|Bob Willis Trophy Final, Lord’s (Day Four)|
|Somerset 301: Byrom 117; S Cook 5-76 & 227-7: Lammonby 116; Wear 4-51|
|Essex 337-8: Cook 172; Gregory 6-72|
|Somerset leads Essex by 191 races|
Somerset opener Tom Lammonby put in a sparkling 116 to give his side a chance to beat Essex on the final day of the Bob Willis Trophy Final at Lord’s.
His 151-ball stroke included 17 fours as Somerset overcame a 36-innings deficit after Essex went 337-8.
Partnerships of 105 with opener Ben Green (41) and 50 with Tom Abell put Somerset in the lead at 155-2.
But Jamie Porter (4-51) led Essex’s response with the ball to reduce it to 227-7 at stumps, a 191 lead.
The day started with Essex 30 points behind Somerset’s first 301 innings.
But Adam Wheater and night watchman Porter frustrated Somerset’s much-vaunted couture attack to guide them through the first 40 minutes and take what could be a decisive lead.
If the match ended in a draw, Essex would receive the trophy.
The absence of Jack Brooks, treating a bruised thumb, hampered Somerset’s hopes of wrapping Essex’s tail as they used all of their authorized 120 overs.
But Lammonby and Green quickly wiped out the deficit and at one point seemed to put Somerset in the lead for a nearly 250 lead by strain.
Essex, however, took 5-33 within the hour on either side of the tea as spinner Simon Harmer (2-79) also made timely breakthroughs.
It could have been even better if Craig Overton (17 not released) hadn’t been dropped at nine by substitute Ben Allison.
But Essex still had time to knock out Steven Davies (19) shortly before bad fire ended play about 15 minutes earlier.
Lammonby takes the Lord’s stage
After Sir Alastair Cook demonstrated his class with 172 for Essex on day three, Lammonby offered a glimpse of what a future England opener could look like with the match’s third century in the game.
The 20-year-old Devonian had lasted just three balls in the opening innings before falling without a scoring to Sam Cook.
But as Somerset entered their second round expected to show positive intention and clear the deficit first, it duly stepped up and showed the fluidity that characterized its previous two centuries of competition against Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.
His quick partnerships with Green and skipper Abell had threatened to pull the game away at Essex as he scored 85 of the 147 points they added between lunch and tea.
As he hid three points on the side of the leg to elevate his third century in as many matches, he had only collected 151 balls.
The feat was even more impressive as it was only his sixth first class appearance and the debut of his Lord.
There was still time to add a few more limits to the 17 he racked up before Harmer previously trapped him for a new career record of 116.
Although Essex are using a flurry of wickets to put the brakes on Somerset’s attempt to set a goal, the fact that they end up with a 191 lead with three wickets still in hand is in large part due to the excellent innings by Lammonby.