County Championship: Leicestershire reply with new-ball wickets on first day with Somerset

Marchant de Lange takes the wicket of Colin Ackermann
Marchant de Lange picked up the wicket of Leicestershire captain Colin Ackermann
LV= County Championship Group Two, Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester (day one)
Leicestershire 233: Hill 68; C Overton 3-39, Leach 2-23
Somerset 53-3: Klein 2-24
Somerset (3 pts) trail Leicestershire (2 pts) by 180 runs

Leicestershire picked up three early wickets with the new ball to keep Somerset in check after the visitors had earlier bowled them out for 233.

The Foxes were unable to capitalise on winning the toss despite Lewis Hill's 68 and 36 from opener Hassan Azad.

Craig Overton (3-39), Lewis Gregory (2-39) and Jack Leach (2-23) all made regular breakthroughs to restrict them.

Somerset were 39-3 in reply before Tom Abell (13 not out) and Leach (10 not out) guided them to 53-3 at stumps.

Tom Banton (15), Tom Lammonby (8) and James Hildreth (5) all fell cheaply with Dieter Klein (2-24) getting new-ball success alongside Chris Wright (1-29).

Nightwatchman Leach will resume in the morning alongside his skipper Abell with his side 180 runs behind with seven wickets in hand.

Earlier in the day, Leicestershire made a decent start with Australia international Marcus Harris adding 40 for the first wicket with Azad before chopping Gregory on to his stumps to depart for 19 on his Leicestershire debut.

The hosts looked in trouble at 74-5 before Hill and Ben Mike (26) added 59 for the sixth wicket. Callum Parkinson (27) also shared a 47-run stand for the seventh before Hill's fourth consecutive half-century ended with a miscued glance off Overton to Banton at mid-wicket.

Leicestershire's tail continued to wag as the last two wickets added another 48 to give them a fighting chance.

Leicestershire batsman Lewis Hill:

"We started well for the first hour, then lost a few too many wickets going into the lunch break but, from 74-5, we have to be pretty happy getting to 233.

"They are First Division bowlers and they hit their areas pretty consistently. That was proper first class cricket. It is great to challenge ourselves against that quality of opposition.

"Ben and me had to absorb a lot of pressure for the first 10 overs of our batting partnership before we got going. It would have been great to go on to get a hundred but I'm pretty happy with the way I've started the season."

Somerset head coach Jason Kerr:

"It was one of those days where it was fairly even. It is a really good surface. If you hit good areas it is difficult to score but if you miss you get punished quickly and the outfield is rapid.

"Par is probably around 300 but to get there you have to play well and it is about how you apply your skills. We asked a lot of questions, certainly with the new ball.

"We didn't get the rewards initially but we were really patient and it showed how quickly things can turn if you keep applying that pressure, because suddenly they were 60-4 at the break."

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