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Bob Willis Trophy final: Eddie Byrom shines as Somerset pull ahead

Eddie Byrom struck a fantastic century to inspire Somerset to impressive fight back in the Bob Willis Trophy final

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Bob Willis Trophy final: Eddie Byrom shines as Somerset pull ahead

Eddie Byrom salutes his team-mates after reaching his hundred

Essex v Somerset 301

It would be understandable if the heartache of recent near misses weighed heavy on this Somerset team, having come so close to red-ball paradise in the previous few season only to fail with silverware in sight. Yet with a reworked youthful team comes renewed vigour and hope, two characteristics displayed in abundance as they fought back against Essex at Lord's and put themselves in the driving seat for the Bob Willis Trophy.

Much of that optimism cam from the bat of Eddie Byrom. It almost seemed like destiny. With his team struggling in challenging conditions, Byrom scored his first century against a county side, in one of the most important matches of his career so far. Having held his nerve and will to attack on the first day, grunting it out against a probing Essex bowling unit, Byrom cashed in on the Day 2. The sun was a blaze and so was Byrom, reaching triple figures with aplomb, sending the ball back behind the bowler for four.

It was the king of innings-igniting knock Somerset needed on the second day. While Byrom had provided the foundations with his potential match-defining performance, Craig Overton gave the necessary gee-up to send Somerset soaring above all expectations having slumped to 52/3. Reaching his half-century in 85 balls, Overton continued his fine form with the bat this summer, dissecting the field and further grinding the Essex bowlers down.

One bright spark for Essex could be found in the endeavour and efficiency demonstrated by bowler Sam Cook. With a high release point hisΒ unerring accuracy kept the Somerset batsmen honest for most of the day, and picked up a deserved five-wicket haul for his efforts.

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