Stunning win for Somerset on day three

Jack Leach and Jamie Overton claimed four wickets each as Somerset retained a 15-point lead at the top of the Specsavers County Championship with a 132-run victory over Nottinghamshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Chasing a target of 255 to win, the visitors were bowled out for 122. England left-arm spinner Leach took four for 42 and Overton claimed four for 24 as only Ashwin, with 41, offered much resistance.

Earlier, Somerset had been bowled out for 169 in their second innings, Notts left-arm spinner Liam Patterson-White marking his First Class debut with an impressive five for 73, while Ashwin returned five for 59.

Azhar Ali’s impressive 65 not out enabled the hosts to set a challenging target on a pitch offering some turn.

The day began with Somerset on seven for one and looking to build on a 92-run lead. They had progressed to 56 when Tom Abell (24) middled a low full toss from Ashwin and Ben Slater, turning away at short leg, took a remarkable catch.

James Hildreth edged to wicketkeeper Tom Moores whilst Patterson-White claimed his maiden Championship wicket when Tom Banton was trapped lbw. shortly after that he bowled George Bartlett. Steve Davies fell leg-before pushing forward to Ashwin and by lunch Somerset were 108 for six, a lead of 193.

With only a run added after the break, Lewis Gregory became Patterson-White’s third wicket. The fourth came when Dom Bess was lbw attempting to sweep.

Azhar Ali was battling away at the other end, moving to a priceless half-century off 157 balls. Overton provided sensible support in a key ninth-wicket stand of 51, which took some momentum away from Notts.

Ashwin had him caught behind for 24 and after Patterson-White sent back last man Leach, the debutant was allowed to lead his team from the field.

Soon Leach was weaving his magic from the same end, taking the new ball for the second over and pinning Jake Libby lbw with his first delivery.

Slater fell to a fine juggling catch by Banton at short-leg off Leach and tea was taken with Notts 31 for two, requiring a further 224.

Overton opened up after the interval from the Somerset Pavilion End and soon had Moores taken at slip for 22.

Steven Mullaney joined Ashwin in a composed stand of 32, but that was ended by a superb left-handed catch at full-stretch by Hildreth at leg slip off Bess to send back the Notts skipper.

Samit Patel, who had travelled down to replace concussion victim Chris Nash, could make only a single before driving at Leach and edging a sharp catch to Hildreth, this time at second slip.

It became 95 for six when Ashwin chipped Leach to George Bartlett at mid-on.

Somerset had fielded brilliantly and next it was Gregory diving on the backward point boundary to hold a chance offered by Ben Duckett, off the fiery Overton.

Luke Fletcher skied Bess to mid-off and Patterson-White was bowled by Overton, who also cleaned up Jake Ball to end the game shortly after the extra half hour was taken.

Somerset took 22 points and Notts claimed four.

At the close of play Azhar Ali said: “It was a wonderful win for Somerset today and everybody played their part in it. There were some strong individual performances but at the end everyone contributed to what was a very special win for us.

“It was quite tough batting out there and far from easy, but once I got a start this morning  you had to keep on fighting through. There were balls that bounced out of the rough but you had to trust your defence and keep on looking to score.

“Partnerships were important and we spoke about this in the morning. Starting off well was important because they have a quality spinner like Ashwin, who is one of the best in the world. Tom and I just kept talking to each other and saying that we had to keep on batting and building the partnership. Then Jamie came in with good intent and had a couple of big blows after which we took the ones or twos when we could.”

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Next MatchSomerset V Derbyshire Falcons

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