Peerless Trescothick at it again
Marcus Trescothick became the first batsman to reach 1,500 runs this summer as Somerset responded to Worcestershire’s highest LV= County Championship total of the season on day two at New Road.
The 35-year-old Somerset captain completed his sixth hundred of another prolific campaign and took his total from 20 innings to an imposing 1,504 - putting him more than 400 ahead of his nearest rivals.
An unbroken opening partnership of 198 with Arul Suppiah trimmed Somerset’s deficit to 290 as Trescothick’s undefeated 106 countered Moeen Ali’s career-best 158 in Worcestershire’s progress to 488.
A dry pitch has yet to offer consistent turn - a key factor in the home side’s strategy with Saeed Ajmal in their ranks - and instead the runs steadily piled up with the Pakistan off-spinner wicketless in 18 overs.
Trescothick swept Ajmal for a single to reach his 49th first-class century, after hitting 17 fours from 145 balls, and with potentially 11 innings to come he is well on course to break the 2,000-run barrier for the first time.
Suppiah had uncertain moments, particularly with a couple of early edges through the slips, but will be looking to convert an unbeaten 86 into his first championship hundred of the season.
It was a much better day all round for Somerset. With Worcestershire resuming at 367 for three, Charl Willoughby eroded their powerful overnight position in an opening spell of 4-41 in 12 overs.
A fourth-wicket stand of 128 ended without any addition when Alexei Kervezee stepped in front of Willoughby’s fifth ball without addition to his overnight 68, and former England Under-19 left-hander Jack Manuel edged Alfonso Thomas to first slip after hitting one four on his first-class debut.
Moeen remained the big obstacle to Somerset as 22 fours and two sixes accounted for 100 of his runs, but the left-hander eventually made a critical error when a leading edge off Willoughby was held by Suppiah at short cover.
Five wickets had fallen for only 51 by the time Gareth Andrew and Ajmal fell in successive balls from Willoughby, but Somerset were denied a speedy wrap-up as Ben Scott and the unbeaten Jack Shantry both reached 36 in a partnership of 70 in 17 overs.
Coming off the back of a career-best 47 not out in the last match against Yorkshire, Shantry again revealed talent as a batsman with some impressive driving in a 52-ball innings containing seven fours.
The more experienced Scott drove Murali Kartik for six before Peter Trego closed the innings with two wickets in three balls.