Director of Cricket Mick Newell rued an under-par first innings performance from Nottinghamshire as they tumbled to their second Championship defeat of the season against Somerset.

Notts 350 (Fleming 145, Wagh 51)
Somerset 452
Notts 279 (Hussey 108*)
Somerset 181-4

Somerset beat Notts by six wickets

Somerset 22 points, Notts 7 points

With a bowling attack decimated by injuries, Newell had pinned his hopes on his batsmen to see off the Division Two leaders.

But after winning the toss and getting the chance to bat first, a middle order collapse which saw four wickets fall in six overs after lunch on day one left the hosts fighting a losing battle for the rest of the game.

Despite brilliant hundreds from overseas batsmen Stephen Fleming and David Hussey and a gutsy bowling performance from the four-strong attack, Somerset eventually wrapped up a six-wicket win on the final day.

That result left Notts 22.5 points ahead of third-placed Essex in the battle for the second promotion spot, but with Middlesex only a further 10.5 points behind with two games in hand, the fixture at Lord’s at the end of the month is looming large.

Said Newell: “We had spoken before the game of the importance of our first innings, and in the end we were about 100 short of a par score.

“On what was an excellent pitch for all four days, to only have three men pass 50 in the match was disappointing and we needed more runs in both innings.

“The bowlers got stuck in and worked very hard, but the partnerships Cameron White shared with Ian Blackwell and Peter Trego in the Somerset first innings converted their total into a difficult one.”

Fleming was on 80 when last man Nadeem Malik came to the crease but the pair added 83 for the 10th wicket, with Fleming eventually falling for 145.

On-loan Malik produced some threatening deliveries without much luck, while AJ Harris, Graeme Swann and Gareth Clough all stuck to the task.

Clough picked up 3-72, just missing out on a new career-best in what was his first Championship appearance for two years.

Hussey was left to scrap on his own in the second innings as he hit his fourth hundred of the season, closing his 2007 four-day campaign in style before heading off to tour Pakistan with Australia A.

Chasing 178 to win, Somerset had a couple of scares when Marcus Trescothick and Neil Edwards both fell with the score on 40, but eventually cruised home after 45 minutes on the morning of day four.