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County Championship: Somerset beat Middlesex by four wickets

Steven Davies guided Somerset to victory with a 71-ball unbeaten 44
County Championship Group Two, The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton (day four):
Middlesex 357 & 117: Holden 30; Overton 5-34
Somerset 268 & 104-4: Abell 49, Davies 44*, Hildreth 43, Goldworthy 41*; Murtagh 4-53
Somerset (21 pts) beat Middlesex (7 pts) by four wickets

Steven Davies’ unbeaten 44 helped Somerset chase down 207 to defeat Middlesex by four wickets at Taunton.

Starting the day 104-4 and halfway towards their target, Somerset lost overnight pair Tom Abell (49) and George Bartlett in successive Tim Murtagh overs with 84 still needed.

Lewis Goldworthy (41 not out) and Davies saw Somerset to 188-6 at lunch.

Goldworthy, on his first-class debut, helped seal the win soon after, sharing an unbroken 86-run stand.

The seesaw victory was the second time Somerset had fought back to defeat Middlesex this season, winning last month’s reverse fixture at Lord’s after trailing by 141 runs on first innings.

Their third win from four matches leave them second in Group Two following Gloucestershire’s four-wicket win over Leicestershire, while Middlesex sit fifth with one win and three defeats.

The match turned Somerset’s way on day three when Craig Overton’s five-wicket haul saw Middlesex collapse from 44-0 to 117 all out and put the hosts back in contention, having conceded a 89-run first innings deficit.

Yet Ireland international seamer Murtagh put Middlesex back on top in the first half-hour of the final day, persuading skipper Abell to play down the wrong line one short of his 50 and then trapping Bartlett leg before.

However, the equally experienced Davies regrouped with 20-year-old Goldworthy, riding their luck several times against disciplined bowling before the 34-year-old wicketkeeper broke the shackles with two boundaries in an over off Martin Andersson.

The pair brought up their 50-run stand off 96 balls and had reduced the runs required to just 19 when the umpires opted not to extend the first session and took lunch.

A rain shower delayed the restart to add to any potential tension, but Goldworthy showed maturity beyond his years to follow up his first innings 39 with an unbeaten 41.

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