Tom Abell scores his second 100 of the match and surpasses 1000 Championship runs for the season as he and Tom Lammonby both ton up on day three.
Craig Overton wrapped up the Northants innings to earn his third first-class five-fer of the season, but a first-class best 60* for Tom Taylor held Somerset at bay, Northants posting 265 just before lunch on day three.
But the home side still dominated the day, the Toms taking Somerset to 277-1, a 401-run lead, Lammonby 101* Abell 112*
First ball of the day the Josh Davey/Craig Overton combination combined again; Saif Zaib caught by the latter at second slip.
Lizaad Williams became ‘leaping Lizaad Williams’ as he looked very uncomfortable early on against Overton even with thick jumper and full protective gear on. He should have been run out in the second over of the day, making no effort to get in as Lewis Goldsworthy had a free shy at 2.5 stumps.
Somehow Williams stuck in there, looking slightly more comfortable as his partnership with Taylor surprisingly eeked towards 50 with so few of Somerset’s frontline bowlers fit enough to bowl their best.
The walking wounded turned to their fittest bowler-overseas spinner Sajid Khan before the hour, but he could not stop Taylor reaching an impressive first 50 of the season, off 69 balls with ten fours.
He did induce a couple of wild hacks from Williams, but somehow the South African seamer got to 23 before his bizarre innings was finished, with an easy run out from a Josh Davey throw to Khan.
But 63 the two put on, and that partnership could be the difference between Somerset winning or drawing this game. The home side needed to wrap the Northants innings up quickly this morning in order to have enough time to win the game with rain forecast for the final day.
Jack White also looked uncomfortable against Craig Overton, last out for three, Taylor left 60*, 265 all out.
The two left-handers for Somerset, Mr Ul-Haq and Lammonby set out positively for Somerset.
They safely negotiated the 10 minutes before lunch and then made hay in the afternoon session.
Imam emphatically pulled Keogh for four to reach 50 first, off 74 balls. 100-0 off 32.1, but 101-1 off 32.5 as Keogh got one to bounce, having Imam caught from an inside edge onto his pad for 52.
Abell got himself in as Lammonby started to reverse sweep Keogh regularly, reaching his third 50 of the Championship season just before tea when Somerset were 118-1.
After tea, Abell and Lammonby continued their partnership from Edgbaston last week, Abell striking at over 100, comfortably easing runs all around the ground.
Meanwhile Somerset fans’ eyes were more eagerly watching the Glosters finally getting their first Division One win since 2005 up the M5-a result that could condemn last year’s Champions to relegations and help west country rivals Somerset stay in Division One.
Abell slog sweeping Keogh for six then pulling a help-yourself rare short ball from Ben Sanderson for four took him to 50 off exactly 50 balls. He was batting on a different level to anyone else on this pitch so far, making batting look even easier than in his first innings 111 or Will Young’s 85.
Lammonby surpassed his previous best score of 78 in this first-class season off the part-time seamers of Emilio Gay-who has just two first-class wickets in 26 matches.
Lammonby did struggle to get Gay away, but Abell cover drove the first ball of part-time off-spinner Josh Cobb for four to bring up his 1000th Division One run of the season. Some effort from a man who captained England Lions in that emphatic white-ball win over South Africa earlier in the season but is still yet to receive full England honours.
Abell the first Somerset batter to ton up in both innings since Chris Rogers here vs Notts in 2016 (that game when Hildreth scored 135 with a broken ankle!) This one taking him just 87 balls!
Lammonby laboured a little in the 90s but eventually got there with a single off the last ball of the penultimate over of the day. The last over bowled by Josh Cobb went for 12 runs as Abell hit him for six over extra cover for arguably the shot of the match. Lammonby 101* Abell 112*.
Abell the first Somerset player since Marcus Trescothick in 2005 to score five hundreds in a Championship season, and weather-permitting his side have a good chance of taking the 10 wickets required to win tomorrow.