Lancashire on the back foot in county clash

Lancashire were on the receiving end of a Steven Davies century for Somerset on an absorbing opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Taunton

Wednesday, 13th September 2017, 7:25 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 12:12 pm
Somerset v Lancashire

The experienced wicketkeeper-batsman was dismissed shortly before the close for 111, having faced 174 balls and hit 12 fours in what could prove a key contribution to his side's relegation battle.

Davies shared a fifth-wicket stand of 119 with skipper Tom Abell as Somerset posted 330 for nine on a turning pitch after Lancashire had exercised their option to field first.

Young leg-spinner Matty Parkinson had figures of four for 68 from 17 overs, recovering from a wayward start to provide a stiff test for the home batsmen on a turning pitch.

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Eddie Byrom batted through the morning session as Somerset posted 103 for three by lunch from 30 overs. The 20-year-old left-handed opener was unbeaten on 38 at the interval, having shared stands of 39 with Marcus Trescothick and 46 with James Hildreth.

Trescothick, dropped before he had scored by wicketkeeper Alex Davies, diving in front of first slip off Ryan McLaren, progressed to 25 before falling lbw to Tom Bailey. George Bartlett, on his second Championship appearance, had made only three when leg-before moving across his stumps to Kyle Jarvis and Hildreth was bowled off an inside edge by McLaren, having moved effortlessly to 25.

When Zimbabwean Byrom fell for 38 in the first over after lunch, the hosts were in trouble at 105 for four. But Davies and Abell patiently rebuilt the innings before being parted just before tea when Abell was caught at slip for 46 off Parkinson, pushing forward to a leg-break. The Somerset captain had faced 103 balls and hit six fours in a solid contribution.

Davies was unbeaten on 78 in a total of 229 for five at tea. At that point McLaren was the most successful Lancashire bowler with two for 44 from 12 overs.

The final session saw 20-year-old Parkinson bowl with increasing confidence once Peter Trego, on 17, had given away his wicket, stumped advancing down the pitch to a wide delivery.

Craig Overton went in similar fashion to Abell, edging a turning ball to slip having made only four, and Dom Bess was well stumped down the leg side by Davies after matching Trego's score.

Davies, who survived two tough chances before he had made 50, batted with increasing assurance to reach three figures off 160 balls with 11 fours.

After a poor start to his spell with Somerset, it was the former Surrey left-hander's second hundred in as many Championship home games.

He and Jack Leach brought up a third batting point after a short rain break, which Leach celebrated by lifting Parkinson over the short boundary on the town side of the ground for the first six of the game.

At 312 for eight, Lancashire took the second new ball. It proved a wise move as Bailey bowled Davies off an inside edge onto his leg stump with the score on 322.