Dockell stars as Somerset crush Middlesex
Ireland left-arm spinner George Dockrell got his season off to the best possible start as he bowled Somerset to a six wicket win over Middlesex in the opening round of the County Championship at Taunton.
Dockrell followed up his two wickets in the first innings to claim 6-27 in just his second ever appearance in the County Championship. The 19 year-old has been given his chance with the departure of Murali Kartik to Surrey, and he is keen to grasp the opportunity. Speaking to the Western Press, he said: “This time last year I was injured from the World Cup, so I missed the start of the season. But there’s definitely a huge, huge chance at the start of this season and I hope to play as many games as possible and do as well as possible.
“With Ireland, I’ve played in the Twenty20 World Cup and the one-day World Cup but the big thing for me is to be playing well in four-day cricket. In one-day cricket you can do quite well but the real test is the four-day stuff and I’m trying to make my mark this year.
“Murali has been brilliant for us the last couple of years, bowling in great areas, so that is a big hole [to fill]. But I won’t be trying to bowl like Murali Kartik – he’s an amazing spinner – instead, I’ll do the best I can to provide good support in that spinner role for Somerset.
“You’ve got to go with what you have – and I’m quite tall and getting bounce seems to be a big thing for me at the moment.
Dockrell also paid tribute to Irish coach Phil Simmons, who he revealed had been working with him remodelling his action, following that shoulder dislocation in Kolkata. “I’m still working on my action a lot – I had a little change this winter, working with Phil Simmons, and it seems to have worked a little bit. I’m getting a bit more spin, a bit more purchase on the ball, so I’ll keep working on that.”
Dockrell changed the course of the game as the game looked to be drifting towards a draw when Middlesex had reached 105-1 and 135-3, as he replaced Vernon Philander and had immediate success, dismissing Sam Robson, Chris Rogers, John Simpson, Gareth Berg, Ollie Rayner and Toby Roland-Jones.
“We lost a bit of time on the first day, and again on Saturday with the bad light, so it was going to be tough to get a result out of the final day,” said Dockrell.
“So to go out and do the job like that – to get the wickets and chase a small total down –was brilliant.
“I played one game last year in the Championship and I’ve been playing a bit of first-class cricket with Ireland but it’s a different kind of game to the Championship.
“But, after the warm-up game against Surrey, when I got six in the second innings and now this, it’s going to give me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season.
“It’s great to be part of such a successful club. I didn’t have as many opportunities last year but with Murali Kartik moving on to Surrey, there will hopefully be a lot of chances this year. So to able to take that chance in the first game of the season and do well is something I’m very proud of and hopefully I can keep that place and do well for Somerset this year.”