SOMERSET remain in the lower reaches of the Division One after having settle for a draw from their rain effected game against Lancashire which ended on Tuesday.

Rain ruined any chance of a result either way, but Somerset can justifiably claim to have had the better of the game.

The first day of the game at Old Trafford was washed out but when play eventually got underway it was the Red Rose county who won the toss and decided to bat first.

Lancashire found batting far from easy and lost Tom Smith with the score on 35 and Mal Loye on 75, before a third wicket partnership of 87 between Ashwell Prince and Paul Horton saw the total onto 162.

The Somerset bowlers, led by David Stiff in his first game since having his contract extended until the end of the season, started to make inroads into the home batting and eventually bowled them out for 286. Stiff ended with 4-72, from his 20 overs – a career best – while Arul Suppiah took2-25 off his nine.

In reply Somerset scored 343 all out, which was based on an opening partnership of 131 between Marcus Trescothick who went on to make 95 and Suppiah who scored 47.

James Hildreth (60) and Craig Kieswetter (45) added 71 for the fourth wicket, but crucially lower down the order Ben Phillips (41 not out) and Alfonso Thomas (17) added 43 to take the total past the 300 mark and another batting point.

Batting for a second time Lancashire lost Smith caught by Phillips off Stiff without a run on the board but recovered to reach 191-6 before the game ended as a draw.

The pick of the Cidermen’s bowlers in the second innings was Zander de Bruyn who took three for 47. Somerset take ten points and Lancashire nine.

Brian Rose, the Somerset director of cricket, said: “I think this game shows just how competitive a side we are. Lancashire are one of the strongest in the top division and have done well so far, but we were the only side who could win that game, especially when you take into account the fact that we lost a whole day’s play.”

“We had to try to force the game when we batted and in trying to do so probably lost three or four wickets. We had to be positive and try to take the game forward and make four hundred and then try to bowl them out in the short space of time that was available.

“For David Stiff to take 4-72 against a team like Lancashire is excellent and shows great potential.”