Tom and Lewis secure vital bonus points
Tom Abell showed his class once again as Somerset claimed three bonus points on day three of this LV= Insurance County Championship match at the Bristol County Ground.
His outstanding 132 not out was the highlight as the visitors posted a first innings score of 300 for eight declared.
The home side closed the day on 16 for two.
With almost two days lost to rain and a poor forecast for day four, bonus points are the only target in this West Country derby and the Somerset skipper played a true captain’s innings. He was also well supported by Lewis Gregory.
With Somerset on 176 for seven, Gloucestershire looked set to deny their neighbours any bonus points at all but Gregory made 57 from number nine in a vital stand of 116.
Abell took Somerset to 300 before they declared, denying Gloucestershire the chance of a third bowling point with 8.3 overs remaining of the 110 bonus-point period.
With rain predicted to wipe out most of Sunday’s play, that eighth-wicket partnership could well see the visitors edge the match tally and move a little closer to Gloucestershire at the top of group 2.
It was Abell’s eighth First Class hundred and first of the season, in 255 balls with 11 boundaries.
On a wicket playing sluggishly, having been undercover for so long, he sensibly waited for anything on his legs to pick up most of his runs. He eased David Payne through cover to reach his hundred, before playing the shot of his innings – a sweet straight drive off Matt Taylor. Gregory too impressed with a 77-ball fifty.
Resuming on 45 for one with only 20.2 overs possible on the opening two days of the match, Eddie Bryom and Abell took the score to 85 but Payne had Byrom edging an away-swinger to first slip where Kraigg Brathwaite held a juggling catch.
James Hildreth drove at Payne, but was bowled for 15, before Worrall took three wickets in eight deliveries.
Craig Overton edged Ryan Higgins behind for only 15 and, at that stage, Gloucestershire were enjoying the best of the day in front of a healthy crowd and under blessed sunshine.
However, Somerset have perfected the art of the lower-order rally, duly provided this time by Gregory.
There was time for Chris Dent to push Overton to point and James Bracey to drive and edge Josh Davey behind before the day was out.
We will have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.
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