Steve leads the Somerset fightback on day one
An innings of quality from Steve Davies when his side really needed it was the highlight as Somerset posted 312 on the opening day of the LV= Insurance County Championship match with Gloucestershire at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
Davies arrived at the crease with Somerset in trouble at 80 for four, but the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman showed his class on the way to his 87, sharing a sixth-wicket stand of 116 with Craig Overton, who made 54.
Visiting seamers David Payne, Ryan Higgins and Matt Taylor claimed three wickets each, whilst their side then survived three overs in darkening conditions before the close to finish on 13 without loss.
The visitors won the toss and took the early advantage when the last ball of the second over, sent down by Higgins, saw Tom Lammonby edge to George Hankins at second slip.
Tom Banton began confidently, but with the total on 42 he unluckily played Payne’s final delivery of the 11th over onto his stumps and departed for 29.
Skipper Tom Abell looked untroubled moving to 26, only to fall lbw to Taylor shouldering arms.
When James Hildreth was well caught low down at square leg by Tom Lace to give Taylor a second wicket, Somerset were in trouble.
It was 94 for four at lunch and things continued to go well for Gloucestershire when George Bartlett fell lbw to Higgins for 22 to make it 110 for five.
However, Davies had made good use of the boundary on the town side of the ground to gain early momentum and soon appeared to have more time than his team-mates to play his shots.
A pulled six off Taylor and some attractive strokes through the covers helped take him to a fluent half-century off 92 balls.
Overton contributed some meaty blows as the pair brought up a hundred partnership in 21 overs.
By tea, they had taken the score to 222 for five, Overton having reached his fifty off 66 deliveries, with eight fours.
Higgins broke the stand when Overton edged to Hankins in the slips and at 226 for six Somerset still had work to do.
Lewis Gregory was caught at backward point off Payne, with the second new ball. And when Davies was bowled off a bottom edge by the same bowler, having struck 12 fours and a six, it looked like being Gloucestershire’s day.
However, Josh Davey and Marchant de Lange, last man out for 37, hit sixes off Payne in a breezy stand of 48 that brought a third batting point before Davey became a maiden first class victim for Dom Goodman.
At the close of play, Steve Davies said: “I think we are just ahead at the end of the day. Batting was tricky early on, although it did get easier as the day went on.
“I felt pretty comfortable and was super-sick to get out as I did through a lapse in concentration because I am looking to bat for long periods this season.
“Tomorrow we have to make our score of 312 seem like 500 by keeping things tight. We have a bit more pace in our seam attack and Jack Leach is in great form, so hopefully we can bowl well and get a first innings lead.”
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