Jack Leach celebrates second XI century

Watch: Jack Leach brought up a century for Somerset second XI today (June 19), celebrating by lifting his glasses to the crowd, calling to mind his previous heroics with the bat at Headingley.

Leach was playing his sixth match for the second XI this season as the County Championship breaks for the T20 Blast. He made his return to the first-string side for two of their Championship matches in May after undergoing surgery on his knee to correct the injury he picked up on England's Test tour of India over the winter.

Batting in the second innings for the side, which also contained James Rew, Kasey Aldridge, Tom Lammonby and Miguel Pretorius, Leach was brought out at No.3 as a nightwatch. He survived the evening before resuming with Rew in the morning with Somerset needing 276 to win over Middlesex.

Leach went on to reach his 50, and built a century partnership with Thomas Rew, brother of James, who signed his first professional contract for Somerset earlier this month. Having reduced Somerset's target to less than 150, Leach brought up his century with a tuck off his pads into the leg side. It was reminiscent of the shot he played at Headingely in 2019, to pick up one run and get Ben Stokes back on strike to finish off a remakable chase. Perhaps Leach was also thinking about that day, as he took off his glasses and raised them to the boundary to celebrate the landmark. During the chase at Headingley, Leach drew attention by repeatedly cleaning his glasses.

Leach was trapped lbw by Sam Robson for 104, but Somerset ended up winning by five wickets, Rew finishing unbeaten on 85. Leach also took two wickets in the match.

While regularly coming in at No.10 or 11 for England in Test matches, Leach has shown competence with the bat on several previous ocassions. He scored 92 at Lord's against Ireland in 2019, having again come in as a nightwatch. He also shared a 90-run stand with Saqib Mahmood against the West Indies in 2022, which came close to doubling England's first innings score.

Watch: Jack Leach celebrates second XI century by raising glasses

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