Tom Abell fell just shy of a century in his opening innings for Somerset CC's first team.

Abell delivers in Somerset debut

It was a dream debut for third year cricket scholar Tom Abell (Sports Science and French) as he smashed 95 runs for Somerset County Cricket Club in the LV-Championship on 16 August.

Tom, who also competes for the University of Exeter Men’s Cricket Club, enjoyed a successful partnership with Lewis Gregory at the County Ground to bring Somerset within 81 runs of their visiting opponents, Warwickshire, avoiding a follow-on that looked all-but certain earlier in the day.

He commented: “I was delighted when I initially got the call-up. It was quite nerve wracking stepping out in-front of a crowd, and I’d been building it up before the match, but the people I was batting with really helped me through it

 “It all seemed to happen very quickly and I’m pleased to have got a score. At the end of the day I just tried to stay focussed on the ball and not everything else that was going on.

“We got a decent start and were able to make the most of it. The early runs steadied the nerves and the crowed were great and really helped me along.”

The batsman has a long affiliation with Somerset CC who described him as one of their “real success stories”. Having graduated from their academy to the club’s second XI in 2012, Tom joined the Marcus Trescothick’s first XI for the first time in February, travelling with the squad to a training camp in South Africa. This was his first match for the side.

In all Tom hit 95 off 188 balls, a score which included seven fours. Despite his efforts, the side lost by 215 runs after a difficult final day, but Tom is pleased with his performance and expressed his hope to play for the side again.

He added: ““Without a doubt, playing at this level everything is taken up a notch, and I was brought back to reality in my second innings, but that’s cricket you get highs and lows over the four days.

“It was nice to prove to myself that I can do it and my ambition is to keep playing for the side in the future.”

The University of Exeter has a fruitful history of cricket with Somerset. Former sports scholar Arul Suppiah (Accounting and Finance, 2005) enjoyed a long career at Somerset before retiring in 2013, whilst current Director of Cricket Julian Wyatt also played for the club.

“It's a fantastic start and something Tom has genuinely earned.” Commented Julian. “He is an outstanding young professional and very grounded character who is dedicated to his sport.

“He fully deserves any success he achieves and I am absolutely delighted for him. Long may it last!”

Following the summer break, Tom will return to the University side who will be hoping to a repeat of their dominant performance last season which saw them win the indoor league and reach the finals of the outdoor championships.

Date: 20 August 2014