sport news Eddie Byrom's half century gives Somerset hope but Essex strike first blows in ...

Eddie Byrom's half century gives Somerset hope but Essex strike first blows in the Bob Willis trophy final on rain-hit opening day at Lord's - and three-conference system is here to stay Essex took a narrow advantage in the first day of the Bob Willis trophy final  Sam Cook took two early wickets before the rain delayed play at Lords Eddie Byrom hit an unbeaten 51 to give Somerset hope after a poor start

By Paul Newman for the Daily Mail

Published: 20:01 BST, 23 September 2020 | Updated: 20:22 BST, 23 September 2020

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Essex took a narrow advantage in county cricket’s inaugural red-ball ‘cup final’ on the day it emerged the three-conference system is here to stay.

Last year’s county champions reduced perennial runners-up Somerset to 119 for four on a rain-affected first day of the Bob Willis Trophy final as Lord’s staged the first of what is set to become a regular first-class showpiece climax to the domestic season.

This late-season clash of the best two red-ball teams in the country is likely to be a low-scoring affair, mainly because of the two potent attacks, and it was Essex who struck the first blows in the 44 overs possible.

Essex took a narrow advantage in the first day of the Bob Willis trophy final at Lords

Essex took a narrow advantage in the first day of the Bob Willis trophy final at Lords

Sam Cook made the breakthrough in his first over to claim his 100th first-class wicket

Sam Cook made the breakthrough in his first over to claim his 100th first-class wicket

Sam Cook, Little Chef to Sir Alastair Cook’s Chef in the Essex nickname stakes, made the breakthrough in his first over to have Somerset’s exciting young opener Tom Lammonby plumb lbw for a duck to claim his 100th first-class wicket. ‘To reach that landmark here at the home of cricket was a special feeling,’ said Cook.

The younger unrelated Cook also bowled Ben Green with a that clipped off-stump but it was the least effective Essex bowler in Aaron Beard who claimed the key wicket of Somerset captain Tom Abell thanks to a

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