Specsavers County Championship
Division 1 - Day 2
Somerset 324 & 32-1 v Essex 191

SOMERSET remain on top against Essex in Taunton, as their bowling unit blew the visitors away during the second day of the County Championship encounter.

Jamie Overton finished with 3-40, while Josh Davey and Jack Leach claimed two wickets apiece, the hosts carrying a 165-run lead into Tuesday.

They resumed on 308-7 at the Cooper Associates County Ground, but hopes of reaching 350 (and a fourth batting point) were derailed by Essex's Australian international Peter Siddle.

He removed Lewis Gregory (47) and Leach (2) to end the innings with 5-80 off 26 overs, before Jamie Porter (3-82 off 24.3) accounted for Davey - the home side all out for 324.

Somerset's pace attack then got to work before lunch, Davey (2-27 off 10) and Gregory (1-37 off 11) rooting out the top three batsmen to leave the visitors reeling at 29-3.

Dan Lawrence (28) and Ravi Bopara (15) survived to reach 51 at lunch, but Bopara was gone in the first over after the interval, as Overton claimed his first scalp of the day.

Lawrence was joined by skipper Ryan ten Doeschate (73), the pair working their way up past 100, but then the former fell to the spin of Leach (2-27 off 19).

Leach then removed Adam Wheater (10), and his fellow spinner Dom Bess (1-43 off 14) accounted for Simon Harmer (4), leaving Essex 137-7.

But ten Doeschate was going nowhere, and Siddle (12) dug in, before the breakthrough came from an unlikely source - Pakistan opening batsman Azhar Ali seeing off Siddle, as Gregory made an excellent catch at slip.

From 174-8, the away side slid to 191 all out, as Overton returned to dislodge ten Doeschate and then Porter (2).

Somerset began their second innings with a lead of 133, and will have hoped not to lose a wicket during the evening session.

But Marcus Trescothick - scorer of 95 in the first innings - was trapped lbw by Sam Cook, for just seven this time around.

That left Eddie Byrom (10no) and Bess (11no), promoted up the order as nightwatchman, to see their side through to 32-1 at the close.