Somerset v Northants: Ben Duckett hits maiden century

Ben Duckett
Duckett's previous highest score in 14 first-class appearances was 56
LV= County Championship Division One, Taunton
Close, day three: Somerset 314 & 38-0 v Northants 448-9 dec
Somerset 5pts, Northants 7pts
Match scorecard

Teenager Ben Duckett hit his maiden Championship century against Somerset to give Northants an outside chance of their first win of the summer.

The 19-year-old reached three figures at Taunton with a six and was 144 not out when they declared on 448-9.

James Middlebrook (61) and Andrew Hall (31) provided solid support and Muhammad Azharullah contributed five to an unbroken last-wicket stand of 64.

Trailing by 134 on first innings, Somerset reached the close on 38-0.

Ben Duckett facts
Born: Farnborough, KentPlayed in T20 final-winning side against Surrey last season
First-class debut v Leicestershire, May 2013Regular member of England Under-19 squad

Having been beaten 10 times in 12 games so far this season, Northants have begun planning for the future, with David Sales announcing his imminent retirement and Hall and Matt Spriegel being told they will not be offered new terms for next season.

Players such as James Kettleborough, Rob Keogh and Duckett will have a big part to play as the club look to rebuild, but Keogh was one of two batsmen dismissed before lunch, caught off seam bowler Alfonso Thomas (4-116) for 34.

Duckett, however, showed maturity beyond his years as he and Middlebrook put on 117 for the seventh wicket before the latter was caught at cover off Peter Trego.

David Willey was soon bowled by Jack Leach, but Hall shared a stand of 57, only to depart with Duckett nine runs short of his hundred.

The youngster showed no sign of nerves as he farmed the strike in his partnership with Azharullah and after bringing up his century off 165 balls by pulling a short one from Thomas over the rope he added two more sixes for good measure, as well as being dropped on 117 and 134, before skipper Stephen Peters called his batsmen in.

Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego:

"We had some incredibly bad luck. It was the sort of day that happens once every couple of years because our bowlers went so close to wickets on so many occasions.

"The pitch is tired and slow. Northants will have to bowl well to win the game, but we know they have some quality performers.

"Some of the intensity went out of our play as they built a lead that meant we couldn't win the game.

Northants batsman Ben Duckett:

"I'm very happy. I didn't get runs in the last game, but have been working hard on my technique. I had a bit of luck and tried to cash in on it at the end of my innings.

"I've come in at a similar stage in a few games this year and got starts without managing a big score.

"I hope it proves a breakthrough innings for me. I've made hundreds before, but not on the big stage. Now I know how to build an innings."

BBC Somerset's Anthony Gibson:

"When Northants lost their sixth wicket at 194, Somerset were on top, but by the time Stephen Peters declared the innings closed at 448-8, they were in disarray.

"Somerset did not have much luck, it is true, and Ben Duckett took full advantage to score his maiden Championship century, with one of his three sixes disappearing into the neighbouring churchyard.

"As the runs flowed, catches went down and Somerset's hopes of a win ebbed away, so the out-cricket became more and more ragged. For Duckett a day to remember, for Somerset a day to forget."

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