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Renshaw secures county win while Lyon breaks duck

3 minute read

Former Australian Test opener Matt Renshaw has led Somerset to victory in England's county Championship while Nathan Lyon finally ended up on the winning side.

MATTHEW RENSHAW.
MATTHEW RENSHAW. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Matt Renshaw said all the right things when he was overlooked as David Warner's replacement at the top of the Australian batting order.

Instead of turning to the 28-year-old opener the selectors preferred to parachute in Steve Smith, one of the world's great batters but also a middle-order specialist.

Describing Smith as the "best player in the world" Renshaw said he was happy to keep learning from being in and around the squad.

However, with Smith failing to convince in four Tests against West Indies and New Zealand, averaging 28.50, what Renshaw really needs is for his bat to do the talking for him.

And he made a statement with the willow at Taunton on Monday, leading Somerset to victory in the County Championship and taking his average in the England's domestic red-ball competition this season above 50.

Somerset were chasing 189 to win after Kent, following on 376 runs behind, were dismissed earlier in the day for 564. That innings was built on a stunning 267-ball 238 from Zak Crawley, the England opener putting behind him a terrible start to the season that had brought 67 runs at an average below ten.

With 54 overs remaining Renshaw did not need to repeat those fireworks. Instead he compiled a neat unbeaten 82 with six fours, his third half-century in nine innings back in the country of his birth. With Andy Umeed making 73 not out Somerset eased to victory by eight wickets.

Elsewhere Nathan Lyon finally celebrated victory with Lancashire, who beat Durham by 60 runs in a tense finish at Blackpool.

Chasing an improbable 475 to win Durham were 3-313 when Lyon finally engineered a breakthrough, having David Bedingham (103) caught behind as he pushed forward. That brought in England captain Ben Stokes, who earlier in the match had proved his fitness by bowling 38 overs across two innings, taking seven wickets in the process.

He took 22 deliveries to get off the mark with a reverse-sweep for four off Lyon, then hit a four and a six off successive balls from Luke Wells' next over. But the leg-spinner bowled Stokes, attempting another reverse sweep, for 18 and Durham gradually subsided despite 171 not out from Ollie Robinson (the wicketkeeper-batsman, not the England Test bowler).

Lyon finished with 2-95 giving him 6-154 in the match.

It was Lancashire's first win of the season, but they remain bottom of the ten-team table.

In the second division two of Renshaw's rivals for a place in the Australia Test team made runs in the match at Leicester.

Peter Handscomb scored 81 as Leicestershire, who were following on 335 behind after Glamorgan made a mammoth 6-706, including 160 from Cameron Bancroft, reached 7-377 to secure a draw. Marcus Harris, however, followed his first innings five with 17.

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