Somerset v Lancashire: Red Rose's title challenge fading at Taunton
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton (day two):|
|Somerset 335: Davies 111; Parkinson 4-68|
|Lancashire 133: Croft 41; Leach 5-47 & 28-0 (f/o)|
|Lancashire trail by 174 runs with 10 wickets remaining|
|Somerset 6 pts, Lancashire 3 pts|
Lancashire’s title challenge faltered at Taunton as they were made to follow-on by relegation-threatened Somerset.
While Championship leaders Essex were establishing a big lead against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, Lancashire struggled in reply to Somerset’s 335.
Left-arm spinner Jack Leach took 5-47 on a turning pitch as the visitors were bowled out for 133 – a deficit of 202.
Because of the bonus points they have accumulated, Essex will be champions if they win and Lancashire do not.
Essex started this round of fixtures 36 points ahead of Lancashire, who were 28-0 at stumps having batted through 12 overs before the close.
Meanwhile, Somerset are poised to push for a victory which could be enough to take them out of the relegation zone in Division One.
Middlesex and Yorkshire are both 13 points above them, but Middlesex’s ongoing match with Hampshire has been severely disrupted by rain and Yorkshire conceded 592 runs in Surrey’s first innings at The Oval.
The first 11 overs of Lancashire’s first innings yielded only seven runs as Craig Overton and Tim Groenewald produced a tight opening spell with the new ball.
Opener Haseeb Hameed batted for 70 minutes for his four runs off 56 balls, before he top-edged a pull shot off Peter Trego to George Bartlett at fine leg.
Steven Croft (41) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (17) put on 43 for the fourth wicket either side of a lengthy rain delay, but Leach and Overton made crucial breakthroughs to remove the pair and start the visitors’ collapse.