Somerset seek end to remarkable drought

22 September 2016

Somerset's players celebrate a wicket during an eventful day two against Notts // Getty

More than a century of pain could be about to end for the Taunton-based side, with Chris Rogers at the helm

Veteran batsman Chris Rogers has experienced plenty in his 18-year first-class career.

But not even Rogers – nor anyone else for that matter – has experienced Somerset winning the County Championship.

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All that could be about to change however after a dramatic day two in the final round of this year's competition, during which Somerset bowled out Nottinghamshire for 138 at Taunton to take a 227-run first-innings lead and make a late charge for the title in the process.

At stumps on day two, Rogers – who hit his 75th first-class hundred in the first innings – was 31 not out, with Somerset 2-105 and leading by 332.

For Somerset to claim their first-ever County Championship title and end a drought that stretches back to 1890 – surely one of the longest in any sport – they must earn 23 points against Nottinghamshire, which they are on track to do (they have already earned seven first-innings points and will receive another 16 if they win the match), and hope that either Middlesex fail to beat Yorkshire, or Yorkshire fail to beat Middlesex and score 350 in their first innings.

That contest is currently being played out at Lord's and is very much in the balance; Middlesex made 270 in their first innings, while Yorkshire are 6-235 at stumps on day two.

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As well as captain Rogers, the heroes for this contest so far are James Hildreth, who made 135 in a 269-run second-wicket stand with the Australian in the first innings, and 19-year-old off-spinner Dom Bess, who claimed 5-43 to help his side move into such a commanding position for the win and, potentially, that long-awaited title.

Somerset have been runners-up three times this century – 2001, 2010 and 2012 – while they've boasted the leading run-scorer four times in the past seven seasons: Marcus Trescothick (2009 and 2011), Nick Compton (2012) and Hildreth (2015).

They've had the likes of Test greats Sir Viv Richards, Joel Garner and Mushtaq Ahmed, as well as Australian Jamie Cox, among others as their overseas players.

None of them however – until perhaps Rogers, who is in his first season with the club – have been able to get the county over the line in Division One.

It’s going to be a tense two days in Taunton.

County Championship – Day two stumps scores

Division One 

At Southampton

Hampshire 411 (J Vince 92, W Smith 90, L Dawson 62, J Adams 53, S Ervine 50) v Durham 7-242 (G Clark 58, M Richardson 50 no, B Stokes 50) 

At Lord's 

Middlesex 270 (N Gubbins 125, J Brooks 6-65) v Yorkshire 6-235 (T Bresnan 72 no, A Hodd 64, T Roland-Jones 4-31) 

At Taunton 

Somerset 365 (J Hildreth 135, C Rogers 132, J Ball 6-57) and 2-105 v Nottinghamshire 138 (D Bess 5-43) 

At Edgbaston 

Warwickshire 219 (S Hain 52, T Bailey 4-52) and 0-12 v Lancashire 152 (K Barker 4-30) 

Division Two 

At Bristol 

Gloucestershire 229 (C Dent 90, D Payne 56) v Sussex 4-208 (L Wells 75, C Nash 66, J Shaw 4-45) 

At Canterbury 

Kent 7-389 (D Stevens 107 no, J Denly 74, S Northeast 56, M Dixon 4-89) v Essex 

At Grace Road 

Leicestershire 96 (T van der Gugten 5-52) and 283 (N Dexter 73, A Robson 72, T van der Gugten 4-81) v Glamorgan 199 (K Carlson 74 no) and 1-11 

At New Road 

Worcestershire 7-475 dec (J Clarke 194, J Leach 107 no, D Mitchell 67) v Derbyshire 0-15

Meg Lanning Steve Smith

About the Writer


Adam Burnett is the deputy news editor of and senior news editor of He previously wrote for and edited at Inside Cricket magazine and The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia and The Telegraph and The Guardian in the UK.

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