand of 53 which ended just before tea when Overton, on 24, tried to whip a ball from left-arm seamer Sam Curran through mid-wicket and was bowled.
Trescothick, 41 and in his 374th first-class match, was leg-before to Surrey captain and off spinner Gareth Batty on the stroke of lunch after including 11 fours in a 62-ball fifty and 13 boundaries overall in a dominant display that made a mockery of what came almost immediately after his departure.
Left-hander Trescothick was particularly severe on teenager Curran, 22 years his junior, with a resounding square drive and pull-hook for boundaries early on being followed later by two more fours, when Curran changed ends, to take him to his half-century in the 19th over.
Only 13 points separated Somerset and third-placed Surrey at the start of this penultimate round of championship games, with three other counties also in the relegation zone.