Somerset is into its 12th consecutive season in the Championship’s first division, making it the longest-serving current member but Paul Dyson looks back at a home game almost 70 years ago which swung in dramatic fashion. The photo of Eddie Leadbeater comes courtesy of Mick Pope.

May 26, 28, 29, 1951 at Bramall Lane, Sheffield: Somerset 234 (MF Tremlett 81, E Leadbeater 4-57) & 62 (JH Wardle 6-23); Yorkshire 77 (HTF Buse 6-33) & 269-7dec (L Hutton 65, JV Wilson 56, H Halliday 55). Yorkshire won by 50 runs.

In the first five seasons following the Second World War Yorkshire only once finished outside of the top four, winning the County Championship in 1946, for the 22nd time, and sharing it with Middlesex in 1949. Somerset’s five previous years had seen it finish between 4th and 13th. That county had never won the Championship – a fact still so in 2019 – and at that stage in its history its best position had been third, this being achieved on three occasions. This match took place very early in the season; Yorkshire had won one and lost one of its four matches, Somerset winning one and losing two of its five.

Somerset won the toss a decided to bat but slipped to 55 for three before Maurice Tremlett batted in an exhilarating manner. His predominant shots were drives and in his 81 he was well supported by the steadiness of Bertie Buse, with whom he shared a stand of 94, and Johnny Lawrence. It was Fred Trueman and Bob Appleyard who had made the early inroads and each of them finished with three wickets but the leg-spin of Eddie Leadbeater took the vital wicket of Tremlett and he finished with four for 57. Somerset were all out for 234, the last four wickets falling for just 22 runs. Yorkshire lost the important wicket of Len Hutton before close of play by which time they had reached 37 for two.

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