Nottinghamshire 382/5 in 96.0 overs (Patel 116*, Read 95*, Jaques 65, Taylor 60, Gregory 3 for 65)
Samit Patel continued his liking for the Taunton wicket hitting an unbeaten century as Nottinghamshire enjoyed the better of an amazing third session to end day one of their LV=CC game with Somerset on top and set to make a very big score. It was a session where Notts blasted 182 runs losing no wickets to leave them on 382 for 5. Patel was helped by another player who enjoys batting against Somerset, Devonian Chris Read, who finished the day on 95.
The day started with Somerset naming an unchanged team from that which beat Sussex so convincingly last weekend and skipper Marcus Trescothick winning the toss and asking the visitors to bat, a decision that raised a few eyebrows around the ground. In glorious conditions the Taunton wicket did appear to favour batting and Notts openers, Mullaney and Jaques, did look to take the attack to the home team’s bowlers.
But after 12 overs it looked like the last laugh was with Tres as Notts floundered on 45 for 2 with Alfonso clean bowling Mullaney for 22 before Lewis Gregory had Michael Lumb caught by Alviro Petersen for only 7 and Somerset were on top. Both bowlers were enjoying the better of the personal battles, beating the bat and finding the edge, but James Taylor joined Jaques and they gradually built a partnership. Jaques did escape a scare when he top edged one from Thommo and Craig Kieswetter ran a long way to take the catch only for the ball to slip out of his gloves after a few seconds and the umpires decided not out after a consultation.
At lunch the game was poised evenly at 101 for 2.
The second session was most definitely Somerset’s. After a period where the cider county’s bowlers found little inspiration Lewis was brought back into the attack and looked lively and dangerous bowling fast and accurate with wicked late movement. In the space of four overs he removed Jaques caught by Hildreth for 65 and Taylor caught behind for 60 and the away team were 162 for 4. When Jamie Overton had Wessels caught behind by Kieswetter also the score was 194 for 5 and Somerset would have been thinking of ripping through the batting going into session 3.
At tea the score had progressed gradually to 200 for 5. Game on!
Going into this game only 10 championship hundreds had been scored by Notts players at Taunton with Patel hitting two of those – 104 in 2009 and 128 in 2011. He moved to his third century on this ground scoring 116 unbeaten and smacking 20 four’s. He was aided by Read as the pair added 188 at about six an over to finish the day in a very strong position. West countryman Read hit 17 fours and finished on 95 so is likely to be the next centurion for Nottinghamshire at Taunton when play resumes on Monday.
Somerset took an absolute hammering in that final session and will need to regroup and get some early success on the bank holiday Monday if they are to bowl their way back into the game. Only Lewis and Myburgh came out of day one with any credit with Gregs finishing with 3 for 65 while Mybs bowled 17 tidy overs for only 32 runs. It would beg the question why a proven spinner was not selected if only to tie up and an end, allow the pace men a short respite and keep the runs down.
Craig Kieswetter told the official website: “The last session probably wasn’t our best 32 overs. The wicket flattened out as it got older but if we are honest with ourselves as a team and a bowling unit we were below par I think for probably most of the day.
“However there are three days left in this game and we have got a lot of hard work to do.”
Hard work indeed but skipper Tres will almost certainly use the recent Yorkshire game as inspiration in his morning team talk where the Tykes lost five quick wickets on the second day to change the outlook of the game.
Play starts at 11 a.m. and it should be fascinating viewing.