Hildreth and Trego pull off unlikely win for Somerset
Somerset are favourites to finish runners-up to Warwickshire in the LV= County Championship after pulling off a remarkable five-wicket victory over Sussex at Hove.
James Hildreth made an unbeaten 101 and Peter Trego an explosive 89 in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 168 from just 26 overs as Somerset, chasing 396, reached 397 for five 30 minutes before tea.
It was the second highest successful run chase in the county’s history.
They overtook Sussex to move into second place and will fancy their chances of staying there with a home game against relegated Worcestershire to come next week.
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Somerset seemed to be up against it when they started the final day on 155 for four after losing four wickets in the last half-hour of the third evening of play.
But Hildreth, who had made just one in the first innings, looked assured from the start and added 80 in 32 overs with Alex Barrow before lunch.
Sussex got their only breakthrough of the day when Barrow, who had made 40, was beaten by extra bounce with the new ball and edged Steve Magoffin (four for 73) to Matt Prior at slip.
But it was tough going for the Sussex attack. The pitch had lost the pace it had on the first couple of days and although Ed Joyce rung the changes, even Monty Panesar struggled to make much of an impact as Hildreth and Trego settled in.
Hildreth offered one chance on 61 when he inside-edged Chris Nash’s off spin, but Ben Brown failed to take what was a difficult chance behind the stumps.
Trego went on the attack from the start and reached his 50 by sweeping former England man Panesar over the ropes.
After lunch, Somerset sped to their target with impressive ease and the only question as the target got closer was whether Hildreth would go to his third hundred of the season as his partner cut loose.
However, three runs off Magoffin took him to three figures and he finished on 101 from 180 balls with 15 fours.
At the other end, Trego’s ball-striking was impressive, with 72 of his runs coming in boundaries. He hit Lewis Hatchett out of the attack with three successive fours and struck sixes off Panesar, twice, as well as Magoffin and Nash in 89 off 72 balls, with 12 fours in all including the winning blow off Magoffin.