A century from Tom Abell led a strong Somerset response on day two of the Vitality County Championship match at Trent Bridge, where the visitors closed on 293 for four in reply to the hosts’ 360 all out as they bid to keep pace with leaders Surrey and Essex at the top of the Division One table.

It is a first hundred for the 30-year-old since he relinquished the Somerset captaincy after struggling for form last year, although he missed the start of the current campaign through injury and this is only his second match in the Championship.

He finished on 105 not out, with Somerset trailing by 67 runs, having shared a 157-run third-wicket partnership with Tom Lammonby (87), adding a further unbroken stand of 67 with James Rew before the close.

At the start of the day, Nottinghamshire had extended their first innings by nine overs from 326 for eight overnight, picking up a third batting point before Somerset’s bowlers could winkle out the last two wickets, seamers Migael Pretorious (four for 96) and Kasey Aldridge (five for 95) finishing the job for figures that reflected their fine contributions on day one.

Nottinghamshire fast bowler Olly Stone, the principal architect of a recovery from 190 for seven on day one, fell just before the 350 was reached, edging Pretorius to second slip for an 83 that was warmly acknowledged by the home crowd, who saw him make 90 against Lancashire last month after beginning the season with a first-class average of 15.38.

Aldridge completed his five-for when Dane Paterson, earlier dropped by wicketkeeper Rew, was caught on the extra cover boundary, with Dillon Pennington, having enjoyed some good fortune in picking up six boundaries, unbeaten on 29.

As Somerset began their reply, Pennington picked up an early scalp with the ball thanks to a fine catch at third slip by Will Young as Andy Umeed departed in the sixth over. 

Tom Kohler Cadmore, dropped by Calvin Harrison at second slip before he was of the mark, made 38 in his first Championship action of the season before falling soon after lunch to a superb piece of work on the leg side by Tom Moores, as Stone gained his 15th wicket of the Championship campaign.

Thereafter, it was a frustrating afternoon for Nottinghamshire and a profitable one for Somerset, who added 105 runs in the session as Lammonby and Abell patiently built a half-century apiece, in the former’s case for the sixth time this season.

Lammonby’s came from 104 balls with six fours, among them a couple of glorious off-drives. Abell completed his from 101 balls soon afterwards, clipping Harrison crisply to the leg-side boundary for his seventh boundary.

There had been little encouragement for the bowlers in that time.  Nottinghamshire skipper Haseeb Hameed had a number of discussions with the umpires about the condition of the ball, which had already been changed once in the innings. Eventually it was replaced again, although with no discernible change in its behaviour.

The footmarks left by Pennington and Stone gave Harrison something to aim at, and the leg spinner would have been cheered by a delivery soon after tea that turned sharply enough to beat the left-handed Lammonby’s inside edge, even if the end result was four byes.

In the event, it was at the other end, where the four Nottinghamshire seamers had been patiently rotated by Hameed, that the breakthrough came as Lammonby, perhaps letting his concentration drift for a moment, played across a ball from Paterson that held its line and was leg before.

It broke the partnership after 48 overs, after which the wait for the next wicket was considerably shorter - just seven deliveries - as new batter Tom Banton prodded at one from Harrison to be caught behind.

The second new ball raised Nottinghamshire’s hopes of further gains. In the event, none came in the five overs before the close as Abell turned the injection of some pace to his advantage, despatching a couple of leg side deliveries to the boundary to complete a 202-ball hundred containing 12 fours.


Somerset’s Tom Lammonby said: “It was a bit frustrating to get out when I did but hopefully the partnership with Tom (Abell) has helped put the side in a decent position. It was quite a hard pitch to score on and Nottinghamshire bowled well to good fields.

“It was pretty attritional cricket and they made it hard for us to push up towards their total but hopefully we can add a few in the morning and set up a game by getting a bit of a lead.

“We are so happy for Tom. He took a tough decision to give up the captaincy last year and then missed the first chunk of the red-ball season through injury. It was hard to score out there but watching him it didn’t look like that.

“It is almost like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders a little bit and he can focus on his batting. We all know how much of a mental toll captaincy can take and it must be nice for him not to have that worry, although he’s still the same in the field. He is a Somerset man and will always give 100 per cent to the cause and that shows the calibre of the man.

“It was good also to see Kasey pick up a five-for. He started the season strongly then had a bit of a wobble so to see him come back in and bowl really well on a pretty docile wicket was phenomenal.”