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No winners at Taunton

Nottinghamshire CCC

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A solid half-century from Nottinghamshire opening batsman Alex Hales frustrated Somerset as the rain-ruined LV= County Championship match at Taunton drifted to an inevitable draw.

The visitors comfortably batted out time to close on 176 for five after conceding a first-innings lead of 93, Hales leading the way with 54 and James Taylor making 46.

Somerset had begun the day on 187 for six, leading by 31, but their hopes of a meaningful advantage disappeared when James Hildreth, unbeaten on 63 overnight, was dismissed by Adam Voges for 83.

The hosts were bowled out for 249, missing out by one run on a second batting point. With Alfonso Thomas unable to bowl because of a hamstring injury, their attack never looked like putting Notts under much pressure.

Alex Hales

Alex Hales struck a composed half-century as Nottinghamshire comfortably held out for a draw against Somerset in a rain-ruined encounter

The players eventually shook hands at 5pm, Somerset taking seven points from the game and Notts six. With leaders Warwickshire defeating Worcestershire at Edgbaston, the outcome was a blow to the title hope of both teams.

Graeme Swann took 3-62 in the Somerset innings, claiming his first victim of the final day when Abdur Rehman advanced down the pitch and was caught at mid-off for 17.

There was still hope of a positive result when Hildreth carelessly drove Voges' third ball of the match in the air to mid-on to give the left-arm spinner a rare wicket.

Hildreth had faced 149 balls and hit 12 fours in maintaining second place behind Somerset team-mate Nick Compton in this summer's list of leading first-class run-makers.

Thomas fell to Ben Phillips with the new ball, but Somerset should have taken a second batting bonus point when Gemaal Hussain and Steve Kirby declined what appeared a comfortable second run off Phillips with the total on 248.

The following over saw Hussain caught off bat and pad to give Swann his third wicket and partner Kirby left the pitch swishing his bat in frustration.

Notts were 19 without loss at lunch, but lost Riki Wessels after the interval with the total on 30 as he gave a sixth catch of the match to Marcus Trescothick at second slip, this time off Kirby.

Peter Trego followed up by having Michael Lumb well caught by diving wicketkeeper Jos Buttler shortly before tea, which was taken with Notts 109 for two, 16 ahead and virtually safe.

In the final session Hales added the single he needed to bring up his fifty off 117 balls, with eight fours. By the time he fell lbw to Trego much of the interest had gone out of a potentially important game ruined by the loss of most of the first two days.

Taylor had batted solidly in both innings but fell just before the close, lbw to Lewis Gregory, falling across his stumps.

Chris Read for once failed with the bat against Somerset, but it did not matter.

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