Round 1 – beat Glamorgan by 289 runs
Somerset started as they meant to go on with a comprehensive victory over Glamorgan at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
A final-wicket partnership of 107 saw Jack Brooks smash 72 off 58 balls to help the hosts set 296 all out before Somerset’s seamers blew the visitors away, with Craig Overton taking 5/38 to skittle Glamorgan for 131.
Skipper Tom Abell hit 119 to set Glamorgan an unlikely 456 to win but they fell well short, this time succumbing to Jamie Overton’s pace as he took 5/48.
Round 2 – beat Northamptonshire by 167 runs
Somerset’s bowling continued to do the business in the second round of matches as they defeated Northamptonshire in a match that only lasted 161 overs.
Bowled out for 166 by their hosts, Somerset responded by dismissing Northants for just 66, with four more wickets for Craig Overton.
Somerset didn’t hang around in their second innings, scoring at over 5.5 runs per over with both Overton twins hitting rapid 50s to set Northants 322 to win.
Once again, Jamie Overton cashed in during the second innings, taking 4/26, with Jack Brooks also taking four wickets.
Round 3 – drew with Warwickshire
Rain thwarted Somerset’s shot at recording three successive wins as their bowling once again looked on point against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Craig Overton picked up three more wickets and Tom Abell cleaned up the tail as the hosts were skittled for 121.
Somerset looked set to miss out on maximum batting bonus points again before Steven Davies (123no) and Jamie Overton (120) put on 180 for the ninth wicket to set up a declaration at 413/9.
The weather was not kind, though, as Somerset tore through Warwickshire’s order once more, with the Bears clinging on at 140/8 when the game was finally called off on a truncated final day.
Round 4 – beat Gloucestershire by 314 runs
Another week, another thumping victory for Somerset.
George Bartlett scored his fourth first class century but Somerset were dismissed for 237 by Gloucestershire.
The reply was short, though, as once again Somerset’s seamers proved too much to handle. Craig Overton took four wickets, with his opening partner Josh Davey adding three as Gloucestershire were rolled over for 76.
With a follow-on unavailable, Somerset skipper Tom Abell cashed in himself, adding 211 runs for the second wicket with 20-year-old Tom Lammonby as both finished unbeaten on 101 – for Lammonby, it was his debut first-class ton.
A Craig Overton five-for gave him nine in the match, with Davey chipping in with four more wickets as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 70.
Round 5 – beat Worcestershire by 60 runs
Despite dominating their first four matches, the draw with Warwickshire meant that Somerset still needed to avoid defeat to Worcestershire to reach the final.
Somerset took a 51-run lead into the second innings at New Road and a second century in as many games from Tom Lammonby helped the division leaders set a challenging 245 to win.
Josh Davey was superb once more, claiming 3/16 from 14.2 overs, with Lewis Gregory also taking three wickets to leave Worcestershire 60 runs short on 184.
Round 1 – beat Kent by two wickets
A nervy game at the Cloudfm County Ground saw Essex overcome a first innings deficit to win by two wickets over Kent.
Heino Kuhn hit the Bob Willis Trophy’s first century on day one as Kent scored 387 in their first innings, to which Essex replied with 298ao.
Essex’s attack found their rhythm in the second innings, dismissing the visitors for just 112, with Simon Harmer taking 4/35.
The hosts snuck over the line with two wickets remaining, thanks to a ninth-wicket stand of 31 between Adam Wheater and Sam Cook.
Round 2 – beat Surrey by 169 runs
Simon Harmer took match figures of 14/131 to spin Essex comfortably past Surrey in Chelmsford.
Feroze Khushi continued his promising start to first class cricket, top scoring with 66 as Essex scored 262 in the first innings.
Harmer and Jamie Porter combined for all 10 wickets as Essex limited the visitors to 187 in return; Harmer took 6/67 while Porter looked sharp with 4/53.
Essex scored one fewer run than their first innings total to set Surrey 337 to win but Harmer was imperious once more, taking 8/64 to wrap up the victory.
Round 3 – beat Sussex by three wickets
Essex came out on top of a low-scoring encounter on the south coast, beating Sussex by three wickets at Hove in a match where no side scored over 200.
Jamie Porter picked up five more wickets in Sussex’s first innings effort of 194 after which the visitors were dismissed for 140.
Simon Harmer claimed his third five-for in four innings as Essex hit back by dismissing Sussex for 141 in their second innings before a solid team batting effort saw the visitors over the line; Dan Lawrence hit 60 in the score of 199/7.
Round 4 – drew with Hampshire
Essex and Hampshire barely got on the field at Arundel, with only 78 overs possible across the four days due to rain.
When they did get some time in the middle, though, Essex cruised to 249/3 thanks to an excellent century by Sir Alastair Cook (129no)
Round 5 – beat Middlesex by nine wickets
Needing a win to secure top spot in the South Group, Essex looked comfortable in their nine-wicket victory over Middlesex at Chelmsford.
Sam Cook took four wickets, with Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer adding three more to their impressive tallies as Middlesex were dismissed for 138.
Adam Wheater rescued a flagging Essex reply, scoring 83 from number seven in the total of 236.
Essex’s bowlers were on fire once again in the second innings, restricting Middlesex to 150 thanks to four wickets for Aaron Beard and three-a-piece for Cook and Harmer.
And they made short work of the 53-run chase, knocking them off in just 14 overs for the loss of one wicket.