Buttler responds for Somerset
Brutal batting from Jos Buttler wrenched the initiative away from Yorkshire on the rain-hit first day of their LV= County Championship match against Somerset at Headingley Carnegie.
Needing every point they can muster from their final game of the season to keep alive their faint chance of avoiding relegation, Yorkshire were given encouragement by a double strike from Moin Ashraf which left Somerset 88 for three.
But Buttler launched an assault which brought him nine fours from just 37 balls and carried the score to 140 for three from 41 overs, before another burst of rain ended play with 12 overs still to be bowled.
Alex Barrow, the 19-year-old opener, finished the day unbeaten on 55, with Buttler on 43.
Heavy showers meant the game could not get under way until 2.15pm, by which time 41 overs had been lost, and, although Yorkshire asked Somerset to bat, there appeared to be little in the pitch for the seamers.
Ryan Sidebottom and Ajmal Shahzad bowled well enough to make run-scoring difficult for Barrow and Arul Suppiah, who had added only 14 by the eighth over when Suppiah was bowled attempting to drive Shahzad.
Barrow and Chris Jones progressed steadily either side of a brief interruption caused by a shower, and further rain brought forward the tea interval.
Barrow eased his way past his previous highest championship score of 38 and the second-wicket stand was worth 76 in 24 overs when Jones, who made 31, was bowled by a beauty from Ashraf which pitched on middle and hit off stump.
It was the last ball of Ashraf’s over and with the first of his next he produced another full-length delivery which bowled James Hildreth as he played across the line.
Somerset’s situation quickly improved with the appearance of Buttler, who blocked the hat-trick ball and wasted little time in taking the attack to Yorkshire.
Barrow moved to his maiden half-century from 109 balls with seven fours as Buttler launched an attack on both Sidebottom and Ashraf.
Some strokes found the rope off thick edges but a shot through midwicket and a straight drive were off the meat of the bat.
By the time rain returned, Buttler had contributed 43 to an unbroken stand of 52 in fewer than eight overs.