A GAP in Somerset 2nd XI’s programme has given Andy Hurry, the Director of High Performance at the club, a chance to reflect on the performances that enabled the team to reach the finals of the T20 competition at Arundel, writes Richard Walsh.
Hurry said: “I think that it is very important to highlight the influence that the club’s success over the last few years has had on the development of the younger players coming through, which has been inspirational.
“We have been very fortunate in that we have had a strong nucleus of staff players involved in the Second XI T20 campaign and they have been aware of Somerset’s processes and philosophies in the short form of the game and these have provided the spine of the team.
“However this group has been very well supplemented by a number of club players who have come in and performed brilliantly for us.
“The outstanding ones in the category would be Robbie Montgomery and Chris Skidmore who are both from Bridgwater CC, who have both bowled very well with the white ball for us and produced match winning performances for us and allowed us to win our group and they also did well all round on finals day, which is really encouraging.
“All of the staff players have also contributed and it has been a real team effort. Up at the top of the order Chris Jones’ performances with the bat have been inspirational to the team and Tom Abell who has opened with Jones has come on a long way this year.
“James Burke has been phenomenal this season and has matured a great deal and come a long way with both bat and ball and performed much better than we have seen in the past.
“Max Waller has led exceptionally well from the front, and James Regan behind the stumps and also more impressively as a batter in white ball cricket delivered a great innings to get us back into the final.
“Alex Barrow came in and he stepped up to open the innings when Tom Abell got injured before the final and did a good job for us. His experience and his deft touches and the way that he strikes the ball has been impressive throughout the campaign.
“Craig Overton came in and produced some great form and he has now gone on and done well for the first team and so has Craig Meschede as well and he made a good impact for us.
“Jack Leach has really developed his white ball cricket and varied his pace well and reminded me of Michael Hussey because of the performance he put in against Glamorgan in the second match.
“The way the he has developed his game and the experience he has gained batting at the top end with Taunton Deane has really helped us a great deal and he has transferred that into Second XI cricket, and hopefully the First XI in the future “Josh Davey has made some significant contributions with bat and ball in all formats of the game, while Callum Stewart has been developing his white ball game and made some good progress.
“However it is with the red ball where he has been most destructive, consistently hitting good areas.
Talking about finals day at Arundel Hurry said: “We had a convincing win in the semi final and we had a good feedback and the consensus of opinion from round the ground was that Somerset were the outstanding all round unit, which I think reinforces the clubs overall attitude and approach to the game.”
“However this was all about developing players to go into the first team and win matches for them which underpins everything that we do.
“The icing on the cake would have been to win a trophy, but we are about developing individuals within a team environment that will allow them to produce performances that will win games of cricket for the first team.”