Rookie Somerset trio relish taste of the action

What a start to the season it has proved for young Somerset players Lewis Gregory, Alex Barrow and Adam Dibble, who have all tasted first team action already.

For all their talent, the trio looked set to face a wait for their opportunity as the county began the campaign with a strong senior squad, rated among the favourites for all competitions.

But a disastrous start in the County Championship first division, which saw Somerset lose their opening two game by an innings, plus a couple of minor injuries, led to changes that could not have been foreseen.

First, England Under-19 captain Gregory was called into the side for the opening Clydesdale Bank 40 game against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The 18-year-old all-rounder, from Plymouth, impressed with his seam bowling and retained his place for the second 40-over fixture against Unicorns at Wormsley, finishing on the winning side in both matches.

Unfortunately for Gregory, a slight hamstring problem prevented him making his Championship debut against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.

But his loss was Barrow’s gain as the 18-year-old former pupil at King’s College Taunton received a surprise call-up, making 14 in Somerset’s only innings and, more importantly, grabbing the key wicket of Neil McKenzie with his only over of what coach Andy Hurry described as “phantom medium-pacers”.

That ball at the end of day three provided a vital breakthrough and Somerset went on to win by nine wickets.

Dibble’s turn came in the CB40 clash with the Unicorns as Steve Kirby was rested to give the 20-year-old Devonian his first team debut.

Again he let no one down with figures of 1 for 35 from six overs of seam and again Somerset won. All three rookies will now be pressing for more first team involvement, ensuring that the more experienced squad members cannot take their places for granted.

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