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Watch: Somerset employ reverse cordon tactic in County warm-up game, video goes viral

reverse cordon field set. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

As county sides finalize their preparations for the upcoming County Championship 2024 season, Somerset employed a highly unorthodox fielding tactic during their final warm-up match against Exeter University. With the English domestic summer just days away, the county team got creative on the field in an attempt to dominate the opposition batters.

In the final session of the three-day fixture on Wednesday, Somerset found themselves in the field with Exeter University batting in their second innings. That’s when captain Lewis Gregory made a fielding set-up rarely seen on a cricket pitch, placing a line of fielders in front of the batter in an almost mirror image of a traditional slip cordon.

With one fielder at a very fine mid-off, another at fine short cover, and two more splitting the offside, it created a unique “reverse cordon” cutting off driving opportunities through the offside for the batter. Gregory also had a fielder at the conventional gully position and another at a narrow first slip to complete the unorthodox field.

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Check out the bizarre reverse cordon here:

Ever seen a field like this before?….#WeAreSomerset pic.twitter.com/XFy0cnOx2f

— Somerset Cricket 🏆 (@SomersetCCC) April 3, 2024

Somerset to face Kent in their opening game of County Championship 2024

The move very nearly earned rewards, with the Exeter batter playing a shot that almost looped straight into the hands of the third “reverse slip” fielder. While not ultimately leading to a dismissal, it certainly achieved the intended effect of drying up runs through the offside for a period.

Notably, the set-up drew comparisons with England Test captain Ben Stokes’ unique field placements against Usman Khawaja in the first 2024 Ashes Test, as well as Yorkshire’s renowned “Yorkshire Wall” tactic from years past under coach Andrew Gale.

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Exeter eventually finished 127-4 against Somerset, with the match ending in a draw. But the county side will no doubt have more tricks up their sleeve when they open their Championship campaign away to Kent on April 5th.

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