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FAKE2020 CC1The Big One? Yorkshire @ Headingley
By Grockle et al
June 15 2020

After a bit of debate about the 2 spinners without Jack Leach and the merits of Davies and Banton as keeper we decide to go with the same side except that Craig Overton returns for Jack Brooks.  The first versus second match with  a possible trophy in it. Strong Yorkshire side with their England players on the field.  Could be a very important result for one of the sides in Fantasyland.

v YORKSHIRE CC1 @ Headingley Monday 15 June 2020

Somerset go into this game with faith in their batting lineup.  The fantasy engine means that the Tom Banton in this simulation has yet to have the season he had in 2019 and the winter that followed it.  Therefore he is still a 'learner' and a bit of as gamble with only 3 first class games to his stats presently.  Steve Davies with the gloves and with the bat has been a better option in this campaign and the selectors have stayed with him.  Roelof van der Merwe is once again choisen as spin partner for Dom Bess and Craig Overton returns after his rest during the home game.

The Somerset side is therefore;

Ali, Byrom, Bartlett, Hildreth, Abell (c), Davies (wk), Gregory, Bess, van der Merwe, Overton C, Overton J

Yorkshire have a formidable side against that with;

Fraine, Lyth, Beauchamp, Root, Bairstow, K'Cadmore, Willey, Rashid, Maharaj, Pillans and Coad

Tom Abell chooses the toss, loses it and Somerset will bowl.

Fraine and Lyth come out to face the opening attack of Gregory and Craig Overton. The first half hour is one of caution and tight bowling with Fraine nearly leaving, caught behind, with only 8 on the board in the 5th over.  This has been a characteristic of most of the games where Somerset have bowled first, admittedly at home the pitch has something in it at the start of every day and then may flatten out but the Headingley wicket is giving something to the bowlers and something for the batsmen to be wary of.

Lyth isn't 'wary' enough and Overton has him caught at midwicket by Hildreth with only 11 to Yorkshire's tally.  Beauchamp comes out and immediately looks like he means business.  The initial attack is replaced during overs 12 (Jamie Overton) and 13 (Dom Bess) but there is little more Somerset excitement and the 50 arrives in the 15th.  RvdM is tried for the 20th but there are no more chances until Lewis Gregory comes on in the 23rd.  He has Fraine caught at mid off by Craig Overton for 27 at a score of 74 for 2.

Abell keeps ringing the changes with Craig re-introduced for the 30th and Bess back on one over later.  Nevertheless the 100 arrives and once again it is Gregory who makes things happen as Root miscues one from Overton into his hands at 105 for an individual 23.  Meanwhile Beauchamp is going about his business with ruthless efficiency and he reaches his 50 just before lunch (74 balls with 8 fours).  Yorkshire march off for food at 124 for 3 with honours probably even during session 1.

The lunch break comes and goes and little happens after it as the Overtons open the attack in the afternoon.  Gregory is on with the 44th and he is joined by his captain for the 45th.  Bairstow takes a particular liking to the slower pace of Abell and drives him for at least one four every over but Gregory does manage to remove the dangerous Beauchamp for 69 when he knicks one to Bartlett at second slip at 166.  K'Cadmore is almost out to his first delivery when he edges the ball to where a third slip would have been. Bairstow is more of a challenge at the moment however and he goes to 50 from 59 balls (8 fours) at 183.

The Yorkies are not in too much trouble and the introduction of spin with Bess and RvdM coming on for the 51st and 52nd overs suggests Somerset are feeling that they need to slow things down and remove some of the home side.  The 200 has arrived from a K'Cadmore boundary but Bess tempts the same batsman 9 runs later and Davies takes an excellent diving catch.

Willey has a thick edge dropped at slip in his first over but he partners Bairstow, who doesn't look in any trouble past 250 despite the re-introduction of the Overtons before Tea which arrives with the score on 261 for 5 with the Yorkshire partnership looking very comfortable.

