County Championship: Somerset miss out on batting points against Yorkshire
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground (day one):|
|Somerset 199: Abell 66, J Overton 40*; Maharaj 5-54|
|Yorkshire 70-3: Ballance 35|
|Somerset 1 pt, Yorkshire 3 pts|
South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj took 5-54 as title-chasing Somerset were denied any batting points on day one against Yorkshire at Taunton.
The hosts were all out for 199 despite a defiant 66 by skipper Tom Abell, who finally fell lbw to left-armer Maharaj.
He batted for almost four hours and put on 51 with Jamie Overton (40 not out) but they fell one run short of a point.
Yorkshire soon lost both openers and were 70-3 at stumps, with Gary Ballance out for 35 in the penultimate over.
Somerset began the game two points behind leaders Essex, who they will host in the final round of matches, starting on 23 September.
Yorkshire are third, needing a victory to give them any realistic chance of staying in the title picture, and it was no surprise that they chose to bowl first without the need for a toss.
India's Murali Vijay managed only seven on his Somerset debut before being caught behind off fast bowler Duanne Olivier as the home side slumped to 85-6, with George Bartlett gifting his wicket to Maharaj by attempting a reverse sweep the second ball after lunch.
Abell and Overton held the visitors up for 14 overs before Maharaj, playing his final game of the season for Yorkshire, brought the innings to an end by winning lbw decisions against Abell and last man Josh Davey in the space of three deliveries.
Lewis Gregory, back in action after a foot injury, produced a perfect leg-cutter to account for Will Fraine (6) as Yorkshire began their reply and Adam Lyth (21) was caught behind off Davey.
But Ballance and Tom Kohler-Cadmore put on 43 before the former was leg-before to off-spinner Dom Bess as Somerset ended the day by collecting a first bowling point.
Overton, who was awarded his Somerset cap during the day's play, revealed that he would be undergoing ankle surgery at the end of the summer.
Somerset fast bowler Jamie Overton:
"I have been working hard on my batting and was pleased to get some runs when they were needed. Tom Abell was the glue for our innings and enabled the rest of us to play with a bit more freedom.
"The pitch is tacky. The ball is turning because the surface is soft and it was a big wicket for us getting Gary Ballance out so near the close.
"It felt great to receive my cap. Eight years of hard work have led up to it. It seems I have been around for a long time. It is recognition of what I have done for Somerset and I feel privileged to join the list of the players capped by the club I love.
"I have a bone spur on my left ankle, which has been there since March, but only began troubling me recently. I am hoping to manage it through our last three games, but I have already spoken to a surgeon and the spur will be removed at the end of the season."
Yorkshire bowling coach Richard Pyrah:
"It would have been great to have gone in at 70-2 because Gary Ballance had been batting really well. To lose his wicket so late was frustrating, but we are still pretty happy with our day's work.
"We thought there might be a bit in the pitch and to limit Somerset to 2.7 runs per over here is a good effort.
"Kesh Maharaj has been brilliant for us. It is great to have someone like him capable of bowling for long spells, while we rotate things at the other end.
"Now we need a good first hour. Tom Abell and Jamie Overton showed what was possible batting on this pitch and it is by no means a minefield. If we bat well, we can get ourselves into a decent position."