County Championship Division One - day three (close)

Lancashire 493 v Somerset 429 & 51-0

SOMERSET'S County Championship clash at Lancashire looks set to end in a draw barring final day fireworks at Old Trafford.

Tom Abell took career best figures of 4-43 - his wickets all coming in the space of 12 balls - to check the momentum of the hosts, who earned a 63-run first innings lead which was reduced to 12 by the close thanks to an unbroken stand between Matt Renshaw and makeshift opener Steve Davies.

The hosts resumed on 217-2 and Jack Leach got the ball rolling for Somerset with a delivery that kept low and wrapped Keaton Jennings on the pads not long after he had brought up his first century for Lancashire since moving from Durham in the close season.

With the England opener gone for 109, the hosts were 249-3 and shortly afterwards Somerset took the new ball.

It had the desired effect to begin with, as Craig Overton trapped veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul lbw for just six to pick up his first wicket of the game.

Leach struck again in the 98th over when Lewis Gregory held on to a routine edge at slip from the bat of Steven Croft (11), but that was the last wicket the visitors were able to take inside 110 overs, leaving them with just the one bowling point.

Dane Vilas was the dominant figure with the bat, picking up from where he had left off on Saturday as he eased towards a double century, adding 102 for the sixth wicket with Jordan Clark before Abell's burst halted Lancashire's progress.

Clark was the captain's first victim, clean bowled for 50, and Joe Mennie (1) followed in identical circumstances from the first ball of the 131st over.

By the end of it Abell had two more scalps, pinning Tom Bailey (2) lbw before James Anderson was caught behind first ball, continuing a poor match for the England legend after he failed to take a wicket in Somerset's first innings.

At 443-9 Lancashire had a slender lead of just 14, but number 11 Matt Parkinson saw Vilas to his double century and the pair frustrated Somerset, adding 49 useful runs before Craig Overton pulled off a super catch in the gully to remove Parkinson (9) and provide Paul van Meekeren (1-67) with his first wicket.

Vilas ended unbeaten on a mammoth 235, which came from 363 balls and included 27 fours and four sixes, to lead his side to 493 all out.

Abell's haul saw him top the bowling charts for Somerset, with Leach contributing 3-149 from 46 overs and Overton (1-65) and Groenewald (1-52) joining van Meekeren in picking up a solitary scalp.

Steve Davies moved to the top of the order for Somerset's second innings in place of Marcus Trescothick, who broke his metatarsal en route to a century on day one, and the wicketkeeper ended the day unbeaten on 22.

Matt Renshaw will resume tomorrow on 20 as Somerset ended the day 51 without loss.

The draw remains the most likely outcome, with Somerset looking to avoid a repeat of last season's final day batting collapse on this ground.

With conditions kinder and Somerset's batsmen in better form this time around, they will be confident of doing so.