(Photo: Getty Images)
By Richard Latham
Steve Davies admits to being mystified by his poor batting form this summer after moving to the West country from Surrey.
The 31-year-old Somerset wicketkeeper went into the match against his former club at Taunton with only 269 Championship runs all season at an average of just over 20.
Perhaps the sight of familiar faces in the opposition provided an extra incentive as Davies made light of his previous struggles with a quality innings of 142, featuring 17 crisply-struck fours and a six.
His first Somerset century, having gone in at 96-4 put the hosts in a commanding position in a game they desperately needed to win to ease relegation fears.
Sadly, the weather intervened, rain washing out day three, and condemning the game to an inevitable draw.
For Davies and young Somerset skipper Tom Abell there was the consolation of having shared a fifth-wicket stand of 155 in a season when both have found runs hard to come by.
Davies said: “I owed the team a few and it was nice to get some against my old club. Maybe it helped a bit knowing the bowlers, but whatever the case I felt pretty comfortable.
“Tom and I had to soak up a bit of pressure because Surrey bowled really well. Rikki Clarke kept hammering away at the same area and kept things tight.
“I can’t put my finger on what had gone wrong with my batting form. I have tried everything to turn things around.
“There had been signs of things coming together in recent games and I certainly feel happier how than earlier in the summer. It has certainly been nothing to do with settling at a new club. It has just been a form issue and hopefully this is a turning point.”
Abell made 96 to the delight of the many Somerset followers who feel the added responsibility of captaincy was thrust upon him too early in his promising career.
Davies added: “We are all 100 per cent behind Tom. I have playing for 13 years now and I know as a batsman you go through highs and lows.
“This has been one of my worst ever starts to a season, so I know what Tom has been going through.
“There has been a lot of pressure on him, captaining the side as well, so all the players are delighted that he put a score together.”