Thanks to an unbroken stand of 148 between Samit Patel and Chris Read, Nottinghamshire recovered from a perilous position of 130-5 to reach 278-5 by the close of Day 2, still 239 runs behind Somerset’s all out first innings total of 517.

Under slate grey clouds Somerset began, looking to build on their overnight score of 423-6.

Craig Keiswetter and Peter Trego both passed their half-centuries, although Trego had a life when he was dropped on 38 by Matt Wood at long leg.

Trego was the first to fall, flailing a wide ball to Mark Wagh on the offside fence to give Pattinson his first 5 wicket haul of the season.

Samit Patel then gained sufficient turn to clean bowl Keiswetter, who had looked impressive to that point, in advancing to 73 and Charlie Shreck picked up a well deserved first wicket when he trapped Murali Kartik in front of his stumps. Shreck then hung on to a skier to catch last man Charl Willoughby, off Patel. Alfonso Thomas remained unbeaten on 30 not out.

Alex Hales and Matt Wood, Nottinghamshire’s fifth different Championship opening pair of the season had a 6-over, 20 minute spell before lunch, which they safely negotiated whilst adding 15 runs.

Wood lit up the start of the post-lunch session with a sequence of boundaries but the introduction of spin parted the openers. Alex Hales fell during Kartik’s first over, nudging the Indian Test spinner to Trescothick at slip.

Mark Wagh perished soon afterwards, lured into driving Peter Trego to Zander de Bruyn at short extra cover to leave Notts on 48-2.

Joined by Samit Patel, Wood continued to caress the ball to the offside boundary with great regularity and reached his 50 from 87 deliveries, with 9 x 4’s.  

Obviously eager to make an impression, Wood remained the dominant partner in a stand of 71 with Patel before edging Arul Suppiah to give Trescothick his second catch of the innings. It was a tame end to a very good knock from the former Somerset man and the County Ground gave him an appreciative round of applause as he made his way from the field.

At tea Notts were 128-3 but were rocked back when they lost both David Hussey and Ali Brown in Charl Willoughby’s first over after the resumption. Hussey had made just 4 when he edged to Trescothick and 2 balls later Brown emulated Mark Wagh’s dismissal by driving straight into the grateful hands of de Bruyn.

Patel and Read then embarked on a 2 hour stand of the highest quality, despatching anything short or wide on either side of the wicket. Samit lofted Kartik high over the Marcus Trescothick Stand and into the River Tone for the first maximum of the innings. The necessary ball change was certainly to the delight of the Notts’ skipper who hit Suppiah for three consecutive boundaries with the replacement.

There were 8 boundaries and the one six in Samit’s 50 which came off 103 deliveries but he was in danger of being caught up by the free-scoring Read, who passed fifty for the 6th time in the Championship this season with his 11th boundary, from just 58 balls faced.

Another Patel maximum put him in touching distance of three figures before the close but he ended on 92 not out, with his partner on 75.

Samit admitted afterwards that he was eyeing up the opportunity of getting to his hundred during the last few minutes of the day.

“Yes, I fancied it and asked the skipper if it was on but he told me to reign it in a little bit and go on again tomorrow,” said Samit.

The batsman admitted he was aware that he hasn’t scored a Championship ton since hitting 135 against Surrey at The Oval in September 2008. “I’m probably the only one of the top order that hasn’t hit one since then so I’d not only like to do it but also go on and beat my career best of 176.”

Having claimed three wickets himself during Somerset’s knock Samit was only too aware of the danger that Murali Kartik posed. “On that wicket he is going to be a great danger and I was very circumspect against him to begin with but the longer you are out there the easier it becomes. It’s one of those tracks where you have to play the percentages.”