Another century for Matt on Day One

Matt Renshaw’s third Specsavers County Championship century in eight innings for Somerset was the feature of a closely-fought opening day of the match with leaders Nottinghamshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The Aussie left-hander hit 106 off 171 balls, with 12 fours and two sixes, before becoming a third victim for off-spinner Matthew Carter as the hosts ran up 307 for seven after winning the toss. Skipper Tom Abell contributed 57 and Steve Davies 59 not out.

Off-spinner Matthew Carter was the most successful Notts bowler with four for 81.

Renshaw has scored 411 Championship runs for Somerset at an average of 58.7 and the 22-year-old marked his last home appearance with an important knock. He and Eddie Byrom faced some testing opening overs, particularly from Luke Fletcher, whose initial eight-over spell saw him concede only 11 runs.

A half-century stand for the first wicket took 21.3 overs and in the 24th, with the total on 62, Eddie Byrom was lbw for 14 pushing forward to Steven Mullaney.

By lunch Somerset had progressed to 80 for one, with Renshaw having brought up a 77-ball fifty. Notts struck again with the total on 117 when George Bartlett, on 29, edged Carter to slip where Ross Taylor took a low catch.

James Hildreth’s fine start to the season was interrupted when, having made only a single, he edged a back-foot defensive shot off Carter to give Taylor another catch.

Renshaw went to three figures off 165 balls. It followed scores of 101 not out against Worcestershire and 112 against Yorkshire in the opening two Championship games. However, he was eventually bowled trying to launch Carter back over his head with the total on 176.

Abell and Davies saw Somerset to tea at 211 for four and the skipper brought up a 117-ball half-century in the final session before falling to the second new ball, caught at first slip by Riki Wessels off Fletcher.

258 for five became 288 for six when Lewis Gregory aimed a slog sweep at Carter and was bowled off a glove for 16. 23-year-old seamer Matt Milnes then picked up his first Championship wicket by bowling Roelof van der Merwe for a duck.

Davies went to a composed 107-ball fifty, with five fours, and Dom Bess finished the day seven not out.

At the close of play Matt Renshaw said: “It was great to mark the last home game of my time with Somerset by scoring a century. The supporters have been great to me from the moment I arrived and they were again today.

“I was disappointed not to go on to a big hundred, but Tom Abell and Steve Davies played really well to get us into a decent position. It’s hard to know what a good score is until both sides have batted, but the ball seamed around in the morning and turned at times, which hopefully is a good sign for us.”

For the match scorecard click here

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