Kieswetter carries fight to Lancashire

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Craig Kieswetter

Craig Kieswetter extends Somerset's lead - and deepens Lancashire's misery - after returning from England duty in style

Craig Kieswetter made his highest LV= County Championship score of the season as Somerset moved into a strong position against Lancashire at Taunton.

The England batsman hit 84 off 80 balls, with nine fours and a six, to help his side to 350 for eight - a lead of 91 - by the time heavy rain ended play an hour early.

Gary Keedy took five wickets to reduce the home side to 276 for eight before an unbroken stand of 74 between Ben Phillips and Murali Kartik, who will resume on 28 and 37 respectively, took Somerset to a fourth batting point.

The hosts began the day on 54 for one and lost Arul Suppiah without adding to his overnight 13 when he edged Tom Smith behind.

Somerset slipped to 71 for three when nightwatchman Alfonso Thomas was bowled playing across a delivery from Sajid Mahmood, with batting looking far from easy.

Nick Compton and James Hildreth had to play watchfully and seemed to have done the hard work when Hildreth fell lbw for 26 trying to sweep Keedy.

Compton has moved to within one run of a half-century when he was adjudged lbw playing well forward to Luke Procter.

Kieswetter and Peter Trego, who made 51, then secured Somerset a first-innings lead with some typically positive batting in a sixth-wicket stand of 111 in 21 overs.

Trego, fresh from his first one-day century at the weekend, moved to his fifty with a swept boundary off Simon Kerrigan, having faced 66 balls and hit seven fours.

A momentary lapse in concentration saw him fall lbw to Keedy pushing forward and Somerset were only 12 runs ahead when Jos Buttler went leg before first ball on his 20th birthday.

Kieswetter had produced some superb strokes, including a six over wide long-off off Keedy and some meaty leg-side blows.

His growing aggression cost him, though, as he was caught behind opening the face to the left-arm spinner.

Keedy appeared to have ripped the heart out of the Somerset batting, but Lancashire foundered with the new ball as Kartik and Phillips belied their lowly positions in the order.

Neither gave a chance as they built gradually on Somerset’s slender advantage. Kartik hit a six over long-off and Phillips a straight six in the same Kerrigan over as their increasingly important partnership blossomed.

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