Bob Willis Trophy final: Somerset's Eddie Byrom makes defiant half-century against Essex

By Adam WilliamsBBC Sport at Lord's
Eddie Byrom drives for four
Eddie Byrom struck nine fours on his way to a season-best 51 not out
Bob Willis Trophy final, Lord's (day one)
Somerset 119-4: Byrom 51*; S Cook 2-38
Essex: Yet to bat

Eddie Byrom helped Somerset fight back against Essex with an unbeaten half-century on a rain-hit first day of the Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord's.

The left-hander struck nine fours in his 85-ball knock between three rain delays after Somerset fell to 52-3.

Essex made a strong start after winning the toss and choosing to bowl in the five-day final but only 44 overs were possible as Somerset closed on 119-4.

Sam Cook was the pick of the Essex seam bowlers with 2-38.

Despite losing openers Tom Lammonby and Ben Green, as well as skipper Tom Abell and George Bartlett cheaply, Somerset will feel they are in a competitive position thanks to Byrom's counter-attacking innings.

Cook's second-over dismissal of Lammonby for nought with his third ball was followed by Abell being spectacularly caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Adam Wheater off Aaron Beard.

When Green was bowled through the gate by Cook, Essex appeared to be making the most of deciding to bowl first.

But Byrom and Bartlett added 42 for the fourth wicket either side of lunch with the former taking 13 off one Beard over.

After rain during the lunch break kept the players off for 85 minutes, Bartlett was dismissed for 12 when he edged Porter to Alastair Cook at first slip.

That wicket came after 27 consecutive dot balls were bowled by Porter and Sam Cook to build pressure.

But after only 45 minutes were possible in the afternoon session, rain returned shortly after Somerset passed 100 as Steven Davies (13 not out) joined Byrom at the crease.

A further delay of nearly two hours followed before the players came back on for just another 19 balls. The arrival of more rain saw play abandoned for the day just before 17:30 BST.

The match will resume at 10:30 on Thursday with a much better forecast.

Somerset opener Ben Green:

"We would've bowled first too had we won the toss, but having looked at the pitch in the build-up yesterday, it wasn't heart-in-mouth time being put in.

"We had a pretty challenging morning session and Essex's bowlers didn't give us much to get away, but Eddie (Byrom) has made a 50 there which is a pretty serious contribution in the game so far.

"Hopefully we can push on and build on that tomorrow and make a big score.

"We're a pretty young batting line-up in comparison to our opponents, but to see Eddie stand up and do a job for us wrestles a bit of the momentum back in our favour and that's why we feel it's probably quite in the balance at the moment."

Essex seam bowler Sam Cook:

"It was nice to get the ball in my hand early in the game and try and set the day up for us with a couple of early wickets. There's no better place than here at Lord's to take important wickets, so it was nice to get some early breakthroughs.

"It's frustrating to have only bowled 44 overs in the game so far. It's probably fair to say it's even-stevens as it feels like a very good surface where you get help if you put the ball in the right area, but you also get value for your shots if you time it too.

"If you put another couple of wickets on that score, then we'll feel we're in control but also if they add another 50 runs, they'll feel on top."

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