Murtagh stars in Middlesex mayhem
Tim Murtagh put the skids under Somerset's highly-rated batting line-up as Middlesex enjoyed a tremendous second day in their LV= County Championship clash at Taunton.
The visitors began by adding a useful 54 runs to their overnight first-innings total before being bowled out for 347. Jamie Overton claimed the last two wickets for career-best figures of 6-95.
Murtagh then returned 4-28 as Somerset were skittled for 152 and rapidly added four more victims when the hosts crashed to 35 for five, following on.
They closed on 112 for five, still 83 behind, Murtagh finishing with 4-22 despite a late rally from Peter Trego and Jos Buttler, who were unbeaten on 58 and 20 respectively.
Somerset's bad day began with a poor bowling effort; they sent down too many short deliveries as the Middlesex tail wagged. Neil Dexter was caught at fine-leg off Overton for 82, having added nine to his overnight score, before Murtagh and Tom Smith put on 38 for the last wicket with 29 and 17 not out respectively.
There seemed no cause for alarm when Marcus Trescothick and Arul Suppiah put together an opening stand of 36. But once the former was caught behind pushing forward at Murtagh for 24, the batting turned into a sorry procession.
Alviro Petersen edged to wicketkeeper John Simpson next ball and, with the Middlesex bowlers offering an example in consistent line and length, Somerset soon plummeted to 101 for six.
Trego's defiant 34 delayed the inevitable, but Murtagh received good support from Toby Roland-Jones and Dexter, who each took two wickets, as he made the ball dart around from the Old Pavilion End.
It did not seem possible that Somerset could bat as poorly second time round, but soon they were in even bigger trouble.
Suppiah was pinned lbw for a duck by a delivery that kept low from Murtagh, who then found a way through Petersen's defences to bowl him for four.
When Trescothick, on seven, was caught at point off a leading edge, having tried to force James Harris through the leg side, his team were 11 for three.
That became 20 for four when Lewis Gregory fell leg before to Murtagh and there were murmurs of discontent from Somerset supporters as James Hildreth edged the same bowler to Dawid Malan at first slip.
Trego and Buttler produced the only truly authoritative batting of the day as the Middlesex attack tired in the closing overs, adding 77 in some style with exhilarating shots. Trego reached his fifty off 54 balls, with seven fours.