Yorkshire have work to do to secure a draw in their ninth round LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Somerset at Taunton, which heads into its final day tomorrow.
Somerset had much the better of day three in the West Country. Despite Tom Kohler-Cadmore completing an excellent century against his future employers, Yorkshire were bowled out for 276 in reply to a first-innings 424.
Somerset then extended their 148-lead either side of tea. In reaching close at 225-6 in 51 overs, they now lead by 373.
George Bartlett’s unbeaten 88 represents his season’s best score in only his second game, while Dom Bess finished with 3-70 from 21 overs.
Yorkshire only narrowly avoided the follow-on, which would have been available to Somerset had they bowled Adam Lyth’s men out for 275 or below.
That prospect had looked unlikely as Yorkshire made steady progress from their overnight 167-4 to 267-6 during the first half of the afternoon session.
However, the loss of three wickets for six runs left last pair Jack Shutt and Shannon Gabriel still requiring two runs to force Somerset to bat again immediately.
Those two runs were secured before Trinidadian overseas fast bowler Gabriel skied a catch to mid-on to hand fledgling seamer Kasey Aldridge his third wicket.
Yorkshire should still have enough to hold on for their sixth draw of the season given the placid nature of the Taunton pitch. Though they can’t afford a collapse of similar style to today.
Kohler-Cadmore started the day on 68 and advanced to his 10th career first-class century and his first since the final game of the 2019 season – 165 not out in a rainy draw against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
That was the final game before Coronavirus hit us late on in the winter which followed.
Kohler-Cadmore was more circumspect today.
England Test spinner Jack Leach was on the receiving end of all Kohler-Cadmore’s four sixes late on day three, the left-armer conceding 55 in his first 10 overs. ??But today, Leach’s 12 overs cost him only 10 runs.
Kohler-Cadmore and Matthew Waite (21) completed a 65-run partnership for the fifth wicket during the morning, though both fell before the lunch break.
Waite fell when caught at short mid-wicket against Aldridge – 194-5 in the 56th – before Kohler-Cadmore reached three figures off 199 balls, nine fours added to those four sixes.
However, he fell two balls later to the part-time off-spin of Australian opening batter Matthew Renshaw, whose second ball pinned him lbw playing back.
That left Yorkshire at 228-6 in the 75th over, still 47 away from avoiding the follow-on.
Despite a significant deficit, Yorkshire had a buffer as they returned after lunch at 230-6 after 79 overs. That thought was only strengthened when they reached 267-6, with Jonny Tattersall having just moved into the forties.
But he was caught behind as he thought about shouldering arms at South African overseas quick Marchant de Lange, falling for 43.
And 267-7 quickly became 273-9 as Bess chipped fledgling seamer Aldridge to cover and Jordan Thompson was bowled by de Lange. Thankfully Shutt and Gabriel were able to make Somerset bat again.
Somerset then started their second innings with plenty of positivity. In the 11 overs before tea, they reached 57-0 as openers Renshaw and Tom Lammonby hit a six apiece.
The Cidermen continued to build their lead in similar fashion after tea, though Yorkshire were able to strike.
Off-spinner Shutt removed both openers. He had Renshaw caught at slip by Kohler-Cadmore for 35 and Lammonby caught at cover by Harry Brook off a leading edge, leaving the score at 88-2 after 16 overs – a 236 lead.
Bess then got first-innings centurion Tom Abell, Somerset’s captain and his close mate, caught at slip by Kohler-Cadmore for 10 – 114-3 in the 23rd.
Further success was to come for the Devonian, who has bowled nicely in this match for his six wickets across the two innings.
His sixth came when he had a slog-sweeping Lewis Goldsworthy caught just in front of square-leg by Shutt as Somerset fell to 162-4 in the 35th over, a lead of 310.
Somerset slowed up for a while before accelerating again just before close.
Bartlett reached his fifty off 86 balls with four fours and two sixes and added two more sixes off the bowling of Matthew Revis – both pulled over the short leg-side boundary to the pavilion side of this ground – to take his side’s lead up to 360 at 212-5.
Bess struck again when he bowled an advancing Lewis Gregory, leaving Somerset at 218-6 after 49 overs, a lead of 366.
Such was Bartlett’s aggression in the day’s final few overs, it was almost as if he had been told he had the rest of the day to reach a century before an overnight declaration.
It is now likely Somerset will return to the crease in the morning to push their lead up to 400 at least.