Patel prospers in Notts draw
Somerset’s rain-affected championship match against Nottinghamshire ended in an almost inevitable draw at Taunton, a result which further dents the hosts’ title aspirations.
Rain at the start of the final day caused the loss of 41 overs, but when play did eventually get underway at 2.15pm, Samit Patel celebrated his England one-day selection with his second LV= County Championship century of the season, while his overnight partner Riki Wessels scored a season-best 82.
Together they added 178 to help Notts to 402 for nine and maximum batting points in reply to Somerset’s first-innings 177.
Somerset left-arm spinner George Dockrell claimed two wickets in two balls on his championship debut, while Charl Willoughby ended with 4-76, but Marcus Trescothick’s side had to be satisfied with six points from the match, compared to Notts’ 11.
When the visitors resumed on 183 for three, with Patel on 70 and Wessels eight, both batsmen made their intentions clear from the off.
In the fourth over Patel brought up the 200 with a single to mid-on off Alfonso Thomas, while Wessels was also in aggressive mood when he pulled Steve Kirby through the same region to the boundary.
Patel continued to plunder runs and went to a 114-ball ton when he hit Thomas to the cover boundary, his 17th four.
The introduction of Dockrell into the attack at the River End was greeted with the first six of the match from Wessels, who lofted the Ireland spinner over long-on. He went to his half-century in the same over.
However, 19-year-old Dockrell gained a measure of revenge when he had Patel caught at long-off by Jos Buttler. His 128 spanned 163 balls and, together with Wessels, he added 178 for the fourth wicket.
Dockrell struck again with his next delivery when Steven Mullaney edged to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter, leaving Nottinghamshire 318 for five.
Notts skipper Chris Read survived a hat-trick ball for the third successive innings, but, in the next over and without further addition, Wessels was well caught by Kirby at long-on off Willoughby for 82.
Read and Paul Franks took the total to 392 before Willoughby returned at the Old Pavilion End and had Read caught by Kieswetter for 36 with his third ball. The left-arm seamer struck again when he bowled Adams with the last ball of the over.
Franks remained resolute, but it was new batsman Luke Fletcher, who calmly drove Willoughby to the cover boundary to bring up the 400 and maximum batting points.
Next ball Fletcher looked to repeat the shot and was caught at slip by Peter Trego, the wicket that gave Somerset maximum bowling points, at which point Notts declared.