Somerset go top of County Championship with win over Nottinghamshire


Matt Renshaw has played 11 Test matches for Australia
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground (day four):
Somerset 392 & 250-4: Renshaw 61; Carter 3-82
Nottinghamshire 134 & 505: Moores 103, Mullaney 94; Davey 4-76
Somerset (22 pts) beat Nottinghamshire (2 pts) by six wickets

Somerset moved top of the County Championship as they chased a target of 248 on a tricky fourth-day pitch for a six-wicket win over Nottinghamshire.

Matt Renshaw followed his first-innings 106 with 61, before he and James Hildreth went in quick succession.

But Tom Abell (46) and Steven Davies (44) then shared a crucial unbroken stand of 87 to see Somerset to 250-4.

Earlier, Notts were all out for 505 after following on, with the last two wickets adding 37 in the morning.

However, their first-innings deficit of 258 after being skittled for just 134 proved to be decisive.

Australia opener Renshaw has now scored 472 runs in his five matches for Somerset, including three centuries, but his fifty at Taunton was arguably his most important innings on a turning surface.

After the early loss of Ed Byrom, 22-year-old Renshaw put on 96 with George Bartlett, two years his junior, to set a fine platform for victory.

Notts spinner Matthew Carter (3-82) removed both batsmen, bowling Bartlett for 43 and enticing Renshaw to edge to slip. Billy Root then snaffled Hildreth with a superb one-handed catch at short leg to leave the hosts 163-4 at tea.

In the final session, Davies and captain Abell took the attack to Notts to end any threat of a collapse as they knocked off the remaining 85 runs in less than an hour.

Somerset, who are searching for a first County Championship title in their history, move a point clear of second-placed Surrey. The two teams meet in the next round of fixtures at Guildford, starting on 20 June.

Somerset skipper Tom Abell:

“It’s a great feeling being top of the Championship, but there is so much more cricket to be played and so much more work for us to do.

“We are just concentrating on improving as a side with every game. It takes such a lot to win four-day matches. Every player has stood up in this one to earn us another win.

“Now the next fixture against Surrey becomes massive. I honestly believe we have a strong enough squad to beat any team in the country.”

Notts coach Peter Moores:

“It was a 400-pitch to start with and Somerset’s score was about par. Then they got a good ball to use because it swung and they used it really effectively, while we didn’t bat well enough.

“From then on, we showed a lot of fight to take the game down to the last hour. We had a decent chance at tea and, if we had taken a wicket straight after the interval, it would have created pressure on Somerset.

“Credit to Steven Davies for the way he played after tea. As an experienced player, he decided to take the game to us and, with two or three boundaries, it felt like things were slipping away from us.”

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