After Kyle Abbott wrecked the top order, Somerset’s rebuild was led by James Rew

On the opening day of the LV= County Championship match against Hampshire at Taunton, Somerset's youthful guns James Rew and Kasey Aldridge batted Somerset out of a massive hole opened by Hampshire seamer Kyle Abbott.

Kasey Aldridge adds a half-century to the undefeated sixth-wicket stand of 116. Hampshire 196 for 5 (Rew 77*, Aldridge 55*, Abbott 4-20) vs Somerset

Somerset’s young guns James Rew and Kasey Aldridge batted Somerset out of a huge hole dug by Hampshire seamer Kyle Abbott on the first day of the LV= County Championship match against Hampshire at Taunton.

The seasoned Abbott, who has a good record against the Cidermen, took 4 for 10 from seven overs and a run-out as the hosts were bowled out for 80 after winning the toss on what appeared to be an excellent batting pitch. But sixth-wicket pair Rew and Aldridge, both 41, showed tremendous maturity to put on an unbroken 116-run stand in 26 overs before the weather intervened, leaving Somerset 196 for 5.

Abbott finished the day with a 4-for-20 record. Overall, 39 overs were lost, including 19 after the day, but the action benefited both teams.

Somerset rested Craig Overton, Lewis Gregory, Matt Henry, Ben Green, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore in preparation for Saturday’s Vitality Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston. Dom Bess returned to their team as one of two specialist spinners on loan from Yorkshire, the other being Shoaib Bashir.

Unsurprisingly, home captain Tom Abell chose to play first on a dry-looking pitch. In the seventh over, Tom Lammonby and Sean Dickson raised the total to 26 when Abbott, who had replaced Keith Barker at the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion End, made his debut appearance.

On 15, Lammonby drove at a decent length ball and edged a catch to wicketkeeper Ben Brown. Soon, Abell got a leading edge to Abbott and was caught and bowled for 5.

With five runs added, Dickson hit a lovely straight shot, only for Abbott to deflect the ball against the stumps at the bowler’s end, with George Bartlett out of his ground backing up. Bartlett departed for a duck to make it 41 for 3, and Abbott trapped Dickson lbw for 21 after playing across a full delivery.

Andy Umeed, making his first Championship appearance of the season, needed 19 balls to get going before scoring a four to third man.

For the second time this season, 19-year-old Rew appeared more solid than some of the players higher up the order, and the pair gradually began to repair the early damage. Hampshire introduced spin in the form of Liam Dawson from the River End at 50 for 4, and his first ball to Rew spun sharply from outside off stump.

When it began to rain at 12.55 pm, Rew and Umeed had combined 33 for the fifth wicket, and the umpires ordered an early lunch with Somerset 74 for 4. The game continued after the break but briefly, before the heavy coverings were deployed due to a more persistent shower. Twenty overs were lost before the match was restarted at 3.30 pm.

Somerset scored 91 runs.

Somerset gained 91 runs between then and tea at 4.50 pm, despite the loss of Umeed, who had to drag himself off after needlessly drawing a short ball from Abbott straight to Felix Organ at midwicket and fell for 16.

Rew and Aldridge, both 22, batted well on a faultless surface, with the former looking particularly strong off his legs on his way to a 105-ball fifty that included seven fours. With four Championship hundreds already under his belt this season, Rew again displayed his immense promise in red-ball cricket. At the same time, Aldridge provided critical support in a stand of 85 by tea.

Aldridge took the partnership past 100 with a top-edged pull for his sixth boundary in the last session and then moved to an appealing half-century with four overthrows after facing 73 balls.

Rew kept piling up with few alarms and had faced 142 balls when the rain returned at 5.45 pm. The covers were quickly removed again, but with additional drizzle in the air and the floodlights casting shadows, umpires James Middlebrook and Ben Peverell called a halt to play for the day.

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