County Championship Division One - day three (close)

Yorkshire 520 v Somerset 196 & 159-4

KESHAV Maharaj completed a superb seven-wicket haul as Yorkshire made Division One leaders Somerset follow-on on day three at Emerald Headingley.

While Yorkshire are chasing their fourth Specsavers County Championship win of the season, Somerset are hoping to avoid a second defeat in 10 outings.

In the face of the hosts’ first-innings 520, Somerset advanced from 76 for four overnight to 196 all out shortly after lunch, with South African Test left-arm spinner Maharaj finishing with seven for 52 from 26.3 overs.

Somerset started their second innings with 57 overs remaining in the day and closed on 159 for four.

Maharaj claimed the last six wickets to fall in Somerset’s first innings.

He has now played against Somerset twice in his short county career - both for Yorkshire and Lancashire, the latter at Taunton last September.

And he also claimed seven wickets in the second innings of that fixture, which finished in a tie.

He posted the White Rose county’s first seven-wicket haul in Championship cricket since Ryan Sidebottom took seven for 44 against Middlesex at Scarborough in July 2014.

This is the last of the initial three games he signed on for at Headingley.

Jamie Overton’s season’s best 52 not out was Somerset’s feature knock of their first innings and included three sixes.

Two came down the ground off Maharaj into the new Emerald Stand and the other slapped over point off Duanne Olivier shortly after lunch to take him to 50 off 66 balls.

Maharaj, who had claimed his first wicket late on day two, started by trapping James Hildreth (37) lbw in the day’s fifth over as Somerset fell to 85 for five in the 36th. In the 40th, he removed Dom Bess via the same method.

Craig Overton was bowled in his next over - 103 for seven in the 42nd - before Steve Davies (37) and Jamie Overton held the hosts up by adding 35 inside 14 overs.

After Overton hit Maharaj for two sixes, Davies edged to Adam Lyth at slip as the left-armer claimed his fifth wicket - 138 for eight in the 56th over.

After Overton reached his fifty by backing away against Olivier, Tim Groenewald was trapped lbw in the 66th as the visitors fell to 182 for nine, ending a 44-run partnership - the highest of the innings.

And when Jack Brooks edged to Tom Kohler-Cadmore at second slip in Maharaj’s next over, Somerset were forced to follow-on having not claimed a batting bonus point.

Captain Tom Abell and Azhar Ali then shared only Somerset’s second opening partnership of 50 or more in Division One this season, 89 inside 31 overs either side of tea.

Maharaj only entered the attack at 44 without loss after 15 overs, while Abell hit three of Josh Shaw’s first four balls for four in the next, taking the score to 56 without loss. They were 79 at tea.

But new ball seamer Matthew Fisher took two of three wickets to fall for 12 runs inside five overs, leaving Somerset at 101 for three.

He trapped Pakistan overseas batsman Ali lbw for 41 and later had Abell caught behind for 53 off 105 balls with one that square him up and nipped away.

Sandwiched in between, Maharaj’s seventh wicket of the day came when Hildreth tried to go over the top and only picked out Steve Patterson at mid-off with a miscue.

Tom Banton later pulled Olivier for three fours in an over on the way to 58 not out off 75 balls, but an eighth wicket of the day for Maharaj came when George Bartlett edged him to Lyth at slip.

Banton will be key in the morning and he will need batsmen to stick with him if Somerset are to have any hope of saving the game.

Jamie Overton said: “It was tricky (batting against Maharaj). Some were spinning, some weren’t. You didn’t really know what it was going to do. 

“I stuck to my method, and it seemed to work. Hopefully I can do it in the second innings for a bit longer.

"I just to tried to stay leg-side of it and keep my pads out of the way because the dangerous ball is the one that’s going to get you lbw. I was also trying to score because if you sit in there’s always one with your name on it.

“We’re going alright in the second innings. We’d have like either Tom (Abell) or Azhar (Ali) to still be there. But Tom Banton’s come in and played one of his effortless knocks. 

“Hopefully he can bat all day and we can chip in around him. 

“I think we can save it. We have definitely got the capability with the bat. We have a lot of batting left.”