Brief scores: Somerset 28 for 2 (Hutton 2-14) trail Nottinghamshire256 (Duckett 75, Hameed 65, Gregory 7-84) by 228 runs
“Some salmon and potatoes” fueled Lewis Gregory’s post-lunch bowling effort to produce his career-best haul of 7-84 as Somerset overcame a wicketless morning session to bowl out Nottinghamshire for 256 on the first day of their County Championship fixture at Trent Bridge.
England opener Ben Duckett reeled in a quick-fire 91-ball 75 and was supported by Haseeb Hameed, who made a watchful 65 off 151 balls in an opening partnership of 125. But once the duo was separated, the hosts failed to string together partnerships to lose 9-92.
Where play was possible, Somerset were the only county to toil fruitlessly before lunch, having opted to bowl first.
With a greenish pitch and cloudy conditions, Somerset bowlers struggled for their lines and length and were not helped by Craig Overton’s injury in the first hour.
Duckett put the bowlers under pressure as he smashed his way to a 61-ball half-century reverse sweeping fellow England spinner, Jack Leach, over deep point to bring up the milestone, very much in keeping with his aggressive approach in his bid to cement a place for this summer’s Ashes.
His opening partner, Hameed, on the other hand, took 29 balls to get off the mark as his pull towards the off-side in the 12th over was lauded with equal satisfaction by the smattering of Nottinghamshire faithfuls.
While Duckett pulled out the Bazball manual, Hameed resorted to a more traditional school of batting.
“In the last 12-15 months, he has taken his game to a different level and it’s for everyone to see now. He puts pressure quite early on the opposition so it’s nice to bat with him”, Hameed said about Duckett, who now has two fifties in as many games.
“Nice to be able to have a partnership with him there. He started off really well and I just hung in there to give him support recognising that it wasn’t easy [to bat]. We were 102 for none at lunch and didn’t think it was reflective of the conditions. It was pleasing on that front to have contributed with my first fifty of the season.”
Much to the delight of Somerset fans, Overton, who had only managed to bowl three overs in the morning before hobbling off, returned after lunch to draw Hameed’s edge only for it to not carry to the slips.
The frustration was short-lived as Overton successfully appealed for an LBW to get rid of Duckett, playing across a full delivery in the 33rd over.
Hameed’s dismissal, under-edging a pull off Gregory to the keeper, precipitated a collapse as Nottinghamshire conceded a healthy advantage. Two overs later, Gregory struck twice in two balls to see off Ben Slater (15) and Lyndon James.
Only four other batters managed double digit runs as Gregory picked up his 16th five-wicket haul when Tom Moores fell to the same fate as Liam Patterson-White before him, LBW to a straight ball.
Shouts of “Come on Broady” did the rounds more so in desperation but a two-ball duck did no favors in pursuit of the first and only batting point within reach. His wicket, sixth for Gregory, handed the visitors maximum bowling points.
Dane Paterson hit three boundaries in a 15-run cameo before the Division Two champions were bowled out for 256.
“Conditions didn’t change a huge amount,” Gregory said after the day’s play.
“ I don’t think we quite bowled how we would have liked to bowl in that first session. Duckett and Has (Hameed) played well as well and they put us under pressure. They scored quite quickly and if any ball wasn’t quite on, they hit for four. We managed to narrow it down in the second session and put the pressure back on them.”
In response, Brett Hutton struck twice to remove Somerset’s openers Sean Dickson, out LBW playing across the line, and Tom Lammonby, caught behind, to reduce the visitors to 28-2 at stumps.