County Championship: Somerset take control against Yorkshire on day two

Tom Abell
Tom Abell scored his second half-century of the match for Somerset
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground (day two):
Somerset 199 & 269-5: Abell 62, Hildreth 58
Yorkshire 103: Ballance 35; Van der Merwe 3-14
Somerset (3 pts) lead Yorkshire (3 pts) by 365 runs

Somerset enjoyed an excellent day with bat and ball to take command of their game against Yorkshire at Taunton.

Yorkshire collapsed from 86-3 to 103 all out before lunch, a first-innings deficit of 96, with spinner Roelof van der Merwe claiming three quick wickets.

Title hopefuls Somerset pressed home their advantage to close on 269-5 and lead by 365 with two days remaining.

Captain Tom Abell starred with 62, while James Hildreth (58) and Tom Banton (43) provided fine support.

An attacking unbroken stand of 78 between Lewis Gregory and George Bartlett late in the day took the game away from Yorkshire before bad light ended play early.

With Division One leaders Essex unlikely to win at Warwickshire after conceding a huge first-innings score, Somerset should replace them at the top with victory.

It was an extraordinary collapse by Yorkshire in the morning session, whose own slim hopes of 34th County Championship title now appear to be over.

On a typical turning wicket in the west country, Van der Merwe found plenty of spin and bounce, while seamers Lewis Gregory (2-36) and Josh Davey (3-30) did the damage at the other end.

Yorkshire's cause was not helped by Ben Coad being unable to bat through illness.

Somerset openers Murali Vijay and Steven Davies went quickly to leave their second innings stuttering at 4-2, before a third-wicket stand of 117 between Abell and Hildreth put the hosts in the driving seat.

Abell was eventually trapped lbw by Tim Bresnan after reaching his second half-century of the match, but Gregory and Bartlett hit a flurry of boundaries after tea to put their side in a winning position.

Somerset skipper Tom Abell:

"My role in both innings was to bat as long as I could and let the other lads play around me.

"The game was in the balance overnight, but now we have taken control. We're on the front foot.

"It's basically a good pitch, but a bit slow which makes it difficult to score. There is spin there but, when you get a partnership going, things feel easier.

"James Hildreth was fantastic, coming in at 4-2. He was positive from the start and helped us build on the excellent efforts of our bowlers at the start."

Yorkshire batting coach Paul Grayson:

"It was a tough day at the office for us. We had felt we were in quite a decent position, but this morning Somerset bowled beautifully in bowler-friendly conditions and after losing a couple of early wickets we couldn't stop them.

"We have tended to bat better in the second innings this season, so hopefully we can salvage some pride and play a bit better. Sometimes you have to give the opposition credit and Somerset caught well and bowled very skilfully.

"When the lights have been on and it has been a bit gloomy the ball has spun and seamed a lot. Maybe the pitch is flattening out a bit and when the sun is out batting seems easier, so let's hope it's a cracking day at Taunton.

"Will Fraine will hopefully bat at some stage, but he won't be opening, having been off the field. Ben Coad is struggling and seeking some medical advice at the moment to see where he is at."

Top Stories