LEACH DEBUT FULL OF PROMISE

Positives to take from England debut for Somerset spinner...

SOMERSET Cricket Club spinner Jack Leach’s full England test debut ended in disappointment as the team just failed to complete a disappointing winter with a win in their final match against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Set an likely 382 to win, the hosts began the final day on 42-0 but were quickly on the back foot as Stuart Broard struck with the first two deliveries of the day.

Leach, who finished wicketless in the first innings despite showing good control on non response pitch for the spinners, was soon in the action as the track began to show signs of day five wear and claimed his first wicket when the experienced Ross Taylor swept straight into hands of Alastair Cook at backward square leg.

And when Leach had top scorer Tom Latham (83) pouched in a similar area by James Vince New Zealand were rocking at 162 for 6. In the end, it took a gutsy rearguard action from Ish Sodhi and Neil Wagner to keep England, with Leach to the fore, at bay despite the suffocating presence of all 10 fielders close to the bat for majority of the final session.

Taunton-born Leach can hold his head high after a more the useful debut which saw him send down 51 overs full of control and guile and also contribute 30 runs with the bat during which he helped Jonny Bairstow compelte a test century in the 1st innings.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.