Somerset on top after day two


Half-centuries from Tom Abell and Steve Davies plus three quick wickets in the Leicestershire second innings helped put Somerset on top on day two of this LV= Insurance County Championship fixture.

Abell and Davies ensured that their side secured a first innings lead of 85 runs and by the close of play the hosts were 48 for three, still trailing by 37 runs.

Leicestershire will also be without skipper Colin Ackermann, who will take no further part in the match after being struck on the forehead fielding at first slip just before lunch. Rishi Patel, his 22-year-old replacement under the concussion protocols, is not out overnight having made 27 against an impressive Somerset attack.

Somerset skipper Abell played a typically calm and assured innings for the majority of his 88 runs, although he did survive a close run-out call on 15 before being dropped on 54. He shared a 112-run fifth-wicket partnership with George Bartlett and although both were dismissed in quick succession by seamer Ben Mike, who finished with three for 50, Davies made a typically elegant 59 to give Somerset the upper hand.

Craig Overton then removed Harry Dearden and Marcus Harris in a devastating spell with the new ball, the former brilliantly caught by Abell diving to his left at slip before Harris fell for just seven, miscuing a hook to square leg to leave them 21 for three. Josh Davey had already found the edge to have Hassan Azad caught behind.

Somerset had been 53 for three overnight, but nightwatchman Jack Leach (26) was Leicestershire’s sole scalp as 104 runs were added in an eventful morning in which Ackermann was injured. A turning delivery from Callum Parkinson saw the ball beat the edge before being deflected by Swindells, felling Ackermann. After treatment on the field, the 30-year-old South African-born all-rounder continued to field for the last two overs of the session but did not reappear after lunch.

Having added 55 to that point, the fifth-wicket pair continued to profit, Abell reeling off some beautifully timed off-drives and cuts to take their partnership into three figures.

Mike had Abell caught at second slip, undone by a ball that swung away late, and Bartlett, on 48, pulled him straight to short mid-wicket.

At this point the hosts sensed a chance but Davies made sure that the advantage was with Somerset.

At the close of play, Abell said: “Last night, with us losing a few wickets, the game was probably in the balance but I’m really happy with how it has gone today.

“It’s been a good wicket all game and we felt that if we felt that we could get those partnerships on the board and Davos was brilliant towards the end as well.

“This evening we felt we had a great chance to put them under pressure. It’s very hard to keep it dry because it is a very quick outfield but we did that fantastically well and took three big wickets too.

“I rode my luck a little bit in my innings but you need to do that sometimes. I guess you always want a few more and I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t take responsibility and take it on, but my overriding emotion is that I’m very happy with the position we’re in.”

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