Cricket: Centurions put Somerset on top at Notts

PUBLISHED: 19:38 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 19:38 12 April 2019

Tom Abell drives for runs for Somerset (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Tom Abell drives for runs for Somerset (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Centuries from George Bartlett and Tom Abell steered Somerset into a commanding position on the second day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

George Bartlett hits out for Somerset (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)George Bartlett hits out for Somerset (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Bartlett scored a career-best 133 from 223 deliveries before shouldering arms and losing his off stump to Luke Fletcher, who took three for 66 as chief support for Stuart Broad.

Broad, bowling with good pace and rhythm throughout, had taken two wickets on the first evening and polished off the Somerset tail to close with 5-73.

Abell, who took a hat-trick in this fixture last season, played a starring role with the bat this time, making 101 after adding 223 for the fourth wicket with Bartlett – a county record against Notts – as the visitors reached 403 to build up a first-innings lead of 140.

Lewis Gregory, who took 6-68 on the opening day, backed up his all-rounder credentials with a punchy innings of 50 that included three sixes.

Tom Abell of Somerset raises his bat to celebrate (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Tom Abell of Somerset raises his bat to celebrate (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Batting for a second time, the home side lost Ben Duckett and Chris Nash before closing on 25-2.

Resuming from their overnight score of 74-3, Abell and Bartlett enjoyed a trouble-free opening hour as Notts rotated their five seamers.

On a wicket that appeared to have lost some of its pace Abell reached his half century from 105 balls, with Bartlett following, from only 96. Each had hit five boundaries at that stage as their stand went into three figures.

The morning session produced exactly 100 runs and by the interval the visitors had moved to within 89 of the Nottinghamshire first-innings score.

Notts were lifted after lunch by the reappearance of Samit Patel, absent during the first two hours after attending the birth of his new baby daughter.

But Patel’s spin was as ineffective as the quicker bowlers had been, as the two right-handers reached their hundreds.

Bartlett was quickest to the landmark, getting there from 158 balls, with Abell following shortly afterwards, from 193 deliveries.

The 206 that Ian Botham and Graham Burgess put on in the 1976 fixture at the same ground was passed before Luke Wood made the eventual breakthrough.

Wood, recalled to the side after a finger injury to Paul Coughlin, had made 52 on the first day and backed that up with Abell’s wicket, thanks to a catch by Tom Moores after a firm nick behind.

The tea interval worked in the favour of the home side because they struck, unexpectedly, twice straight after. Steven Moores nicked Jake Ball behind for 22, from his first delivery after the resumption.

Bartlett then misjudged a full-length ball from Fletcher, who followed up by having Craig Overton caught off the cue end of his bat in the covers.

Gregory comfortably saw his side beyond a fourth batting point and led the charge for a fifth, reached shortly after pulling Broad for back-to-back sixes.

His 50 occupied only 47 deliveries and included four fours.

Broad blew away the tail, dismissing Josh Davey, Gregory and Jack Leach in quick succession to leave Notts with a tricky half-hour to bat in fading light.

Jack Brooks removed both Duckett and Nash to significantly strengthen Somerset’s chances of adding to last week’s victory over Kent.

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