County cricket talking points: Somerset take advantage in title race

by Theguardian

Cricket

Somerset have overtaken Essex again at the top of the table, but the sides still have to meet in the final week of the season

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog

Somerset’s win over Yorkshire opened up an eight-point gap on Essex, who could only draw at Edgbaston – but it still looks like we will have a showdown for the pennant in the last match of the season. The second halves of the two first innings proved the turning points of the match – as lower orders so often do in low-scoring affairs. With Somerset’s admirable captain, Tom Abell, en route to a near four-hour 66 (Ed Smith take note) he needed late-order support – and got it, with double figure scores from numbers six to 10. Contrast with Yorkshire, whose score of 88-5 represented an advantage of 18 at the same stage. But a collapse to 103 all out left them trailing by 96 runs on first innings and the Tykes were never going to get close to chasing 400+ after a more solid showing from the host’s middle order second time round.

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