Specsavers County Championship - day four
Somerset 392 & 250-4 beat Nottinghamshire 134 & 505

SOMERSET moved top of the County Championship after completing a six-wicket win over former leaders Nottinghamshire in Taunton.

Set 248 to win, Matt Renshaw (61) and George Bartlett (43) laid the foundations and, though a cluster of wickets before tea set nerves jangling, Tom Abell and Steve Davies played beautifully after tea to take Somerset to victory. 

Trailing by 210 overnight, Somerset needed to take the final two wickets quickly, but Matt Carter and Luke Fletcher started positively.

Carter deposited two sixes before Josh Davey accounted for the spinner, who edged behind for 20.

Davey then clean bowled Fletcher for 21 as Notts were dismissed for 505, leaving the hosts 248 to win.

Somerset openers Eddie Byrom and Renshaw got the chase off to a solid start, Byrom picking up several early boundaries before he edged Steven Mullaney behind on 22.

Bartlett joined Renshaw and together the pair accumulated steadily, punishing loose deliveries and riding their luck at times in a vital 96-run second-wicket stand.

The duo took the hosts more than halfway towards their target but any thoughts of a routine chase were dashed by three quick wickets before tea.

Bartlett was first to go, bowled by Matt Carter on 43 as the ball rolled on to the stumps after he had bottom edged onto his foot.

With the pitch now offering assistance to the spin of Carter and Samit Patel, the former then claimed the key scalp of Renshaw after he had passed his half-century.

The Australian prodded forward unconvincingly when on 61, and Ross Taylor held on at slip, leaving Somerset 154-3.

Renshaw's score did, nonetheless, give him the honour of having scored the most First Class runs in world cricket in 2018.

James Hildreth became the key man but he too fell before tea as, having survived a strong lbw appeal from Patel on 10, was well caught by Billy Root off Carter for 21 from the final ball before the interval.

Tea therefore arrived with Somerset 163-4, still 85 runs short of victory with the spinners looking threatening. 

Any nerves felt in the crowd during the interval were not shared by Davies, however, who decided attack was the best form of defence.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, who made an unbeaten 92 in the first innings, struck three successive boundaries off Carter in the first full over after tea to get off the mark in style.

Davies continued to display his strokemaking skills as he counter-attacked well, with captain Abell playing sensibly at the other end as the pair took Somerset past 200 and the runs required to below 50.

The skipper then began to express himself, making effective use of the sweep - and reverse sweep - to nullify the threat of Carter, taking three boundaries from the 61st over.

Abell finished unbeaten on 46 and Davies 44, the pair needing just 16.2 overs after tea to score the 85 runs required to take Somerset to the summit.