Match finely poised after day three

Tom Moores hit his maiden century as Nottinghamshire fought back hard on the third day of this Specsavers County Championship match with Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The 21-year-old, who is son of Head Coach Peter Moores, scored 103 to build on solid work from Steven Mullaney (94), Jake Libby (69), Chris Nash (66) and Samit Patel (55) and help his side to 468 for eight at the close, a lead of 210.

Moores shared a stand of 118 with Billy Root (36) for the seventh wicket after Notts had looked in some peril at 338 for six.

It was a day of toil for Somerset’s bowlers, who were not helped by a couple of dropped catches at key times. Left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe posed the greatest threat, claiming four for 114.

Notts began the day on 112 without loss in their second innings, needing a further 146 to avoid an innings defeat. Mullaney and Libby, both unbeaten on 54 ovenight, took their stand to 145 before Libby was pinned lbw by Josh Davey.

There was nothing in the pitch for the seamers and it was van der Merwe, who made the next breakthrough with the score on 179 when Mullaney fell leg-before six short of a hundred.

Twelve runs later Ross Taylor went back to cut a ball from van der Merwe that was too full for the shot and was bowled.

Nash and Patel saw the visitors to lunch on 231 for three, just 27 runs behind. Both batsmen went on to half-centuries before Nash was bowled, attempting to drive Davey through the leg-side. It was 299 for four and on the same score Patel fell lbw to a ball from van der Merwe that went on with the arm.

When Riki Wessells was leg-before for 19, looking to sweep van der Merwe, Somerset were buoyant.

Left-handers Moores and Root grew in confidence before the latter was bowled looking to cut a fullish ball from Dom Bess. By then Notts were 198 in front, but needed more insurance on an excellent batting pitch. Moores, with a previous best First Class score of 43, reached his hundred off 106 balls, with 16 fours, and punched the air in delight.

However, he fell in the final over of the day, lbw when missing a full ball from Bess which struck him on the foot.

At the close of play Roelof van der Merwe said: “It’s a typical Taunton pitch, flattening out after the first two days. Notts batted well and Tom Moores did a great job after having a bit of luck to begin with.

“We had to work hard for our wickets. In the end we got eight and we will feel confident chasing anything up to 250 on the final day. I bowled a lot of overs for me and thoroughly enjoyed it.

“I’ve never taken a five-for in a First Class match, so that is something to aim for tomorrow. Knowing Dom Bess, I expect he will take the last two!”

The match scorecard can be viewed here

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