Jake Libby’s 77 was the stand-out score for Nottinghamshire on a day where Somerset’s pair of international spinners showed their worth.

Dom Bess took five for 59 and Jack Leach claimed three for 79 as Notts were dismissed for 241 on the second day of their Specsavers County Championship encounter at Taunton.

With a first innings advantage of 85, Somerset lost their nightwatchman when they began for a second time, reaching the close on seven for one.

Libby batted for 270 minutes and hit 8 fours from the 192 balls he faced, holding the innings together in the first half of the day alongside Chris Nash, who scored 50 before being forced to retire hurt.

At the start of the day Libby and Ben Slater formed Nottinghamshire’s latest opening partnership, their fourth different pairing in the last four innings.

Right-handed Libby looked to be clearly getting under the skin of Jamie Overton as he took the big fast bowler for three consecutive boundaries in the sixth over of the morning.

Overton appeared to have a word with the batsman at the end of the over, before taking his place at second slip.

The next delivery, bowled by Lewis Gregory, was nicked by Slater straight to the same fielder, who promptly put down the simple offering.

Slater had made seven at the time and advanced to 15 before mistiming a cut off Overton, with the ball ballooning high to Tom Abell at cover.

Nash was the fortunate recipient of an overthrow to get off the mark but proceeded to follow it with a controlled display of batting for the remainder of the session.

The 36-year old, with a career average of 47 at Taunton, combined with Libby to bring up their 50 partnership just before the lunch interval.

Resuming from 91 for one, Notts needed only eight balls to take the score into three figures as Libby and Nash began the afternoon in style, hitting a boundary, a three and a couple of singles.

Both batsmen reached their fifties within the space of a few deliveries; Libby getting there from 99, with five fours, and Nash shortly afterwards, with seven boundaries in his 90-ball effort.

Without addition – and with the total on 121-1 – the equilibrium changed in unfortunate circumstances. Overton, from the Pavilion End, bowled a succession of short deliveries, eventually hitting Nash on the helmet.

The 36-year old remained on his feet and was quickly reached by Notts physio James Pipe, who thoroughly went through the necessary concussion protocol before deciding that Nash couldn’t continue.

Leaving the field under his own steam, Nash received a respectful reception from those inside the County Ground.

Ben Duckett, whose only previous first-class innings at Taunton had produced a score of 144, joined Libby to extend the second-wicket partnership beyond three figures.

Duckett played with complete freedom, hitting both Jack Leach and Dom Bess for enormous leg-side sixes to romp into the 30s.

On 38 he nicked Bess behind to wicketkeeper Steven Davies, giving Somerset their first wicket in 44 overs.

After tea Notts brought up their first batting bonus point but the spin twins of Leach and Bess began to increase the pressure.

Libby went past the 69 he scored on this ground last year before nicking Leach to Lewis Gregory at slip.

Steven Mullaney pulled a short ball from Bess straight up into the sky for 24 and then Leach struck twice within 5 balls.

Tom Moores offered up a catch to Tom Banton at short leg for one and Liam Patterson-White followed suit, for a four-ball duck.

Notts slipped further, falling from 201-2 to 236-7, when Ravi Ashwin was bowled by Bess for 24, attempting a reverse hit.

Luke Wood hit Bess to point, also without scoring and the same bowler was able to celebrate his five-wicket haul as Luke Fletcher popped a catch to James Hildreth at short leg.

Fir the five overs that remained in the day Somerset sent out Tim Groenewald as a nightwatchman but the ploy didn’t work as he nicked Ashwin through to Moores in the first over.

At the halfway stage in the contest Somerset lead by 92 runs with nine second innings wickets remaining.


A Notts Outlaws squad brimming with international talent will commence their T20 Vitality Blast campaign against Worcestershire Rapids at Trent Bridge on Thursday 18 July, with adult tickets priced at £10. Secure your seats…