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Rehman puts Somerset in driving seat

Worcestershire CCC

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Abdur Rehman claimed career-best figures of 9-65 as Somerset bowled out Worcestershire for 212 at Taunton to enhance their chances of finishing second in the LV= County Championship Division One table.

The Pakistan left-arm spinner's return was the best by a Somerset bowler since 1993 when Andy Caddick took 9-32 in a home championship game against Lancashire.

Worcestershire, who were relegated last week, collapsed from a promising 74 without loss with opener Phil Hughes making 42 and Alexei Kervezee later adding 40.

By the close Somerset's unbeaten openers had reached 142 in reply, with Arul Suppiah helping himself to 73 and Marcus Trescothick on 66 not out.

An enthralling morning's cricket began with Hughes and Daryl Mitchell dominating the new ball and storming to a half-century opening stand in 8.4 overs after Mitchell had won the toss.

Abdur Rehman

Pakistan spinner Abdur Rehman collected nine wickets as Somerset dominated on day one against bottom side Worcestershire at Taunton

But everything changed when Rehman was introduced into the attack at the Old Pavilion End. With the last ball of his first over he had Hughes caught at slip by Trescothick, driving at a full delivery.

In his next over Rehman had Mitchell taken by James Hildreth at second slip for 28. Moeen Ali then had the unusual distinction of registering a six and a seven with his first two scoring strokes.

First he hit Rehman handsomely over long-on and he then profited from four overthrows after running three to move to 13.

But the bowler soon hit back, taking a return catch to dismiss Neil Pinner off a leading edge.

It was 119 for four when Moeen was snapped up at short-leg by Chris Jones off Rehman for 24 and by lunch Worcestershire had progressed to 131 for four.

Kervezee then fell leg before trying to sweep Rehman, who had since switched to the River End, having hit six fours and helping advance the score past 150.

And with the score on 173, Damian D'Oliveira became another lbw victim to Rehman having made only two.

When the spinner bowled Aneesh Kapil for 22 with a ball that turned and clipped his off stump there appeared to be an excellent chance of the bowler claiming all 10 wickets, something only two Somerset players have ever achieved.

But Peter Trego had Chris Russell caught behind to register his 49th championship wicket of the season, and Rehman had to be content with the nine scalps from his 24 overs as he gained two more successful lbw verdicts against Nick Harrison and Alan Richardson.

Rehman's ability to frequently turn the ball provided Worcestershire with hope, but Trescothick and Suppiah were soon putting the surface in perspective, bringing up their century stand in the 25th over.

The former eased his way to a 75-ball half-century, which included nine fours, and Suppiah soon followed, bringing up his fifty with a six and a four in the same over from Moeen.

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