Gregory pairs up with Jamie Overton to start the last session and Jamie finally gets Bairstow 2 before his century courtesy of Azhar Ali at first slip. 290 for 6 could put Yorkshire on the back foot but Rashid drives for his first four to bring up the 300.  Gregory turns the screw when he takes out Willey caught and bowled for 46 at 306.

The new ball is taken by Somerset at 81 overs.  Rashid dismisses the first ball he faces with it for six to bring up 350.  Nothing else really happens other than the Maharaj 50 comes up from 72 balls (6 fours) until the last over when Reolof produces a mistake from Rashid and he is dismissed for 42 at 395.  The day ends with Maharaj on 51 and Pillans on 1 with Yorkshire ending 3 runs below 400.

 

DAY 2

It doesn't take Pillans long to move his county over 400 at the start of Day 2.  Gregory and Craig Overton are given the job of putting the Yorkshire innings to bed.  Unfortunately, Maharaj and his partner see their job a little differently and start to move the score along with a couple of near misses.  They deal with the opening attack far too easily and this prompts Somerset's move to spin with the introduction of Bess alongside Jamie Overton. Nothing really happens however and it is not that long before the 450 arrives!!  However just after this extra batting point, Pillans miscues a drive directly back to the bowler and he is caught and bowled Jamie Overton at 452 for a really useful 33.  Coad is the last man in and he is in real trouble with Dom Bess.  But he keeps playing and missing or is found to be just outside the line.  Eventually, after 3 appeals in one over it is MAHARAJ who is plumb to the young spinner for 70 and Yorkshire are all out for 456

Now Somerset have 55 minutes until lunch and a big score to get.  Over 300 just to avoid the follow on.  Byrom and Ali face Coad and Willey and they work at a solid start, going into lunch with 34 for no loss with Ali on 10 and Byrom on 18.  

Ominously Maharaj opens the Yorkshire bowling after the lunch interval with Rashid at the other end.  There was little in this wicket on Day 1 for the Somerset spinners but here we are with 10 wickets in hand facing slow bowling on Day 2. However the opening batsmen seem to weather the initial storm and bring up the 50 as Coad replaces Maharaj.  Byrom drives hard at one which takes an edge and is stopped in the slips.  It wasn't a chance but there is still something there for bowlers. 

Finally, Eddie gets tied up in front and Yorkshire have their first wicket via Maharaj LBW for 40 at 87 for 1.  George Bartlett is off the mark with a cover driven four and then 100 arrives with another from the bat of George. Next Ali arrives at 50 (106 balls with 6 fours).  However, Azhar then loses concentration and makes no more runs after being plum in front to Maharaj almost immediately - 110 for 2   but Maharaj beats him as well and he is also given out LBW at 115.   Three LBWs to the Yorkshire spinner and still 10 minutes before Tea!!  There are no more scares and Tea arrives at 150 for 3 with James Hildreth  on 18 and Tom Abell on 17.

Maharaj and Rashid continue the tight control after the drinks break.  They restirct the Somerset men until Abell tries to drive once too often and is LBW to that man Maharaj for 27 and it is 165 for 4. Coad replaces Maharaj, Davies takes a liking to him and drives him for 3 fours in his first two overs.  He then crashes Rashid through the covers to bring up the 200 and repeats this to take the deficit iunder 250.  Coad nearly gets some revenge when Hildreth miscues him but into open space.

Maharaj returns in time for James to go to 50 off him at 219 (103 balls and 6 fours).  He then immmediately plays and misses twice against the Yorkshire spinner and is finally cleaned up by him for a score of 55.   Another Somerset man who gets moving and then loses the plot a little.

221 for 5 becomes 222 for 6 as Rashid has Gregory plumb (to spoil the "Maharaj Show") for 0 while at the other end there is a real tussle going on between Steve Davis and Maharaj who nearly hasthe keeper caught behind at 236 before Davies returns fire with a straight six at the end of the next over.

Yorkshire take the new ball and introduce Coad and Willey to use it froom the 83rd over onwards. An appeal against Davies is judged to have been bat onto pad but he is then clean bowled for 45 with 4 balls to go of the day - something this computer simulation seems to love!!

