CricInfo Championship: Northamptonshire v Somerset at Northampton, 20-23 Jun 2001
Robin Reid

Somerset 2nd innings: Lunch - Day 4, Tea - Day 4, Stumps - Day 4,
Live Reports from previous days


BLACKWELL'S SECOND TON DENIES NORTHANTS

Ian Blackwell joined some of Somerset’s all-time batting greats in the record books by notching his second century of the match against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

The 23-year-old left-hander, who joined the county from Derbyshire before the start of last season, hit a career-best 122 to follow his equally vital 103 in the first innings as the visitors closed on 430-8, a lead of 162.

It denied bottom-of-the-table Northants their first Championship win of the season and left David Ripley’s men without a victory in any competition since May 7.

Blackwell becomes only the 14th Somerset batsman to score two hundreds in a game, emulating the likes of Harold Gimblett, Bill Alley, Roy Virgin and Jimmy Cook.

He shared the last-day honours with Matthew Wood, the 20-year-old Devonian who impressed with 71 on his Championship debut against Yorkshire at Bath a week ago. This time, Wood weighed in with 90 in three hours, including 12 boundaries.

Northants were confident of breaking their duck as Somerset resumed on 130-4, still needing 138 to avoid losing by an innings, but they reckoned without the resilience of Wood, Blackwell and their colleagues.

Jason Brown accounted for Rob Turner and Wood, but Ripley was forced to try nine bowlers in an unsuccessful bid to finish the visitors off.

Blackwell eventually edged a cut at Mike Hussey’s occasional medium-pace to end a 166-ball knock featuring a six – off a Paul Taylor long-hop as the veteran seamer tried his hand as a left-arm spinner – and 20 fours.



WOOD AND BLACKWELL GIVE SOMERSET HOPE

Newcomer Matthew Wood underlined his tremendous batting potential as Somerset fought hard to deny Northamptonshire their first Championship win of the season at Wantage Road today.

The 20-year-old Devonian, who notched 71 on his debut against Yorkshire last week, followed up with a solid 90 in three hours to boost the visitors to 354-6 at tea – a lead of 86 with one session remaining.

Resuming on 130-4, Somerset were indebted to Wood and Rob Turner (33) who posted 105 for the fifth wicket in 38 overs before Turner fell to off-spinner Jason Brown shortly before lunch.

Wood’s fine innings, including 12 fours, came to an end when Brown bowled him around his legs, but the resistance continued courtesy of first-innings centurion Ian Blackwell and Keith Dutch.

Blackwell powered his way to fifty from 84 balls, reaching the landmark with two successive boundaries off Darren Cousins, and he threatened to make it yet another frustrating Championship day for Northants.



SOMERSET'S HOPES REST WITH WOOD

Matthew Wood kept alive Somerset’s hopes of escaping with a draw at Wantage Road, compiling a defiant unbeaten 72 to keep the Northamptonshire attack at bay.

The 20-year-old Devonian, making only his second Championship appearance, guided the visitors to 250-5 at lunch – still needing a further 18 to make Northants bat again with five wickets in hand and two sessions remaining.

Wood and Rob Turner resumed on 130-4 and survived the opening spells of Jason Brown and Darren Cousins, who were replaced by Graeme Swann and Paul Taylor after an hour’s play.

Taylor even switched from his usual seam to left-arm-spin in a bid to break the fifth-wicket stand, which realised 105 in 38 overs. But it was Brown who claimed the vital wicket when Turner (33) was caught off bat and pad by Tony Penberthy at silly point.

Wood and first-innings centurion Ian Blackwell saw it through to the break, and Somerset were still very much afloat.

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Date-stamped : 23 Jun2001 - 22:32