Nottinghamshire fought back strongly during the final session of a topsy-turvy second day against Somerset, in their Specsavers County Championship match at Taunton.

After being dismissed for only 134 in their first innings, the visitors were made to bat again and Steven Mullaney and Jake Libby excelled with an unbroken opening century stand.

At stumps, both players were unbeaten on 54 as the county closed on 112 without loss, a deficit of 146 runs.

Notts were forced to follow on after being skittled in just 37.1 overs. Ross Taylor (pictured) made the only score of any substance, with five players failing to get off the mark.

The New Zealand international scored 74 from 89 balls, with seven fours and three sixes before being last out.

Earlier in the day, Somerset’s first innings ended on 392, with Steven Davies remaining undefeated on 92. Matt Carter took one of the final three wickets to fall to finish with figures of 5-113.

Resuming from their overnight score of 307-7, the home side were indebted to a sparky approach from Dominic Bess in the early stages. He scored all the runs that were made from the bat inside the first half an hour, before falling.

The new England Test cap had advanced to 34 before edging Samit Patel to Taylor at slip.

Davies eventually began to accumulate steadily but too late for the home side to pick up a fourth batting point; the score after 110 overs being 340-8.

Carter’s fifth wicket of the innings was gifted by Craig Overton (8), who pulled a long hop straight to Matt Milnes on the fence.

Patel ended a last wicket partnership of 33 by removing Josh Davey for 14, leaving Davies undefeated eight short of his hundred.

With around 25 minutes to go before lunch, Notts ran head-first into difficulties. Libby and Chris Nash both fell without scoring and Overton claimed his second wicket when captain Mullaney was adjudged to be leg before wicket for 19.

The luncheon interval offered no respite for the visitors as they lost two more wickets immediately afterwards. Overton picked up another lbw decision to remove Patel and Riki Wessels was bowled by a nip-backer from Lewis Gregory. After seven overs, the board showed a score of 28-5.

There was a sudden injection of runs as a wild shy from Tom Abell ran away for overthrows and a welcome five to the total and to Taylor.

The Test batsman stemmed the tide in a stand of 40 with Tom Moores but then Abell entered the attack and struck twice.

Moores wandered across his stumps and was sent on his way lbw for 9, then Billy Root nicked his second delivery to Matt Renshaw at second slip.

Luke Fletcher was given the benefit of the doubt when a clip to mid on was deemed not to have carried and he prospered by helping add 40 before falling for eight to Roelof van der Merwe.

Carter made just a single before being beaten by a sharp throw from Bess.

Taylor decided it was time to counter-attack, hitting Overton for three sixes in an over that produced 25 runs and then Milnes hit his first championship delivery for four, from the bowling of van der Merwe.

Overton finished with figures of 4-53 when he had Taylor caught by Davies after a skied ball came down into the waiting ‘keeper’s gloves.

Notts began their second innings after tea and to the credit of both openers an immediate calmness set in as they defied the previously hostile Somerset attack.

Neither batsmen gave a chance as they reached their fifties; Libby from 63 balls and Mullaney from 84. Their work remains unfinished though, with Notts still well behind at the halfway stage of the contest.


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