Somerset on top as Notts forced to follow-on
Craig Overton gave the England selectors a reminder of his talent with some impressive pace bowling as Somerset forced Nottinghamshire to follow on in the Specsavers County Championship match at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
The 24-year-old all-rounder claimed four for 53 to send the visitors crumbling to 134 all out in reply to 392. Ross Taylor top-scored with 74 and there were two wickets each for Lewis Gregory and Tom Abell.
Second time around the Notts batsmen made a better fist of things and they closed the second day on 112 without loss, still trailing by 146. Jake Libby and Steve Mullaney were both unbeaten on 54 not out.
The day began with Somerset on 307 for seven, with 13 overs in which to secure a fourth batting point. They fell nine runs short, while Notts could only take one wicket in that time, so the bonus points were three to two in favour of the hosts.
Steve Davies, unbeaten on 59 overnight, received good support from Dom Bess (34) before the latter edged Samit Patel to slip with the score on 340.
Davies again looked rock solid, but Overton was dismissed by Matt Carter (five for 113) and when Josh Davey fell lbw to Patel for 14, Davies was left unbeaten on 92.
Somerset had added 85 to their total and either side of lunch Overton produced an inspired spell from the River End, which saw him take three wickets for four runs in his first three overs.
The tall seamer sent back Libby, Mullaney and Samit Patel, while Lewis Gregory accounted for Chris Nash and Riki Wessels as Notts crashed to 28 for five.
Soon afterwards Taylor, on 14, survived a huge lbw shout from Gregory that looked close.
Abell has been proving a handy extra seamer for Somerset this season and the captain again chipped in with the wickets of Moores and Billy Root, who became the fifth Notts batsman to register a duck.
Taylor needed some fortune to reach 70-ball half-century, but was last man out, having hit Overton for three sixes in an over, one of them clearing the short leg-side boundary comfortably enough to hit the roof of the flats behind the Somerset Stand.
Overton finally ended Taylor’s resistance, reward for running in aggressively and bowling with excellent rhythm and pace throughout his 12.1 overs.
The ball had swung for the Somerset seamers, something that failed to happen in the second innings as Mullaney and Libby launched the fightback in impressive style.
Libby went to fifty off 63 balls, with nine fours, and Mullaney followed to the same landmark off 84 deliveries with ten boundaries.
There was evidence of turn for Roelof van der Merwe, who beat the bat on several occasions, bowling from the River End.
After the close of play Craig Overton said: “Since the final games of the one-day competition and going into this match I feel things have really been clicking for me with the ball.
“I was bowling okay at the start of the season, but not as well as I had hoped. When I’m running in hard and the ball comes out as it did today, it’s always pleasing and I’m delighted to have claimed four wickets.
“There were signs of turn in the closing overs, so hopefully we can get a couple of batsmen out early tomorrow and apply some pressure. There was some discussion about enforcing the follow-on, but with a 250-plus lead we reasoned that if Notts scored 400 in their second innings, we would still need only 150 to win.”
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