Somerset end the day at 251 for 7.  Maharaj has shown his class with 5 for 67 creating a situation where Dom Bess and Roelof van der Merwe take up the rreins tomorrow needing 55 runs to save the follow on with only 3 wickets remaining of the visitor's first innings.

DAY 3

Willey starts proceedings in the second half of this clash and is not far away almost immediately as Bess looks straight in front with the second ball of the morning 'Not Out' says the umpire.   At the other end Coad has RvdM feeling for the ball as well.  It is not until the 5th over that Bess finally gets one across the rope but Coad is relentless and RvdM is another LBW victim for 10 at 272 for 8.  Bess is still fighting as Pillans is introduced and Maharaj is not far behind him as Somerset stagger to 286.  Dom is being 'dominant' while Maharaj is keeping both batsmen honest and wary in between dispatching the loose balls.  The one time Bess takes a chance he is gone, trying to cut a ball too close to him and being caught close in.  it is a bad mistake because at 296 for 9 the number of runs to avoid the follow on is in single figures but he has now put his county in the position of trying to get them with one wicket remaining with time before the lunch break.

The only thing in his favour is that the last pairing for Somerset are the Overton twins who are not a bad couple to have as your 10th wicket on any day.  Rashid is on to break this but Craig and Jamie go about theit job, taking the score over 300 and then passing the follow on target to get the deficii down below 150.  In fact they do more, both taking fours from Maharaj in his next over before taking 8 off Rashid as well.  the 350 comes up as Jamie puts Rashid to the sword again taking 9 from his next over.  There is a thick edge from one of Maraharj's last balls of the session but with a partnership of 61 the Overton's come in for a well earned rest with 99 runs needed for the par score, Craig on 26 and Jamie on a flamboyant and aggressive 40.  Coad has 2 for 104 but that is in comparison to the excellent 6 for 92 for Maharaj. 

With 1 hour and 34 minutes to Tea Fraine and Lyth walk out to face Jamie Overton and Lewis Gregory at a score of effectively 84 for 0.  Lyth smashes Overton's fourth ball for four and is then dropped at mid off during Gregory's  first over... not mistakes that are going to be popular when in this situation.  However, the mistake is not that important as Lyth goes to an excellent catch from Davies behind the stumps for 10 off Overton.  Beauchamp starts where he left off in the first innings and straight drives his first ball for four. It gets more important however when his partner Fraine is LBW to Gregory at 31 for 11.

Bess is on for the 8th and Craig Overton is introduced in the 9th as Beauchamp and Root look too comfortable.  Spin worked for Yorkshire, will it work for Somerset?  It is uncertain as Beauchamp brings up the 50 and the lead passes 150 at 66 for 2.  RvdM comes on to create a full spin attack for the 20th.

This changes things immediately as the very dangerous Beauchamp is caught in close by Hildreth off Bess for 26 and it is 79 for 3.  Bess also has Bairstow reaching early. But there are no more incidents before the Tea interval.  81 for 3 means Yorkshire are 165 ahead.  Bess has 1 for 21 and Gregory has 1 for 8.  Root is on 22 and Bairstow has 2.  The next session is vital to this game for both sides one would imagine.

Lewis starts with RvdM as his partner - and that is a statement from Somerset.  Bairstow also makes a statement as he sends a six into the crowd from the faster man.  Both he and Root look good as the 100 arrives and RvdM makes way for Bess.  The bowling starts to rotate in order to keep the home batsmen off their stride.  This works with Root who Davies stumps off Bess for 44, excellent work. 138 for 4 becomes 148 for 5 when Bess strikes again having K'Cadmore LBW for 4.  Willey steps up and sends the ball to the boundary to bring up the 150 in the first over of a new spell by Craig Overton which goes for 13.  Bairstow reaches 50 (72 balls 6 fours and 1 six) and the Overton over prompts the return of Roelof.  This is a good move as he takes Willey out LBW for 18 at 173 for 6. The batsmen start to leave in a procession as Bess takes out Rashid via another close Hildreth catch for 1 (174 for 7) followed by Bairstow snicking one to first slip without adding to his score 174 for 8.  Pillan comes and goes, caught behind second ball and although Maharaj is still fighting Jamie Overton comes on and tempts him into a miscue and dolly catch with his fourth ball.  Yorkshire are all out for 198, 276 ahead with last man Maharaj finishing with 17.

