Nottinghamshire v Somerset: Phil Jaques sees Notts home
|LV= County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge|
|Nottinghamshire 461 & 111-3 beat Somerset 168 & 402 by seven wickets|
|Somerset 3pts, Notts 24pts|
Nottinghamshire wrapped up a comfortable seven-wicket win over fellow high-flyers Somerset on the final morning at Trent Bridge.
The hosts, who resumed on 66-3, requiring just 44 more runs for victory, secured the result inside the opening 40 minutes of the fourth day.
Phil Jaques followed his first-innings 113 with an unbeaten 42, while Ajmal Shahzad struck a steady 23 not out.
Notts are now level on points with Yorkshire at the top of Division One.
However, having lost one game more than the Tykes, Mick Newell's side remain in second place - 26 points clear of Somerset in third.
The home side had looked strong favourites for victory since as early as the first day, when they skittled the visitors for only 168 and then breezed past their total without loss, before eventually finishing on 461.
And the match seemed unlikely to go beyond the third day when Somerset were reduced to 253-8 in their second innings, still needing another 40 runs just to make Nottinghamshire bat again.
The visitors' tail frustrated the Notts attack, however, with Peter Trego hitting a fine century as they added 149 runs for the last two wickets.
But, after losing both Steven Mullaney and James Taylor in the first over of their reply, Samit Patel's 30-ball 41 wrestled the initiative back and Jaques and Shahzad saw Notts home.
Notts director of cricket Mick Newell:
"We've been very, very good recently. We knew June was going to be a challenge for us in four-day cricket, playing against the best sides, but we've risen to that challenge and also put together some good wins in the T20 Blast competition.
"All in all it's been perhaps the best 10 days of my career in terms of running this team."
Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick:
"It's always tough to rebound against a good team after being shot out for 150 or so in the first innings.
"We take something from the way we batted in our second innings .Chris Jones played well, it was a gritty knock against a good side with some good bowlers.
"It's always a challenge to have Peter Siddle and Harry Gurney running in at you. They are a very good side, but I thought Chris did well, Jamie Overton played nicely and Peter Trego capped it off with his hundred."
BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:
"For the first time since 2010, Notts enter the home straight with a realistic chance of being in the mix for the title.
"The first-day performance was crucial in this win. The bowlers were excellent in dismissing Somerset so cheaply and the opening stand set the tone for the rest of the match.
"With Phil Jaques and Peter Siddle nearing the end of their stays the challenge will be there to find adequate replacements, either from abroad or from within the camp, but the current spirit and level of performance is excellent."