Somerset complete victory over Nottinghamshire to maintain title hopes

Somerset complete victory over Nottinghamshire to maintain title hopes

Somerset defeated Nottinghamshire by 325 runs at Taunton to keep their hopes of a maiden County Championship title alive

Tom Hiscott

Somerset maintained their side of the bargain by defeating Nottinghamshire at Taunton, to keep their hopes of a maiden County Championship title alive. 

With the game at Lord's vital to the direction of the title, Somerset's victory means that they require a draw between Yorkshire and Middlesex at the home of cricket to finish top of the pile. 

Captain Chris Rogers starred with the bat for the home side, scoring his second century of the match as Somerset reached 313-5declared in their second innings to set the already-relegated Notts 541 for an unlikely win.

The visitors got nowhere near reaching the required target, and were dismissed with over a day's play remaining, meaning Somerset sit top of the league with one day's play remaining in the county season.

Rogers moves to 1000 on the season, as Somerset add 200 in a session before declaration

Returning on day three with a lead of 332, Somerset added 208 runs in the morning session as they ramped home their advantage. 

The batsman were all positive in the chase for quick runs, with Ryan Davies moving through to 59 from 61 before he was stumped off of Samit Patel, with the lead having gone past 400. 

Peter Trego was next to the crease, and after scoring the eight runs he needed to secure 1,000 First-Class runs in the season for the first time in his career, he began to swing the willow, moving to 55 from 36 balls with seven fours and a pair of sixes before he became Patel's second victim of the morning. 

Next to come and go was Craig Overton, making 21 from 22 before he was caught on the boundary off Patel, with Lewis Gregory's 20 not out accompanying Rogers through to three-figures at lunch - and 1,000 for the season, and with that a declaration. 

Leach spins Somerset to victory, with Root 66* holding up proceedings

With nothing to gain and nothing much to lose, Nottinghamshire started strongly in their response, and it took 16 overs for them to lose their first wicket, with Steven Mullaney caught by Trego at mid-on off the bowling of Roelof van der Merwe for 18. 

A pair of farcical run-outs saw the end of Jake Libby and Tom Moores, before Michael Lumb and Samit Patel showed some resistance. Both batsmen fell soon after the tea break for 31 and 37 respectively, before Joe Root's brother, Billy headed to the crease alongside his skipper Chris Read

Read fell for a 20-ball duck to the impressive Jack Leach, with Brett Hutton following for the same fate two balls later, when he was bowled by the young spinner who was unfortunate not to get an international call-up last week. 

Brett Hutton's wicket was part of the Nottinghamshire collapse (image source: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

It was now just a matter of when and not if for Somerset, and after Matt Carter (5) and Jake Ball (11) had both fallen to spin, Root was left stranded on 66 when Imran Tahir's dismissal sparked celebratory scenes at the County Ground. 

The 325-run win moves Somerset top for the first time this season, and they now rely on a draw at Lord's to claim their first ever County Championship crown. The turnaround of the team's fortunes in this season's Championship cricket can be put down in part to the leadership of Rogers, who at the end of the match announced that he would be retiring from cricket following an illustrious career.