Jamie Overton finishes with 2 for 31, Bess excels with 4 for 65, RvdM also bowls well with 3 for 26 and Lewis has the other with 1 for 29.

There are 3 overs for Somerset to face and they face them without incident ending with 3 for no loss and a last Day requiring them to add another 274 for victory or lose 10 wickets to fail.

DAY 4

Willey and Coad look to make early breakthroughs and put this game away and it takes Eddie Byrom 8 overs before he gets the first one off the strip and to the boundary.  It is not until the first bowling change that Pillans gets the first break as Ali is caught at first slip by K'Cadmore for 12 at 24.

Maharaj is on for the 16th over and he receives a first ball four from the bat of Byrom but he has Bartlett  'fishing' out side of off.  Rashid joins his spin partner but he prompts the 50 arriving with a Byrom six.

Just when Somerset supporters think Byrom may be getting into his stride, Maharaj interferes and has him LBW for 32 at 65 for 2 (212 runs required).  Baretlett joins him in the pavilion at 79 when Rashid tempts him to provide a thin edge to Bairstow for 27 (198 behind).  Both batsmen got a start but neither has pushed on when needed.  Tom Abell starts by getting off the mark with a boundary.

Lunch arrives at 91 for 3 with James on 13 and his captain on 4.  The Yorkshire bowlers come in with Maharaj 1 for 39, Rashid 1 for 20 and Pillans 1 for 5.

Coad resumes at one end after the break but the other sees one over rotations between Maharaj and Rashid.  it seems to be working as Abell is dropped by Willey off the spinners bowling in the second over.  There ae also a couple of pretty ambitious LBW appeals which come to nothing as Somerset reach the point of needing 150 to win at 127.  This Maharaj, Rashi and Coad interaction continues and eventually at 131 Abell finally edges one behind for 22 off Maharaj.  Davies the new man does not look confident and nearly succumbs to another edge in the next over.  Meanwhile Hildreth at the other end is batting confidently as he sends the ball to the rope to bring up the 150.  Two consecutive fours bring up his 50 (88 balls 9 fours) while a very very thin edge saves Davies from an LBW appeal from Maharaj at 161.

The score rises until it is less than 100 for the victory and possibly the most important wicket goes down as Somerset pass 200 when the in form Hildreth is plumb in front to Rashid 3 minuteds before Tea which comes at 202 for 5 With Steve Davies on 44 and Lewis Gregory without a run to his name. 75 needed for the win.

And so the last decisive session starts, the game will be won or lost here, the draw is the less likely result.  Yorkshire throw their obvious man of the match into the fight as Maharaj and his partner Rashid look to spin Yorkshire to the win. Lewis Gregory goes worryingly early as Willey makes up for the Abell drop earllier inthe day and the batsman goes for a single to the first ball he faces at 208 for 6.  At the other end Davies, probably Somerset's hope now, goes to 50 (68 balls 7 fours). At 213, another batsman leaves the keeper as the sole hope as Bess is caught and bowled by Rashid also for 1.  214 for 7.  However, Roelof seems confident against Maharaj, driving him for a boundary .  Another Davies  boundary takes the runs needed under 50 but there aren't that many wickets left and time is running out.

In the 83rd over Yorkshire take the new ball and Coad returns to put it to use before the 39 nneeded are scored.  Willey takes over at the other end but Steve Davies takes 2 boundaries off Coad to take the score over 250.  With 17 to go, RvdM is lucky to survive and LBW shout from Willey.  Davies also has his moments as he edges one into space with the score on 270 before RvdM hits the boundary that gives the visitors the game by 3 wickets with Davies standing proud on 91 not out.  

The obvious man of the match was Maharaj.  The man of Somerset's match was Steve Davies who stood and delivered when asked and put his county ahead at the top by over 40 points now after this one.

Is it really Somerset's Fantasy season after all these years?