LV=CC Nottinghamshire v Somerset day three: Somerset 312 (J Allenby 64, C Overton 55, JG Myburgh 49, PD Trego 41, JC Hildreth 32; VD Philander 4-56, SJ Mullaney 3-44) and 161 (VD Philander 3-47); Nottinghamshire 226 (SR Patel 56, JWA Taylor 45; C Overton 4-40) and 114 (VD Philander 35*, MH Wessels 30; TD Gronewald 4-41). Somerset won trail by 133 runs with one day remaining.
Somerset are celebrating after pulling off a famous County Championship victory over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge as an astonishing 22 wickets fell in the course of day three on Tuesday.
After being bowled out for just 161 in their second innings, Somerset made short work of their hosts, dispatching them second time round for 114 after claiming the extra half hour to win by the comprehensive margin of 133 runs.
The result has ultimately kick started their season after losing their opening three matches and comes against a side tipped by several commentators as possible county champions on a ground where visiting sides have often struggled.
Afterwards Marcus Trescothick rightly praised the contribution made by the lower order with the bat as being a crucial difference between the two sides. But he also highlighted the discipline showed by his bowlers in the second innings. A weakness in both those areas contributed to the defeats in the opening games as Somerset squandered positions of strength.
Spectators at Trent Bridge on Tuesday expecting a steady stream of showers, instead witnessed a constant fall of wickets under dramatic skies as the weather relented enough to allow play yet provide plenty of assistance for seam bowlers.
In a season defined by collapses, it appeared Somerset had reverted to type after a more resolute display on days one and two. Within 27 overs they were reeling at 86-7 after gaining a first-innings lead of 86.
But just as they did in the first innings, runs from the middle and lower-order again helped Somerset rally and Nottinghamshire were set a potentially awkward 248 to win in a day and a half.
With conditions favouring the bowlers it was important that Somerset made early inroads into the Nottinghamshire batting line-up before the close of play. Wednesday, by contrast, was forecast to be dry and sunny.
What happened next was simply extraordinary, as a side packed with players of international experience, imploded on its home ground.
Within 20 overs Nottinghamshire had lost six wickets for 59 and it was only a question of whether Somerset would finish things off before the close of play or extend the final rites into the next morning.
It was a quite simply a remarkable turnaround of fortunes in the space of a just a few hours.
The only resistance came from Riki Wessels and Vernon Philander, who both made 30s, but only managed to delay proceedings for rather than put off the inevitable.
With hundreds of Somerset supporters following the game via the live stream from Trent Bridge and cheering every wicket, Somerset claimed the extra half-hour and wrapped up an incredible victory inside three days.
Tim Groenewald was the pick of the bowlers with 4-41, but in truth this was a team effort with Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton and Jim Allenby all picking up two wickets apiece and keeping the pressure throughout on so that Nottinghamshire were at no stage allowed to settle. With Trescothick expertly rotating his men and using Overton in short, sharp bursts, Somerset rammed home the advantage.
Like Somerset, Nottinghamshire went into this game without having won a game, but with only one loss to their opponents’ one. Here though they were thoroughly outplayed.
Afterwards a clearly delighted Trescothick said: “We are absolutely delighted because we have had a tough few weeks ahead of this game.
“We’ve worked on a few things over the last few weeks after a tricky start to the season, so we’re constantly pushing in certain directions to get things right.
“In the New Zealand game last week we did some really good things with the ball and looked to carry that on and emulate it here.”
The Somerset skipper added: “We have tried to change a few things in this game and the reward that we have got for all of the hard work that we have put in is a very nice feeling.
“Now we have got to go on into the next few games and months and carry on in the same vein that we have in this game because we have done a lot of very good things.”
Talking about the team’s tactics going into that astonishing Nottinghamshire second innings, Tres said: “We needed to bowl as straight as we could and we probably let them get a few more runs than they should first time. We got into our bowling very quickly in their second innings and bowled straight at the stumps, which you can see from the volume of LBWs and bowled in the course of the game.
“One of the things we have talked about is lower order runs and certainly in this game our lower order has outperformed the Notts lower order by some way which is probably where the difference was made. Look at Craig Overon in the first innings with 50, then Lewis in the second and Alex Barrow getting runs in both innings and Trego getting runs so the percentage of runs we got in the lower order was crucial in the context of the game.
