County Championship: Somerset spinners spark Notts collapse

Jake Libby
Jake Libby is playing only his second Championship game of the season for Nottinghamshire
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton (day two):
Somerset 326 & 7-1: Abell 3*, Azhar 2*; Ashwin 1-4
Nottinghamshire 241: Libby 77, Nash 50; Bess 5-59, Leach 3-79
Somerset (6 pts) lead Nottinghamshire (4 pts) by 92 runs with 9 wickets standing

Spinners Dom Bess and Jack Leach ran through Notts in the final session on day two as Somerset earned an 85-run first-innings lead at Taunton.

The visitors were 189-2 at tea, despite Chris Nash having to retire hurt on 50, but slumped to 241 all out.

Bess claimed 5-59, while left-armer Leach picked up 3-79, including the wicket of top-scorer Jake Libby for 77.

Somerset had to face five overs before the close and lost nightwatchman Tim Groenewald as they closed on 7-1.

Having bowled out Somerset on day one, Notts only lost one wicket during the morning. But Nash had to leave the field after being hit on the helmet by a rapid bouncer from Jamie Overton shortly after reaching a 90-ball half-century.

Nash will take no further part in the match and will be replaced by Samit Patel.

Ben Duckett (38) was caught behind off Bess after lunch, but it was the post-tea session which saw the visitors lose seven wickets for 40 in 21 overs.

After batting for four and a half hours, Libby edged a ball from leach to first slip as he tried to drive and Notts skipper Steven Mullaney (24) perished to a poor shot, caught at mid-wicket.

Debutant Liam Patterson-White lasted only four deliveries before being caught at short leg, one of two catches in that position for Tom Banton, and Bess ended the innings when Luke Fletcher was caught at leg slip - the eighth time Bess has taken five or more wickets in a first-class innings.

Groenewald was then sent out to open by Somerset but was caught behind off Ravichandran Ashwin in the first over, but Tom Abell and Azhar Ali prevented any further damage.

Somerset spinner Jack Leach:

"It was an excellent end to the day for us. At times it felt as though the pitch wasn't doing very much and we had to maintain our lines and lengths because any turn was slow.

"It was partly a case of judging what pace to bowl at. I started to do that just before tea and continued afterwards. The same applied to Dom Bess and there was definitely a bit more help for us in the final session.

"Now we are 92 ahead and in a great position. They have a dangerous spinner in Ashwin so we need to bat well and make sure we set a tough target."

Notts batsman Jake Libby told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"Chris Nash is okay. He was hit on the grille at the side of his face trying to sway out of the line of the ball. He suffered concussion and misses the rest of the game, but he is a tough old bird and will be fine.

"Samit Patel is on his way down to replace Chris. We are on the back foot in the game after starting the day so well, but if we bowl well we can still be in the game.

"I enjoyed being back in the thick of the action after weeks of second XI cricket. Facing the pace of Jamie Overton got the old heart rate going."

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