Nottinghamshire started the day with two set batters in Tom Moores (26*) and Liam Patterson-White (46*), and thus a platform to post a big total.
Somerset’s opening bowlers, Josh Davey and Jack Brooks, lacked the rhythm to consistently apply the necessary pressure. Both Nottinghamshire batters took full advantage of this, playing with intent and confidence in their shots. The 100 partnership between the two came in just 11 balls. Tom Lammonby eventually made the breakthrough with the wicket of Moores, but by then the damage was already done.
Patterson-White looked unfazed by the wicket; he continued to bat in a calm and collected manner as he passed his previous first-class best of 73*. Alongside him, Brett Hutton played a number of shots, including a glorious straight drive, that a number three would be proud of, let alone a number nine.
It came as no surprise to anyone in the Taunton crowd when Patterson-White ran a quick single to bring up his thoroughly deserved maiden first-class century. His dismissal LBW to Jack Leach two overs later was the only sour note on an otherwise outstanding innings.
Luke Fletcher joined Hutton for more of the same, as the Somerset bowlers lacked momentum in their innings.
After lunch, Leach and Davey finally found their rhythm to ensure Somerset got off to a much-needed better start. Hutton and Fletcher failed to score with their pre-lunch fluency, with this pressure bringing a wicket. Hutton looked to move things along but instead top-edged a short Tom Abell delivery straight to Josh Davey.
Fletcher and Paterson added another 38 for the tenth wicket, which saw Fletcher’s half century, and piled on the misery for Somerset, as Nottinghamshire were all out for 448.
A good start was a necessity as Somerset attempted to reduce Nottinghamshire’s mammoth lead. However, Fletcher and Hutton bowled their line and length excellently to produce two tight and economical opening spells. Somerset had no answer to the pressure as they went into tea 11/1 from nine overs, with Davies trapped LBW at the end of the first by Fletcher.
And after tea, Luke Fletcher went from having a good game, to having an exceptional game. He continued to hit his line and length with a mastery that can only be achieved by playing over 120 first-class games. The result was the first four wickets of Somerset’s innings, with the home side looking all at sea.
Hutton continued to support his senior bowler well, consistently challenging the batters, as well as keeping his end tight whilst Fletcher worked his magic at the other end. His wicket was richly deserved.
Paterson also played his part, picking up two wickets as Somerset fell to 87/7 before bad light ended the day’s play, still trailing by 361, and 161 away from avoiding the follow-on.
When play resumes on Wednesday, Somerset will need a huge performance from their lower order to avoid being sent to bat again. From a Nottinghamshire perspective, the day could not have gone any better.
After the game, captain Tom Abell said to Deep Extra Cover that Somerset were ‘completely outplayed and weren’t at their best,’ despite the fact they had the ‘best of the bowling conditions.’