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Lammonby century gives Somerset chance

Tom Lammonby raises his bat after reaching his century
Tom Lammonby has scored three centuries in his past three first-class matches
Bob Willis Trophy final, Lord’s (day four)
Somerset 301:Byrom 117; S Cook 5-76& 227-7:Lammonby 116; Porter 4-51
Essex 337-8:Cook 172; Gregory 6-72
Somerset lead Essex by 191 runs

Somerset opener Tom Lammonby made a sparkling 116 to give his side a chance of beating Essex on the last day of the Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord’s.

His 151-ball knock included 17 fours as Somerset overcame a first-innings deficit of 36 after Essex made 337-8.

Partnerships of 105 with opener Ben Green (41) and 50 with Tom Abell put Somerset in the driving seat at 155-2.

But Jamie Porter (4-51) led Essex’s fightback with the ball to reduce them to 227-7 at stumps, a lead of 191.

The day had begun with Essex 30 runs shy of Somerset’s first-innings 301.

But Adam Wheater and nightwatchman Porter frustrated Somerset’s much-vaunted seam attack to steer them through the first 40 minutes and take what could be a decisive lead.

Should the match finish as a draw, Essex would be presented with the trophy.

The absence of Jack Brooks, nursing a bruised thumb, hampered Somerset’s hopes of wrapping up Essex’s tail as they used all their permitted 120 overs.

But Lammonby and Green quickly wiped off the deficit and at one stage looked like setting Somerset up for a lead approaching 250 by stumps.

Essex, though, took 5-33 in the hour either side of tea as spinner Simon Harmer (2-79) also made timely breakthroughs.

It could have been even better had Craig Overton (17 not out) not been dropped on nine at long leg by substitute fielder Ben Allison.

But Essex still had time to remove Steven Davies (19) shortly before bad light ended play around 15 minutes early.

Lammonby steps up to Lord’s stage

After Sir Alastair Cook demonstrated his class with 172 for Essex on the third day, Lammonby offered a glimpse of what a future England opener could look like with the third century of the match.

The 20-year-old Devonian had lasted just three balls in the first innings before falling without scoring to Sam Cook.

Tom Lammonby
Tom Lammonby has converted all three of his first-class fifties into centuries

But as Somerset began their second innings needing to show positive intent and first wipe off the deficit, he duly stepped up and showed the fluency which characterised his two previous competition centuries against Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

His quick-fire partnerships with Green and skipper Abell had threatened to take the game away from Essex as he scored 85 of the 147 runs they added between lunch and tea.

As he tucked away three runs into the leg-side to bring up his third century in as many matches, it had come off just 151 balls.

The feat was even more impressive as it came in just his sixth first-class appearance and on his Lord’s debut.

There was still time to add a couple more boundaries to the 17 he accumulated before Harmer trapped him leg before for a new career-best 116.

Despite Essex enjoying a flurry of wickets to rein in Somerset’s bid to set up a target, the fact they find themselves with a lead of 191 with three wickets still in hand, is largely down to Lammonby’s excellent innings.

Somerset opening batsman Tom Lammonby:

“That’s got to be the toughest bowling attack I’ve faced so far.

“It’s always nice to contribute with a big innings against such a quality opposition, but there’s still a long way to go in this match.

“It’s been great to contribute to the team and get the opportunity to play in this side and help us a to a few victories.

“Obviously, it’s been an unusual summer and if you’d told me at the start of the year I’d get the opportunities I have had to play so many games, I would’ve taken it with open arms.

“I’m just really pleased to have had this chance to play in such a strong team.”

Essex seamer Jamie Porter:

“The first aim this morning as nightwatchman was just to try and reach small targets and chip away at their lead, but to actually take us past it gave us a great start.

“It’s always nice to get wickets, but what I enjoyed most about that spell was clawing a bit of the momentum back in our favour and really drying up their runs by just bowling really straight and attacking the stumps.

“If we do end up drawing and taking the trophy, I don’t think it would sour the achievement as we’ve had to fight very hard to get into this position.

“But when the run chase comes, we will be looking to be positive to go for the win. I think there’s a lot of people in our batting order capable of putting in a match-winning innings tomorrow.”


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