A second five wicket haul of the season for Gary Keedy could not prevent Somerset batsmen putting their side on top at the halfway stage against Lancashire at Taunton
The 35 year-old left arm spinner took three of his wickets in four balls, ending a dangerous sixth wicket stand of 111 between Craig Kieswetter and Peter Trego as the hosts replied to 259.
But Lancashire have not yet been able to break a worrying ninth wicket stand of 74 between Kartik Murali (37 not out) and Ben Phillips (29 not out).
They helped the hosts to a commanding total of 350-8 from 91.4 overs when rain brought an early close, and they lead by 91. The tail-end pair will resume their 17 and a half over alliance in the morning.
Editors note: we have been informed this evening that the camera at Taunton failed to work today and consequently there will be no highlights of today's play. Apologies but I'm afraid its something out of our control. The problem is expected to have been resolved tomorrow.
When Kieswetter and Trego were at the crease, Somerset looked set to take the game completely out of Lancashire’s reach. But Keedy trapped Trego and Joss Buttler lbw in consecutive balls and then had Kieswetter caught behind by Gareth Cross to take the score from 271-5 to 276-8 in the 75th over.
That, however, proved to be the introduction to a frustrating passage of play for the visitors as Kartik, the Indian left arm spinner, and Phillips counter-attacked.
Keedy finished with 5-81 from 26 overs, and captain Mark Chilton said: “We’re not in an ideal position. We just have to accept that we didn’t make enough runs in the first innings. It swung around in the morning – but, as you’ve seen today, it’s a pretty good pitch to bat on.”
Tom Smith had Arul Suppiah caught behind in the morning session before Sajid Mahmood bowled night-watchman Alfonso Thomas around his legs to leave the score at 71-3 in the 26th over.
Nick Compton and James Hildreth shared 57 in 17 overs for the fourth wicket before Hildreth fell lbw to Keedy. Compton was also trapped lbw by Luke Procter for 49, and the hosts were 160-5 after 52 overs. It was Procter’s maiden Championship wicket.
Kieswetter, who thrashed Keedy over wide long off for six, and Trego looked in complete control when they were together. A couple of half chances presented themselves when Trego top edged a sweep off Simon Kerrigan that landed in space between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kyle Hogg - running from mid wicket and long leg respectively. And he also miscued an attempted loft over long on off Kerrigan – and that landed just short of Smith running in from the rope.
Kartik and Phillips then clobbered Kerrigan for further maximums over wide long on and back over his own head before heavy rain ended proceedings.
Chilton added: “I thought we toiled quite hard. Keeds stuck at his task brilliantly to get us back in the game. But we let it slip after tea, and we’re behind the eight ball now.
“We need to get two quick wickets in the morning before batting well in the second innings.”
The in-form Keedy has now taken 30 Championship wickets at an average of 18.26 in five and a half matches since returning from a broken collarbone.
Day 1 Report
Graham Hardcastle at Taunton
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd