Somerset 157 for 5 (Elgar 60) trail Hampshire 162 (Leach 6-78) by five runs
Jack Leach claimed six wickets on the first day at Taunton © Getty Images
Jack Leach delivered a strong reminder of his undoubted talent as 12 wickets fell to spin on the first day of the Specsavers’ County Championship game between Somerset and Hampshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
Having come in to the game with only six first-class wickets to his name this summer, the 25-year-old left-arm spinner doubled his season’s tally as Hampshire were bowled out for 162 inside 50 overs.
By the close, Somerset, for whom Dean Elgar scored 60, trailed by five runs with as many first-innings wickets in hand.
A morning that began brightly for Hampshire finished with Somerset firmly on top. Having won the toss, the visitors, looked in precious little trouble in reaching 34 for 0 in the 14th over.
However, by the time the two sides sat down for lunch, Hampshire had already lost more than half of their first-innings wickets.
Openers Michael Carberry and Liam Dawson got the board moving inside the first hour before Dawson (13), carelessly pulled a short ball from Leach to Dom Bess at square leg. Carberry (17) followed at 34 for 2 and five overs later, Leach struck again. This time, it was James Vince who perished to the slow left armer, for 11.
Rilee Rossouw (0) and Sean Ervine (8) departed shortly after, to Leach and Bess respectively and before lunch arrived, Lewis McManus had been caught by James Hildreth at short leg, off the bowling of Bess for a first ball duck. Although the wicket was taking considerable turn, it had been a less than impressive display of batting.
Having reduced Hampshire to 100 for 6 at lunch, Somerset finally bowled out the visitors for 162 off 49.1 overs. Leach, who had Gareth Berg stumped by Steven Davies for 10 at 100 for 7, sent back George Bailey (49) with a delightful delivery that pitched on leg stump and struck off.
Jamie Overton denied the spin twins all 10 first-innings wickets when he picked up the scalp of Mason Crane (1) at 154 for 9. However, it was business as usual for Leach in the 50th over when he trapped Kyle Abbott (49) lbw.
Somerset’s reply was decent without being totally satisfactory. Still, by the close they had moved to within five runs of Hampshire’s modest total.
Marcus Trescothick departed for 6 at 15 for 1 before captain Tom Abell and Elgar added 75 for the second wicket. However, when Abell departed, for 40, at 90 for 2, Hampshire clawed their way back into the game with three further wickets falling before the close.
Elgar, who became the first batsman on the day to reach 50, off 74 balls with six fours and a six, made 60 but fell to Dawson, who finished the day with 3 for 44 off 15 overs.
James Hildreth was adjudged lbw to Abbott for 7 at 119 for 3 and after Elgar’s dismissal at 121 for 4, Peter Trego was fifth man out at 141 in the 37th over, for 10. Davies and Lewis Gregory saw Somerset through to the close without any further setbacks.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo