A sensational bowling performance from Andre Adams, topped up by a splendid innings from Samit Patel, put Nottinghamshire in the ascendancy on the third day of their LV= County Championship match against Somerset at Taunton.
Adams claimed figures of 6-33 as the home side were dismissed for just 177 and then Patel powered his way to a stylish 70 not out, with his side closing on 183-3.
Typically modest, the former New Zealand international paid tribute to his fellow bowlers.
“I’ve been lucky in getting so many wickets but it was all down to the early pressure applied by Luke Fletcher and Charlie Shreck,” said Adams.
“The plan was just to bowl as straight as I could and hope they missed a few and fortunately they did. We got wickets early on and put them behind the 8-ball straight away. I just hope that some sort of effort will be made tomorrow to play a proper game of cricket and whether we’re on top or not remains to be seen.”
Patel, who passed 1,000 first class runs for the season during the course of his innings, paid his own tribute to Adams. “I thought he was outstanding. He sometimes doesn’t get the reward he deserves but at times today I thought he could get wickets for fun, whenever he wanted.”
After two days of rain the players were treated to blue skies and pleasant conditions at the start of the day. With the strip having been under covers for almost 48 hours it had a lush green look about it when play got underway with the home side resuming from 20-2.
Despite conditions appearing perfect there was a nasty moment early on when Darren Bravo chased a shot from James Hildreth which was speeding towards the extra cover boundary. As the fielder closed in and prepared to make a diving attempt to stop the ball, his feet gave way underneath him and he went down dramatically in an uncomfortable horizontal landing. Although clearly shaken, the Trinidadian was OK to resume.
The introduction of Andre Adams into the attack brought the downfall of Nick Compton, who lost his off stump to the Kiwi for 18.
Charlie Shreck nipped one through the gate of Craig Kieswetter to bowl him for 10 and then Adams produced the third cartwheeling stump of the session when he bowled Hildreth (35).
Jos Buttler began by hitting Shreck for three boundaries in his first over – one either side of the wicket and one straight down the ground.
At lunch he looked in ominously good touch on 32, with partner Peter Trego on 19.
Resuming from 130-5 Somerset were soon in further difficulties but not before a moment of slight controversy. Notts were convinced that Trego had gloved a ball from Adams and all celebrated together, only for umpire Martin Bodenham to refuse the appeal.
In the next over Fletcher fired one down the legside to the same batsman – a tentative appeal this time saw the other umpire, Richard Illingworth, raise his finger with the batsman clearly not convinced he’d hit the ball.
Adams’ continued to play skittles – sending the stumps dancing of both Buttler (43) and Alfonso Thomas (10). A fightback of sorts came from George Dockrell (14) and Steve Kirby (10 not out), who added 23 for the ninth wicket.
The Auckland Ace then completed his sixth five-wicket haul of the season by trapping the Irish spinner lbw and three balls later he again hit the stumps by clean bowling Charl Willoughby for 0.
In reply, the new Nottinghamshire opening partnership of Alex Hales and Karl Turner raced to a stand of 51 in just eight overs. Hales (28) then fell to a stunning catch by Kieswetter, edging off Kirby. Karl Turner and Darren Bravo eased the visitors to tea on 67-1.
A mistimed pull from Thomas’ bowling cost Turner (36) his wicket soon after the restart. Patel joined Bravo and the pair played almost flawlessly in adding 67 for the third wicket.
The returning Kirby accounted for Bravo (27), aided by another leaping catch from the ‘keeper.
Shortly after passing his half century Patel almost fell. Charging at Dockrell he skied to mid on but Thomas misjudged the swirling ball and couldn’t hold on.
Patel and Riki Wessels nudged Notts into the lead and with one day remaining it will be now in Nottinghamshire’s interest to try and force the pace on the final morning.