It was a day for experienced old heads at Taunton, as Jacques Rudolph’s steady 111 set up a vital victory for Glamorgan. The 95 run success keeps Glamorgan in the running for a top four finish and a quarter-final place in the Royal London One Day Cup despite loosing their previous three matches in this format.
The Glamorgan batting line-up will have been glad, that after some early seam movement, the pitch settled down into a glorious batting wicket. Having had to contest with a pitch called ‘poor’ by their own coach on Friday night versus Durham.
After being asked to bat first, Glamorgan sauntered along to 289/6 in their 47 overs; the match having been reduced due to a brief rain delay during the first innings. Somerset were powerless to reply, as yet another experienced campaigner inflicted damage; this time the destroyer was Michael Hogan. Finishing with figures of 3-19, including the wickets of danger men Trescothick and Compton. The Western Australian British passport holder bowled with his now trademark accuracy and offered a constant threat for his skipper Mark Wallace.
Rudolph did most of his damage alongside the 41-year-old Murray Goodwin, as the two shared a stand of 118 in just under 20 overs. But the innings did not get off to an entirely auspicious start with Jim Allenby wafting at a wide one from Lewis Gregory to depart for a duck; the second failure in as many games for the usually consistent all rounder. Will Bragg then fell for 19 as he too was caught in the slips, leaving the visitors at 48/2.
After Bragg’s dismissal, Somerset wrestled control and limited the boundaries. Goodwin and Rudolph then began their rebuilding project but were initially tied down by Pete Trego and left arm spinner Jack Leach. The pair were restricted to taking smart singles and bunting the occasional boundary as the game descended into the now routine middle over period.
Rudolph was the first to reach his half-century; from 64 balls, which included six boundaries. The pair then began to accelerate as they scored 38 runs between the 20th and 24th over as Leach struggled to contain the pair who played numerous sweeps and reverse sweeps to upset the inexperienced spinner’s length.
Goodwin then took a brief liking to Trego, dispatching him through mid-on for four and then over long-on for the only maximum of the Glamorgan innings. He registered his fifty in good time as Somerset began to look devoid of energy. In truth, Somerset bowled too full to Goodwin, who drove over the top with carefree abandon.
After Goodwin fell tamely to Lewis Gregory for 62, Chris Cooke took on the mantle of chief aggressor. He survived a few testing deliveries from Tim Groenewald but grew in confidence as he stroked nine fours on his way to a quick-fire 60 from 44 balls.
There was a brief stoppage for rain after 41.5 overs which reduced the match to 47 overs per side, but perhaps more worryingly for Rudolph, he was stranded on 99* at the time. Luckily for him, the rain abated and he was able to register his century with a quick single from the first ball after the resumption.
Rudolph eventually fell for 111 but Cooke continued on. An explosive one-day player and improving batsmen in the longer form, he took the attack to Somerset, before being dismissed in the penultimate over trying to hit a second successive four off Gregory.
Lewis Gregory had the pick of the Somerset bowling figures, finishing his 10 overs with 4 wickets for the cost of 48 runs.
Somerset were set the Duckworth-Lewis adjusted target of 303 to win in their 47 overs and Compton and Trescothick made a solid start for the Cidermen. Unfortunately for the sizeable home crowd, that was as good as things got for Somerset.
To begin, it was vintage Trescothick as he got his boundary count up an running with a cover drive to make even Ian Bell purr and then followed it with a brace of belted boundaries off Wagg. But he was dismissed by a beauty from Hogan that uprooted his off stump. The skipper will undoubtedly have been annoyed after he appeared to drive across the line.
With the two wickets falling early, Somerset had to wait until the 11th over to bring up their 50. Harris and Allenby kept thinks very tight and bowled stump to stump with the field set very straight, not allowing Trego or Ingram any width to play their shots.
Ingram, playing in his final match for Somerset before Alviro Petersen returns, was caught superbly by James Harris after Ingram’s attempted pull had flown into the air.
It was left to Trego to play a lone hand for Somerset, his form in this years competition has been good – he has already struck two centuries. His 45 offered the tiniest glimmer of hope for Somerset, but his stay at the crease was ended when he chopped the ball onto his stumps to hand Wagg his second wicket of the afternoon.
When Gregory was out attempting to reverse sweep and Barrow was caught at long-on, both from the bowling of Dean Cosker, Somerset’s hopes of victory were gone.
Some late order hitting from Johann Myburgh (24) and Tim Groenewald (32*) gave the scorecard a hint of respectability but it was truly a day for Glamorgan’s experienced campaigners to savour.