Taunton Abell To Keep Up Winning Start
Tom Abell was up to his old tricks as Taunton continued their perfect start to their Bristol & Somerset Division campaign.
The opener stroked an unbeaten 185 from just 143 balls as the hosts inflicted a crushing 154-run defeat on Bishopston.
Abell’s heroics helped his side to post a mammoth 298 for five from their 50 overs, before Graham Fitt picked up three for 29 to leave the visitors well short of their victory target.
After the match a buoyant Ben Orr paid homage to the Somerset starlet, before turning his praise to the host of spinners in the side.
"Tom is a truly fantastic talent, I know I speak for all of us in the side when I say we are privileged to be playing Saturday club cricket alongside him & I wouldn’t be at all surprised if our opposition are happy just to say they’ve played against him," he said.
"I think it is clear for all to see Tom has a very exciting future in cricket ahead of him.”
"A knock of 185 not out is a fantastic feat in itself, but to not come close to giving a chance throughout an innings that spanned the full 50 overs was remarkable.
"The way Tom goes about compiling runs seems so effortless and even towards the end of the innings when the slog is on for the rest of us Tom just finds a way to place the ball where the fielders are not with his classical technique.
"It is such a huge boost for the club to see one of our own, a young man who has come up through the youth system of the club dominating a decent standard of men’s cricket to such an extent, and only at 20 years of age, we know Tom’s time with us will only last for so long with higher honours beckoning, but I for one will continue to enjoy every minute Tom is with us in the TCC 1st XI.
"It would certainly be fair to say our victory was built around Tom’s superb innings, but Tom had fantastic support from Josh Kelly in their opening stand of well over 100, and the Skipper played his part with a real momentum building knock at number four.
"With runs on the board our bowling attack really kicked into action. A strangling opening spell from Chris Greenwood really set the tone and made our good score even more daunting, Grovsy set the ball rolling on what our Twitter followers will know as the #SummerofSpin.
"With off-spin opening the bowling and left-arm spin, more off-spin and leg-spin to follow we had exactly the right variety to keep the lid on Bishopston.
"Fitty continued his strong start to the season with a very cleaver spell and was well rewarded with 3 very economical wickets.
"Graham has been one of the great acquisition’s we made this offseason and is helping to bring the buzz back to TCC.
"Fingers crossed the weather will be kind this coming weekend and we can keep our unbeaten start to the season going away at league new boys Chew Magna.
"We are likely to have one or two changes to the side with the rigours of modern life making it difficult to put the same team out week in week out in league cricket, but the pleasing thing to the previous two or three season is that the squad has fantastic depth this season and to be able to welcome back an opening bowler of the quality of Harry Popperwell for example is very exciting."
Skipper Jack Cooper won the toss and elected to make first use of a typical Gipsy Lane pitch. And his decision was soon vindicated as a peerless Abell set about dismantling the Bishopston attack on a glorious Somerset afternoon.
With Josh Kelly returning from University to open up the innings, Taunton’s opening partnership was worth 136 before Kelly fell for a mature 36.
Cooper himself provided further support, bludgeoning his way to a quick-fire 45 off 29 deliveries, but truth be told the plaudits will be reserved for the young opener. His unbeaten hundred was about as fluent a knock as you will see in club cricket and wouldn’t have looked out of place in the first-class game.
Chanceless until the end, Abell’s knock helped the home to set a daunting 299-run victory target at the halfway stage.
It was a case of more of the same after the interval as Taunton’s ‘Summer of Spin’ got well and truly under way.
Close season signing Fitt was the pick of the bowlers with his economic three-wicket haul coming from his full allotment of overs.
Chris Greenwood, making his seasonal bow, was almost as impeccable with two for 32 off his 10, while vice-captain Orr got in on the action with two for 40 from his 10.
In fact after Kelly entered the fray and snared a couple of victims himself there was just a single wicket left up for grabs for the seamers. And this meagre offering was snapped up by ‘Bob’ Hake who opened his account for the season and secured a monumental 154-run victory.
The result leaves Taunton sitting prettily in second in the table with a visit to Chew Magna on the cards for next weekend.