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Somerset win first two Championship games for first time in 25 years after victory over Yorkshire

Craig Overton (3-43), Lewis Gregory (2-59), Tim Groenewald (2-51) and Tom Abell (2-15) shared the final-day wickets as the visitors were dismissed for 202, chasing 321 to win. Jack Leaning offered most resistance with 68.

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Somerset have won their first two County Championship games of the season

Taunton (final day of four): Somerset 216 & 200, Yorkshire 96 & 202 - Somerset won by 118 runs

Somerset’s seamers bowled them to a 118-run victory over Yorkshire at Taunton and a second success in as many Specsavers County Championship games this season.

Craig Overton (3-43), Lewis Gregory (2-59), Tim Groenewald (2-51) and Tom Abell (2-15) shared the final-day wickets as the visitors were dismissed for 202, chasing 321 to win. Jack Leaning offered most resistance with 68.

It is the first time since 1993 that Somerset have won their opening two Championship fixtures. They took 20 points to Yorkshire’s three.

Starting the morning on 49 for one, needing a further 272 to win, the visitors lost Cheteshwar Pujara to the first ball, caught behind off Gregory, and went on to struggle against some accurate seam bowling.

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Tom Abell excelled with bat and ball for Somerset

It was 67 for three when Adam Lyth, on 34, edged Groenewald to James Hildreth at first slip and 81 for four when Gary Ballance was caught by wicketkeeper Steve Davies pushing forward to Gregory.

Matthew Waite could make only six before being caught and bowled by Overton off a leading edge and when Andy Hodd fell lbw to the same bowler for a single Yorkshire were in disarray at 103 for six.

By lunch they had moved to 116 for six, still 205 behind. The afternoon session began with a stubborn partnership between Leaning and Tim Bresnan, who put together a stand of 56 without looking troubled.

It took Abell bringing himself on from the River End to break the partnership. The Somerset skipper bowled an impressive spell, swinging and seaming the ball.

Bresnan fell leg-before for 21 to a delivery that nipped back at him after Leaning had moved to an impressive half-century off 128 balls, with seven fours, showing commendable technique and patience.

Jack Brooks counter-attacked to also make 21 off just 16 balls. His entertaining cameo was ended when Groenewald took a sharp return catch, one-handed to his right.

Abell struck again when Ben Coad edged a good delivery to Marcus Trescothick at second slip and at 191 for nine Yorkshire were a beaten side.

The second new ball was taken and Somerset completed a comprehensive win when Leaning was caught at square-leg, top-edging a pull shot off Overton.

A day of bright sunshine, with a biting wind, ended with home supporters dreaming that this might finally be the year Somerset clinch the Championship title for the first time in their history. There is a long way to go, but it has been a hugely encouraging start for new director of cricket Andy Hurry and head coach Jason Kerr.

The one negative for Abell’s men was that Josh Davey pulled out of his run-up after bowling five balls of an over with the total 103 for five and took no further part.

Report courtesy of the ECB Reporters Network

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