Trego, Hildreth to the rescue as Somerset make merry against SA bowlers

2012-07-10 00:00

Trego, Hildreth to the rescue as Somerset make merry against SA bowlers

LONDON — Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego dented Morné Morkel’s confidence by striking six fours in an over on his way to a 60-ball century on the opening day of the tour match against South Africa at Taunton yesterday.

The hosts recovered from 32 for four to post 312 for eight declared, Trego making 104 and James Hildreth 100 as the pair rapidly added 183 for the fifth wicket in 23.5 overs.

By the close of play, the tourists had reached 96 for two, openers Jacques Rudolph and skipper Graeme Smith both falling to catches behind the wicket for five and 10 respectively.

On a difficult day for the tourists, wicket-keeper Mark Boucher had to go to hospital during the afternoon session after suffering a blow to his left eye, leaving his participation in the rest of the tour in doubt.

A ball from leg-spinner Imran Tahir bowled Gemaal Hussain and deflected a bail off the stumps into Boucher’s face.

The 35-year-old was undergoing surgery to repair a cut to his left eyeball at a Taunton Hospital yesterday evening, after which the injury will be reassessed.

The most likely replacement for the tour, if needed, is thought to be Thami Tsolekile, the 31-year-old Lions players who claimed eight victims in an innings for South Africa “A” against Sri Lanka “A” in Durban last week.

Trego hit 18 fours and a six in a swashbuckling hundred, while Hildreth found the rope 14 times in a maximum of his own.

Morkel went for 90 off 14 overs and will have special reason to remember his first, the 13th of the game.

With Somerset reeling on 37 for four, Trego hit every ball to the boundary — the first and fifth through the covers, the second straight, the third through backward-point, the fourth to third-man, and the sixth wide of mid-off.

Up to then, the home side had struggled against an impressive opening attack of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.

Steyn was unlucky not to get more than 1-21 from his opening spell, during which he had Alex Barrow caught behind for 11.

Philander’s first five overs — against a side he represented earlier in the summer — featured three successive maidens and cost five runs.

Direct hits from Lonwabo Tsotsobe and JP Duminy ran out Arul Suppiah and Nick Compton for ducks, and Somerset looked in big trouble.

But Trego’s assault completely transformed the day.

The South African’s bowling and fielding began to suffer as Hildreth also went on the attack and the pair brought up their century stand in only 71 balls.

After they fell, Craig Meschede hit a 67-ball half-century and debutant Jack Leach, a 21-year-old Taunton-born left-arm spinner, managed 14 not out before Somerset declared.

Perhaps shell-shocked by earlier events, the tourists made a poor start to their reply.

But after Rudolph and Smith departed to Jamie Overton and Hussain respectively, Hashim Amla compiled an unbeaten 34, while Jacques Kallis reached the close five shy of his half-century, despite going down in the slips off Trego.

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