Somerset out to put early dent in regular runners-up
SOMERSET topped the South Group in last year’s One-Day Cup but missed out on a trip to Lord’s, and Peter Trego admits it is time to set the record straight.
Not since 2005’s T20 Cup have the Taunton side had silverware to celebrate but last year they came mighty close, succumbing to eventual champions Warwickshire in the 50-over semi-finals, while we all know how close they came to lifting the County Championship.
Today sees Matthew Maynard’s side kick off their 2017 One-Day Cup challenge against Surrey – who made it all the way to Lord’s before also going down to the Bears.
But after flying out of the blocks last year, Trego is confident that a youthful Somerset side can go all the way this time around.
“We’ve got a lot of youngsters that are really vying for that international recognition which is great, but when you play a domestic final you want the best players on show,” said Trego.
“The key to sport is peaking at the right time.You want to be able to hit that right form when it matters most and we’ve got a young crop that really want to impress, and want to cause people a headache.
“Surrey have been in the final for a couple of years so we know what they’re about, and the fact that they’ve lost out in the final for a couple of years will be key.
“They’ve been there but not got the trophy to go with it so they’ll be disappointed, so we have to be on our toes.
“We’ve strengthened the squad, players have improved and we’ve signed an impressive player in Steven Davies, so hopefully those things will help us go one better.”
Davies will be lining up against his former employers while the impressive youth of Lewis Gregory and the Overton twins make Somerset a tough nut to crack – especially considering Surrey have only won once on their last 11 trips to Taunton.
The new schedule sees the One-Day Cup final return to the height of summer in a block format, with the showcase final on July 1 at the home of cricket, much earlier than the recent September calendar slots.
With the Champions Trophy also coming to these shores this year, as well as England players being available in the One-Day Cup opening stages, it promises to be an exciting competition allround.
And while Surrey were hit by the retirement of Zafar Ansari this week, skipper Gareth Batty hopes the change in format will help them end their run of runners-up berths – starting with today’s clash in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
“It’s fantastic it’s coming back to the height of summer, it’s what I remember when I was a youngster, having a big final at the right time of the season,” said captain Batty.
“We’ve certainly not covered
ourselves in glory over the past couple of years, so we feel we’re due a good day out at Lord’s.
“Somerset had a fantastic season last year, they were really impressive in the way they went about their cricket.
“They’ve managed to keep most of their squad intact. That consistency will be very key especially with the way the schedule is – you need the togetherness to be able to get you over the line.”
Third time lucky? Gareth Batty led Surrey to the final in 2015 and 2016
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