Bristol Post

Benign pitch and wet weather win the day at Taunton

- Richard LATHAM

HARRY Swindells advanced his career-best first-class score to 171 not out as Leicesters­hire’s LV= County Championsh­ip match with Somerset at Taunton ended in a high-scoring draw.

The 22-year-old wicketkeep­er had batted for almost six-and-ahalf hours, facing 322 balls and striking 24 fours and a six, when heavy rain set in during the lunch interval on the final day, causing play to be abandoned.

By then Swindells and Ed Barnes had taken their unbroken eighthwick­et stand to 203, with 23-yearold Barnes on 83, also a career-best, with his innings spanning 165 balls and featuring 14 boundaries.

The pair batted through the morning session, interrupte­d for about 15 minutes by a shower, adding 85 to their team’s overnight first innings total of 390-7.

Their combined efforts gave Leicesters­hire a lead of 14 runs, but the match already seemed destined for a draw long before the heavens opened.

Umpires Neil Mallender and James Middlebroo­k abandoned any prospect of further play at just after 2.30pm, leaving Group Two leaders Somerset to take 15 points and Leicesters­hire 14.

Somerset’s experience­d seamers Marchant de Lange and Jack Brooks had one final opportunit­y to give their side a meaningful firstinnin­gs advantage when play began with the visitors 71 in arrears.

But a benign pitch, which had frustrated a depleted home attack the previous day, proved equally

true for batting and there were few alarms for the composed Swindells and Barnes.

Unbeaten on 119 overnight, Swindells moved to 150 off 289 balls, playing and missing on occasion, as he had done throughout his innings, but also displaying the ability to punish anything loose to the full.

Barnard matched his partner

shot for shot as they took the score to 444-7 before the brief rain break.

Debutant Kasey Aldridge again bowled without a modicum of fortune, despite some impressive deliveries from the Marcus Trescothic­k Pavilion End.

Acting Somerset skipper James Hildreth introduced left-arm spinner Lewis Goldsworth­y into the attack for the first time in the 134th

over, but he was able to find no greater assistance from the pitch than the seamers.

Swindells and Barnes looked as if they could bat all day and the latter may feel he was robbed of a maiden century by the weather.

Whatever the case, he and Swindells played with an assurance and level of concentrat­ion that bodes well for their futures.

 ?? Picture: Harry Trump/Getty ?? A general view of the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, after rain delayed play
Picture: Harry Trump/Getty A general view of the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, after rain delayed play

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