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Dean and Jack give Somerset the upper hand

A 96 run ninth wicket partnership between Dean Elgar and Jack Leach gave Somerset the upper hand on day two of this Specsavers County Championship First Division match against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.

However, an unbroken third-wicket stand of 129 between Alex Davies and Liam Livingstone helped restore Lancashire’s fortunes.

Somerset were eventually dismissed for 278 with Elgar carrying his bat impressively for 113 and shortly afterwards the hosts found themselves on 23 for two.  However, Davies and Livingstone took their side to 152 for two at the close which is a deficit of 17 runs.

This position represented prosperity indeed, given that the home side had conceded a lead of 169 to a dynamic performance from the visiting batsmen just after lunch.  Indeed, Somerset had enjoyed an outstanding morning and were 276-9 at lunch, thus giving Tom Abell’s men an impressive lead with one wicket in hand.

The visitors’ opener, Elgar, reached a quite superb century with a two to backward square-leg off James Anderson just before the interval.  The South African had batted for 328 minutes when he reached the landmark, facing 205 balls and hitting 11 fours.

Elgar also passed 10,000 First Class runs when he reached 71 but his efforts were hardly less meritorious than those of Jack Leach, who made his maiden First Class fifty before being caught by wicketkeeper Davies off Jordan Clark for an excellent 52.

By then, though, Leach had put on 96 with Elgar and had built what may yet become a match-winning lead for his side.

In the afternoon session Lancashire lost two prime wickets but that was the prelude to Davies and Livingstone undertaking the long fight to restore their fortunes in the evening session.  Both Haseeb Hameed and Luke Procter fell to Lewis Gregory with only 23 runs on the board at which point Lancashire’s chances of even avoiding in innings defeat seemed in the balance.  Hameed was caught by Peter Trego for seven when playing uncharacteristically far from his body and Procter had his off stump tickled when he played inside a good ball from the Somerset seamer.

At the end of a day when he scored his maiden century for Somerset and passed 10,000 First Class runs, Dean Elgar said: “We’ve had a good day today and it’s been pretty hard work as I have been out there all of the day batting and fielding.”

Talking about carrying his bat for 113 he said: “It felt nice to score my first century for Somerset and it’s good to have been able to contribute against a decent bowling attack to help us to get into a good position.”

What about his partnership with Jack Leach?  “I think it was a big partnership and turned the game so it has turned out quite nicely,” he said.  “Jack played well and had his game plan all sorted out. In the scheme of things it was a major contribution to the game.”

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Next MatchSomerset V Derbyshire Falcons

09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground