Lancashire bowl Somerset out to set up final day
Lancashire’s hopes of forcing victory against Somerset at Taunton are very much alive after an impressive bowling performance during today’s third day.
Somerset were made to follow-on 180 runs behind just before close, and they faced one over in their second innings without scoring.
Although Lancashire are on top, their hopes of a second Specsavers County Championship win on the bounce were dented somewhat by an eighth-wicket century partnership between James Hildreth and Jamie Overton.
Hildreth’s 130 was integral to a home recovery from 150-7 to 313 all out in reply to 493-9 declared.
Hildreth hit 15 fours in 204 balls and Overton finished with 51, while Jimmy Anderson and Simon Kerrigan took three wickets apiece for the visitors.
Overseas bowler Neil Wagner also claimed two wickets, and despite the flat nature of the Taunton pitch. he remains confident of the victory.
Wickets have been hard to come by during the first three quarters of the clash, so there is a lot of hard work to do.
Anderson tested that theory by taking three wickets in five balls just after lunch as Somerset slipped from 102-2 to 102-5 in the 43rd over of the innings.
Captain Chris Rogers, whose 55 represented his first fifty for the county, was one of the three wickets to fall to Anderson.
The left-handed Aussie was caught at one of two short covers by Karl Brown after a long discussion between Anderson and Steven Croft over the field placing.
Roelof van der Merwe fell lbw for a golden duck next ball before, three balls later, Peter Trego fell the same way for a duck.
“That was a tough day’s work,” said Wagner. “It was obviously hard graft. We had to fight hard for those wickets, and I thought we bowled pretty well in trying circumstances.
“We got some rewards for it, but they played well.
“It’s a pretty flat wicket and good to bat on, but we kept asking questions and bowled with a lot of patience.
“When we got wickets, we got them in clumps. Jimmy and Jarv bowled exceptionally well, and the same with Simon.
“We’ve got ourselves in a pretty good position to hopefully get a result.
“There’s definitely a little bit there in the pitch. We will have to see how it holds up in the morning.
“After that first session with a bit more wear and tear, hopefully it will be tough work out there for them.
“If we do the same as what we did today - keep asking good questions and be patient - we can get ourselves in a good position to win the game.
“It’s a long way ahead and will take a lot of hard work, but we can definitely set ourselves up nicely.”
Only two wickets fell this morning; Marcus Trescothick caught and bowled by Kyle Jarvis with his first ball of the morning, the seventh in all, and Tom Abell lbw to the impressive Kerrigan, who finished with 3-63 from 34 overs.
Kerrigan later picked up his second wicket, and the sixth of the innings, when Ryan Davies was stumped as the score fell to 143-6 after 56.
Jarvis also picked up his second when Craig Overton was bowled with one that kept low with 150 on the board in the 59th.
At that stage, Lancashire were on the march.
But Hildreth and Jamie Overton batted nicely against old and new balls to take valuable time out of the contest during their stand of 139 inside 30 overs either side of tea.
Hildreth reached his fifty off 102 balls shortly before tea as Somerset reached 200 for their first batting bonus point.
He brought up his hundred off 169 balls with 12 fours midway through the evening as Somerset approached 300. By that stage, he and Overton had brought up their century stand.
Overton reached 50 off 89 balls, but fell next ball caught behind to Wagner - 289-8 in the 88th over and still 55 away from avoiding the follow-on.
Kerrigan picked up his third wicket when Jack Leach was caught at short-leg by Croft, leaving the score at 307-9 in the 94th over, with almost nine more to bowl in the day.
Hildreth fell to Wagner to wrap up the innings when he holed out to deep mid-wicket, where Jarvis took a tumbling catch.
Nightwatchman Tim Groenewald opened the Somerset second innings and saw out an Anderson over.