Somerset offer Shoaib Bashir out on loan as Jack Leach returns to full fitness

Shoaib Bashir of Somerset poses for a photo during Day Three of the Vitality County Championship match between Somerset and Kent at The Cooper Associates County Ground on May 19, 2024 in Taunton, England
Shoaib Bashir has taken four wickets in three games - Getty Images/Harry Trump

Somerset have offered England spinner Shoaib Bashir out on loan having secured their second win of the season in a memorable round of Championship action to keep the pressure on Surrey at the top of Division One.

With another England spinner, Jack Leach, back to full fitness, Bashir missed out on selection for Somerset’s game against Kent, which they won by eight wickets in the final session.

Somerset declined a proposal from Glamorgan to take Bashir on loan for this round of matches, but have now made him available to teams in Division Two for the round that begins on Friday, when Somerset travel north to face Durham.

The 20-year-old’s game time has been a matter of interest since he put in a series of encouraging performances on his maiden Test tour, to India in January. England coach Brendon McCullum said Somerset and Lancashire would be “a bit mad” not to play Bashir and Tom Hartley. Bashir has played three games, picking up four wickets in four innings, but is likely to find his opportunities limited by Leach’s return.

Somerset’s win over Kent was a memorable one. Zak Crawley’s 238 brought Kent back into the game, but such was Somerset’s early dominance that they were set just 189 to win, which they did for the loss of just two wickets.

That maximum-points victory takes Somerset second, 18 points behind leaders Surrey and four in front of Essex, who pulled off a remarkable win over in Warwickshire in an enthralling round of action. Jordan Cox made 112 and Matt Critchley 99 not out as Essex chased down 330 despite conceding a first innings deficit of 235.

There was also a victory for Lancashire, their first of the season, despite Durham threatening to pull off a chase of 475. Davi Bedingham made his second hundred of the match and Ollie Robinson 171 not out, with the pair sharing 216 to give Durham hope. But when Nathan Lyon picked up Bedingham, Durham lost seven for 101 – including Ben Stokes for 18, reverse-sweeping – to lose by 60 runs and leave Robinson stranded. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who shares a name with the Sussex and England seamer, is pushing hard for a place in the Test team this summer, and performing so well in front of Stokes will have done him no harm.

Hampshire also secured their first win of the season after a stuttering start. They chased 169 five down against Nottinghamshire thanks to a stand of 127 between opener Fletcha Middleton and James Fuller.

Glamorgan, perhaps wishing they could have partnered Bashir with Mason Crane, could not quite force victory over Middlesex, who crept home by two wickets chasing 213 at Cardiff. Having earlier made 48 with the bat, Crane picked up his first five-wicket haul for Glamorgan, but a stand of 52 from Jack Davies and Tom Helm ensured Middlesex won a game they had made all the running in. They are second in Division Two, behind Sussex, who they face at Lord’s on Friday.

There were two thrilling draws in Division Two as Derbyshire defied Northamptonshire nine wickets down in their second innings, while Leicestershire hung on against Gloucestershire.

Meanwhile, Surrey are unlucky to see Jamie Overton bowl again in Championship cricket until September at the earliest after it was confirmed that he has suffered a stress fracture to the back. While Overton – who had been in contention for England’s T20 World Cup squad – could bowl in short-form cricket this summer, the red ball might be asking too much of a delicate recovery process.

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