Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground (day two):
Abell 62, Hildreth 58
Yorkshire 103: Ballance 35; Van der Merwe 3-14
Somerset (3 pts) lead Yorkshire (3 pts) by 365 runs

Somerset enjoyed an excellent day with bat and ball to take command of their game against Yorkshire at Taunton.

Yorkshire collapsed from 86-3 to 103 all out before lunch, a first-innings deficit of 96, with spinner Roelof van der Merwe claiming three quick wickets.

Title hopefuls Somerset pressed home their advantage to close on 269-5 and lead by 365 with two days remaining.

Captain Tom Abell starred with 62, while James Hildreth (58) and Tom Banton (43) provided fine support.

An attacking unbroken stand of 78 between Le Gregory and George Bartlett late in the day took the game away from Yorkshire before bad light ended play early.

With Division One leaders Essex unlikely to win at after conceding a huge first-innings score, Somerset should replace them at the top with victory.

It was an extraordinary collapse by Yorkshire in the morning session, whose own slim hopes of 34th County Championship title now appear to be over.

On a typical turning wicket in the west country, Van der Merwe found plenty of spin and bounce, while seamers Le Gregory (2-36) and Josh Davey (3-30) did the damage at the other end.

Yorkshire’s cause was not helped by Ben Coad being unable to bat through illness.

Somerset openers and Steven Davies went quickly to leave their second innings stuttering at 4-2, before a third-wicket stand of 117 between Abell and Hildreth put the hosts in the driving seat.

Abell was eventually trapped lbw by Tim Bresnan after reaching his second half-century of the match, but Gregory and Bartlett hit a flurry of boundaries after tea to put their side in a winning position.


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