CHARLIE Sharland, who hails from Wiveliscombe, was the top scorer for Exeter University in both of their innings in the three-day friendly against Somerset which ended as a draw at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton on Tuesday, writes Richard Walsh.

The 20 year old attended King’s College where he played alongside James Rew, Josh and George Thomas, who are all now contracted players and grew up playing through the Somerset age groups and was part of the Academy.

Charlie also appeared in a number of Somerset Second XI matches in 2021 and after completing his studies he spent a year playing cricket for Prospect CC in Adelaide before returning to study at Exeter where he is in his first year.

The tall right handed batter was playing against a Somerset team that included captain Lewis Gregory along with senior members of the squad , Craig Overton, Tom Abell and Josh Davey, and James Rew, Tom Banton, new signing Jake Ball and England Test spinner Shoaib Bashir.

In the first innings Charlie hit 43 out of a total of 194, before being bowled by Ned Leonard. In the second innings the Wivey boy was unbeaten on 47 when the rain brought an early end to proceedings with Exeter University on 127 for four chasing 322 for victory.

Afterwards Charlie said: “It felt really good to be back at the County Ground and scoring runs against some of their top bowlers. I spent sometime on the Academy so it was good to come back here and play.

“I work with Alex Barrow and Max Waller at Exeter Uni who are both very good and former Somerset players, in fact Baz (Alex Barrow) has coached me since I was on the Academy.

“This is our first game on grass so it was nice to get a bit of confidence leading up to the season. It was nice to get a few away against some quality bowling so it was exciting.

“I started playing my cricket at Taunton Deane when I was seven playing soft ball cricket and played with them in the first team in WEPL, before I moved to Bridgwater.”

Charlie added: “It was really nice to be back at Taunton and to see a few familiar faces, and catch up with some of the people I have known since my time at King’s Hall, where we won a couple of trophies. It’s been a good three days all round for me.”

This coming summer Charlie will play for Exeter University, continue playing for Bridgwater CC in Premier One of the West of England Premier League and is also hoping to play some Minor Counties cricket for Devon.