ALVIRO Petersen and Jos Buttler already seem to enjoy batting together. The Somerset duo have only batted together on three occasions – but their last two partnerships have yielded 304 runs.
Centurion Petersen and Buttler, who finished the day on 90 not out, were the driving forces as Somerset recovered from 143-4 to reach 358-6 by stumps on day one of their LV= County Championship Division One match against Warwickshire at Taunton.
Petersen rarely looked troubled as he compiled 136 from 187 balls, before eventually being caught in the slips by Rikki Clarke as he tried to cut Chris Wright, ending his 193-run partnership with Buttler.
Buttler played a second successive significant Championship innings, following up his 94 at The Oval last week with a mature and fluent knock of 90 not out from 152 balls – and South Africa Test opener Petersen paid tribute to his younger partner.
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“I have seen Jos twice now and we have had two hundred partnerships,” said Petersen. “He is a good player, a good striker of the ball. Obviously, his first-class record is not as good as he wants it to be, but he really wants to play well in four-day cricket and he has shown that in the last two games.
“Towards the end, he understood that it’s not all about runs but spending some time there – and runs will come. I am very happy with the way he is batting.”
Petersen also paid tribute to Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton for setting the tone for Somerset, scoring 103 for the first wicket, with both men – England openers of past and present – posting half centuries.
If there was a degree of confusion around the County Ground when Trescothick won the toss and opted to bat, that dissipated as he and Compton put on a century for the first wicket.
Trescothick – having earlier been hit on the head by Clarke – fell for 51 to the first ball of the 28th over as Jeetan Patel struck with his first delivery, the Somerset captain judged lbw. Compton departed in the following over, given out lbw to Clarke for 52, even though last season’s top run-scorer got a clear inside edge.
From 103-0, Somerset were 113-2 at lunch, and then 118-3 as James Hildreth hooked Chris Woakes to Ateeq Javid at square leg for five. And, after Petersen had hooked Woakes for six, Craig Kieswetter’s exit made it 143-4 and Somerset were in a degree of bother.
Kieswetter is mature enough not to treat each visit to the middle as a competition with team-mate and fellow wicketkeeper Buttler in their quest to secure further England honours – but, with Ashley Giles in the crowd, Kieswetter cannot have been happy with the way in which he wafted Wright to Clarke in the slips for a 17-ball duck.
But, from that relatively tricky position of 143-4, the final two sessions became the Petersen and Buttler show; th e pair scoring their 193 runs in 47.1 overs to help their team towards guaranteeing at least four batting bonus points. The pair played with fluency and at a decent tempo, offering few chances as they delighted a Taunton crowd of about 2,000 with a series of fine strokes.
Petersen eventually departed for 136 – and is now averaging 131.33 for Somerset since arriving in the country a fortnight ago – while Buttler continued to impress for the remainder of the day’s play.
A brief break for bad light seemed to disrupt Somerset, who lost Pete Trego for three when play resumed, the all-rounder out to a wonderfully athletic diving catch from wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose as he tried to pull Woakes. But Craig Overton and Buttler added another 18 runs in the final 4.4 overs.