County Championship: Somerset on brink of first-innings lead over Hampshire

Hampshire batsman Sam Northeast
Hampshire centurion Sam Northeast is his team's leading run-scorer in the Championship this season, scoring 697 in 12 innings
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton (day two):
Somerset 408: Hildreth 105, Abell 82, Banton 79; Abbott 6-84
Hampshire 329-8: Northeast 101, Rahane 55; J Overton 5-66
Hampshire (6 pts) trail Somerset (7 pts) by 79 runs

Jamie Overton's five-wicket haul helped Championship leaders Somerset to the brink of a first-innings lead over Hampshire at Taunton, despite a century from visiting captain Sam Northeast.

Replying to Somerset's 408 all out, Hampshire ended day two on 329-8.

Northeast added 101 with India batsman Ajinkya Rahane (55) and a further 82 with South African Rilee Rossouw (44).

However, three quick wickets from Overton (5-66) after tea left Somerset marginally the happier side.

Hampshire were 220-3 on the second afternoon and responding strongly to Somerset's first-innings total, but their momentum was halted when Northeast and Rossouw both fell in quick succession to off-spinner Dom Bess (2-58).

Northeast's dismissal was a slightly tame one, caught by Tom Abell at mid-wicket shortly after completing a fine hundred that contained 13 fours and a six.

Hampshire duo Keith Barker (38) and James Fuller (37) rebuilt with a sixth-wicket stand of 81, but Overton struck in successive overs to have both caught behind - the latter being his 150th first-class wicket.

Somerset started the match with a 27-point advantage over third-placed Hampshire and only 13 clear of second-placed Essex, who are in a dominant position at the halfway stage of their match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Somerset fast bowler Jamie Overton:

"This shows how positively the loan system can work. Both Dom Bess and I went to other clubs this season to try and find our form. My time at Northants helped me discover my rhythm and I'm sure Dom benefitted from his spell with Yorkshire.

"It was good to see him get a couple of wickets because we both know nothing beats playing for Somerset.

"At times, like when I was bowling around the wicket to Sam Northeast, I was right up with my best pace. After so many injury problems it was great to see all the hard work put into recovery pay dividends."

Hampshire centurion Sam Northeast told BBC Solent:

"It was important we batted all day and we are back in the game after not bowling very well on day one. Kyle Abbott's late spell got us off the hook and Somerset will have been kicking themselves for not getting a really big total.

"The new ball was doing a bit and there was enough in it for the spinners to keep the batsmen honest. Facing Jamie Overton was a test because he is always a great competitor and bowled really well.

"I was pleased to get my third century of the season, but disappointed to get out when I did. It was also a shock when Rahane and Rossouw got out because they looked to be batting so well, but Somerset don't give you anything."

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