Australia trailed Somerset by 318 runs at stumps on day one of their tour match in Taunton on Wednesday.
<b>Australia trailed Somerset by 318 runs at stumps on day one of their tour match in Taunton on Wednesday.</b>
Somerset, who opted to bat first at the County Ground in Taunton, had a promising start to their innings after Nick Compton and Chris Jones put on 170 runs for the second wicket. The duo batted together for 46 overs before Compton was dismissed for 81. Compton was eventually caught by Michael Clarke off the bowling of Nathan Lyon in the 50th over.
However, Jones and new batsman James Hildreth continued to build on the early momentum and added 119 runs for the third wicket. Both players even upped the tempo somewhat and scored at more than four runs to the over during their delightful partnership.
Jones eventually departed for 130 runs after spending 293 minutes in the middle. Jones, who faced 239 balls, hit 23 boundaries during his marathon innings, which created a meaningful platform for his middle order to build on. He was eventually dismissed by James Faulkner.
With the score on 304-3 the Australian bowling line-up, which also included James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle was staring down the barrel – or so it had appeared. However, a mass capitulation from the Somerset middle to lower order saw the hosts bundled out for just 320 runs in what was a somewhat bizarre turn of events.
Craig Kieswetter was the first to depart during this period, having scored just four runs before his stumps were rattled by Starc. Hildreth was subsequently trapped in front of his stumps without getting an opportunity to add to the Somerset tally. Pattinson was the wicket-taker.
Alex Barrow, Peter Trego, Craig Meschede, George Dockrell and Jamie Overton all departed without scoring any runs. After being involved in a brief cameo of ten runs for the tenth wicket, Gemaal Hussain was the last man standing on six not out.
Starc and Pattinson emerged as the chief destroyers for the visitors; both bowlers claimed four scalps, while Faulkner and Lyon took the other two wickets.
With the light fading in Taunton, Shane Watson and Ed Cowen – both of whom are expected to open for the Australians during the Ashes series later this year – had the unenviable task of keeping the scorecard tidy until the close of play.
Much to theirs and the Australian cricket fraternity's relief just one over was bowled before stumps were pulled. While Australia were certainly on the back foot for the first two sessions, they managed to claw their way back and will be satisfied with what was achieved on day one.
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