Craig Overton defends Somerset’s non-declaration tactics in draw with Lancashire

By Sports Desk May 14, 2023

England bowler Craig Overton took umbrage at apparent criticism from Lancashire over Somerset’s non-declaration tactics as the sides’ LV= Insurance County Championship clash ended in a draw.

Somerset’s decision to carry on batting at Emirates Old Trafford despite their lead passing 300 in mid-afternoon on the final day of the Division One encounter provoked a sarcastic response from Lancashire’s official Twitter account.

Responding to one of Lancashire’s tweets after hands were shaken at 4:50pm, Overton wrote: “We came at you with a reasonable offer yesterday afternoon to make a game of it yet you declined.”

While James Rew compiled his second century of the match and finished on an unbeaten 118 and Kasey Aldridge claimed his maiden first-class hundred with 101 not out, the game had drifted by that point.

Lancashire, unable to call upon James Anderson because of a groin niggle, withdrew their first-choice attack in the afternoon session as batters Steven Croft and Dane Vilas shared the second new ball.

Lancashire used nine bowlers in total – including wicketkeeper George Bell, with Josh Bohannon taking the gloves – as Somerset finished on 398 for five to sit 433 ahead.

England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes took six catches as Surrey’s impressive attack inspired a nine-wicket victory over Middlesex at the Kia Oval.

Jordan Clark took four for 25, while there were three wickets for Sean Abbott and two for Gus Atkinson as Middlesex were all out for 240, with Foakes’ half-dozen catches a record in a first-class innings for Surrey against their London rivals.

Rory Burns was out for 14, but Dom Sibley (21no) and Ryan Patel (37no) helped Surrey ease to their 70-run target to help their side claim their third win of the season to stay top of the division.

Under-pressure England opener Zak Crawley curbed his attacking instincts and his half-century helped Kent avoid defeat against Hampshire at Canterbury.

Crawley amassed 56 off 133 balls before being stumped off Liam Dawson, while fellow opener Ben Compton’s 54 and an unbeaten 68 off 206 deliveries from Jack Leaning lifted Kent to 259 for four, still 18 runs behind but with Hampshire having given up hopes of forcing a win.

Durham extended their lead atop Division Two with a tense one-wicket victory over Yorkshire, with Brydon Carse hitting the winning runs despite batting with a runner because of a side injury.

Durham resumed at Chester-le-Street requiring 33 to win but with only two wickets in hand. Ben Raine (50no) and Matthew Potts (25) helped Durham close in on their target of 246, but the latter fell lbw to George Hill with just two more runs needed.

But Carse squirted his fourth ball away, calling Raine through for a couple as Durham got over the line to claim their third triumph of the campaign and leave Yorkshire still searching for their first win.

Leicestershire remain unbeaten despite being asked to follow-on by Sussex at Grace Road, with hundreds from Rishi Patel and Wiaan Mulder helping the hosts to a draw.

Patel (100) and Mulder (102no) ushered Leicestershire to 295 for six, having been asked to bat again the day before when they were all out for 270 in response to Sussex’s 430.

Derbyshire captain Leus du Plooy’s unbeaten 61 led the recovery from 28 for three to 166 for five as Gloucestershire settled for a draw at Derby.

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