Somerset v Northants: David Willey shines at Taunton
|LV= County Championship Division One, Taunton|
|Close, day one: Somerset 314 v Northants 39-0|
|Somerset 3pts, Northants 3pts|
Paceman David Willey took 4-64 as bottom club Northants enjoyed a good day in the field at the start of their game against Somerset at Taunton.
Left-armer Willey removed both openers with only 25 on the board and the home side were bowled out for 314.
Their innings was built around a stand of 153 between Nick Compton (79) and Alex Barrow, who made a career-best 88.
Muhammad Azharullah supported Willey well with 3-69 and Northants batted out 12 overs to reach the close on 39-0.
The visitors, beaten in 10 of their 12 games this summer, began 77 points adrift at the foot of the table, but bowled and fielded with enthusiasm and no little skill.
Willey accounted for Marcus Trescothick and Johann Myburgh with the new ball, although the former scored the five runs needed to reach 1,000 for the season, and Azharullah knocked back Tom Abell's off-stump to leave Somerset 42-3.
James Hildreth also departed before lunch for 22, chipping a catch to mid-wicket off Andrew Hall, whose Northants career will come to an end next month.
Compton was his normal adhesive self, and he was overtaken by 22-year-old keeper Barrow, who reached a half century off only 67 balls, with 11 fours.
He found the boundary seven more times before finally edging Willey down the leg side to wicketkeeper Adam Rossington, but Luke Gregory saw Somerset to a third batting point with 33 before he was last to go.
Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Barrow:
"I think the day ended up pretty even. The pitch is doing a bit for the seamers and our bowlers didn't quite hit their straps.
"A couple of wickets would have been nice, but hopefully they will come in the morning.
"I didn't set out to be more positive than usual. It was just the way my innings worked out.
"I had a bit of luck to start with and, while I am very pleased to have contributed 88, another 12 would have fulfilled a dream of scoring a century at Taunton. Hopefully, that is still ahead for me."
BBC Radio Northampton's Chris Egerton:
"Northants have their noses in front after Stephen Peters won a good toss.
"His new-ball attack bowled tightly and obtained bounce on a pitch of verdant green.
"While Barrow and Compton led an afternoon fightback for Somerset, Northants fought back strongly with Azharullah removing Compton from a short run-up on the stroke of tea.
"Peters and James Kettleborough survived 11 testing overs to leave Northants in a competitive position going into day two and possibly, slightly ahead."