“Getting 300 runs on the first day was crucial in the context of the match – 300 was far too many, after that the ball did plenty as the dents hardened up and made it tricky to bat on.
Trescothick added: “I think that this has given us a bit of confidence and given us something we needed after a tough start to the season. Now we need to capitalise on it and move forward from now on.”
Resuming on 195 for eight on Tuesday morning, the overnight pair of Samit Patel and Jake Ball saw up the 200 before Jim Allenby had Ball caught by Johann Myburgh with the score on 206.
Patel and last man Harry Gurney added a further 20 runs before Overton had Patel caught by James Hildreth for 56 and the hosts were all out for 226.
Overton ended with 4-40 from 16.4 overs, with six maidens, including a quite stunning caught and bowled on Monday evening, while Allenby finished with 2- 30 from 16 of which six were maidens.
Batting for a second time Somerset lost Trescothick to the fifth ball of the innings when he was bowled by Philander without a run on the board.
Speaking about his pair afterwards, Trescothick said: “This is a tricky place to come, I think I’ve only ever won here twice in my career and I couldn’t think of a worse place to come and face Vernon Philander, on that pitch.
“The ball he bowled me with in the first innings, if he bowled it 10 times I wouldn’t have hit any of the 10.”
Philander struck again with the fifth delivery of his next over when he had Myburgh caught by Steven Mullaney.
Tom Abell had moved onto 11 when he was leg before to Luke Wood and two overs later the same bowler accounted for Tom Cooper, also LBW which made Somerset 26-4.
Allenby and Hildreth steadied the situation and took the total onto 45, but after scoring 23, Hildreth was out leg before wicket to Mullaney.
Allenby and Pete Trego then saw up the 50, but on 14, the former was bowled by Ball.
New batsman Lewis Gregory joined Trego and over the course of the next six overs the seventh wicket pair added 27 runs, before Trego was LBW to Ball for 24.
Gregory was joined by Alex Barrow and the former Academy youngsters saw up the Somerset 100.
Both batsmen coped well with the far from easy conditions, but after helping to add 41 runs to see the total move onto 125, Barrow was caught by Mullaney off the bowling of Gurney for 25.
Overton was LBW to Philander for 2 before Groenewald came in to join Gregory who had batted patiently.
The last man wasted no time and blasted his way to 21, including a four and two 6s off 13 balls before he was caught by Gurney off Mullaney and Somerset were all out for 161, Gregory remaining unbeaten on 26, which came off 65 balls after a stay of 94 minutes at the wicket.
Needing 248 to win Groenewald gave Somerset a great start when he had Mullaney caught by Abell with the fifth ball of his opening over.
Gregory at the other end then picked up the wicket of the other opener when he had former Zimbabwean international Brendan Taylor leg before wicket which saw Notts 24-2.
Overton entered the attack and was soon rewarded with the wicket of Greg Smith who was brilliantly caught low down at second slip by Trescothick.
New batsman Ricki Wessels came in to join James Taylor and it was Wessels who straight drove Overton to the boundary in the 18 over to see up the 50.
Three wickets then fell in quick succession. The introduction of Allenby led to the first when he trapped Taylor LBW as he tried to work a delivery towards mid-wicket which made the hosts 57-4 in the 18th over.
Overton then had Samit Patel caught by the captain at second slip before Allenby struck again in his next over when he claimed Chris Read caught by Abell and the hosts had slipped to 59 for six.
Wessels had established himself and looked settled but on 30 he was caught at second slip by Trescothick off Gregory, and in the following over Groenewald had Wood caught by ‘keeper Barrow.
Philander took successive boundaries off Groenewald to see up the 100 at the end of the 32 over, however the Somerset bowler claimed his third wicket of the innings when he had Jake Ball caught by Myburgh in the his next.
Groenewald wrapped up the innings when he bowled Gurney off an inside edge for no score – the ball hit the stumps and ended up in Barrow’s gloves – and the hosts were all out for 114 in 35.2 overs, Philander remaining unbeaten on 35.
Groenewald ended with figures of 4-41 from his 11.2 overs, two of which were maidens, Allenby claimed 2-13 off five overs, with one maiden, Gregory took 2-27 off 11 with three maidens, while Overton took 2-29 off eight.