Som­er­set out to put early dent in reg­u­lar run­ners-up

The Cricket Paper - - SOUTH PREVIEW - By Ross Law­son

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

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Con­fi­dent: Peter Trego be­lieves that Som­er­set can get their hands on white­ball sil­ver­ware again

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