Points – Somerset 4*, Durham 3*
Durham fast bowler Mark Wood took his fourth career five-wicket haul at Taunton in only his 17th appearance on Tuesday to turn a game that was heading in Somerset’s favour. At the end of the day Durham had moved their second innings to 121 for 1 to gain a lead of 42 runs in a game that is now evenly balanced going into an interesting looking day 3.
Somerset started day 2 on 51 for 2 with Johan Myburgh 28* and Alviro Petersen 8* at the crease. Myburgh departed within four overs without adding to his score in difficult conditions. This brought James Hildreth to the middle who was desperate for runs after scoring only 98 runs in five previous innings. Despite the conditions favouring the bowlers the Somerset pair added 79 as the home team headed into lunch on 132 for 3 and looking to build a big lead.
But Rushworth struck with the first ball after lunch removing Hildy for 43 and the next 20 minutes would be Durham’s and change the whole outlook of the game. In that time Somerset lost 3 wickets while adding only 6 runs and went from 132 for 3 to 138 for 6 as Kieswetter (4) and Trego (0) joined Hildreth in the pavilion. When Alfonso came and went for 1 the score was 154 and Somerset needed one more run to make Durham bat again with 3 wickets to fall. Game on!
But Alviro remained calm at one end and moved on to a very good half-century. He was joined by Craig Overton and the pair added 42 invaluable runs before the former was caught by Collingwood off Harrison for 78 making up for an earlier drop from the Durham skipper and former England man. Alviro had hit 7 four’s and 2 sixes.
Craig then dominated a stand of 30 with George Dockrell before the young Irish spinner became Wood’s fourth victim with the score on 226 before the other Overton, Jamie, became Wood’s fifth victim for only 1 leaving brother Craig stranded on 45 not out and the Somerset innings closed on 234, a lead of 79. Craig had smacked 3 four’s and sixes in his knock.
Wood’s 5 for 37 was supported by Rushworth’s 4 for 70 and this pair were a constant thorn in Somerset’s side.
Batting second Durham lost Jennings to Alfonso for only 3 with the score on 19. Scott Borthwick had hit 59 in Durham’s first innings but he had been led off the field and to hospital at the end of the Somerset innings with a suspected broken finger so was absent from the number three spot.
Instead Mark Stoneman (60*) was joined by Michael Richardson (57*) and they steadied the ship with an unbeaten century stand. Their partnership of 102 is the highest partnership in the match and they will look to add to this to turn the game well and truly into their team’s favour.
The forecast looks bright and breezy for the start of day 3 so Somerset will need to raise their game and make some early inroads to put the pressure on the north east county. It should be an interesting day.