Chris Rogers hit the 76th first class century of his career as Somerset did all they could in the Specsavers County Championship title race by securing a 325-run victory over Nottinghamshire at Taunton.
Now the Cider county must await the outcome of events at Lord’s on Friday before knowing whether they have clinched a first ever title. The skipper was unbeaten on 100, his second ton of the match, when declaring his side’s second innings at lunch on 313 for five. Ryan Davies made 59 and Peter Trego 55.
That left Notts facing a mammoth 541 to win and, despite a battling 66 not out from Billy Root, brother of Joe, in only his second Championship appearance, they slid to 215 all out. Somerset took 23 points from the match, while relegated Notts completed a miserable campaign by taking just three.
From an overnight 105 for two, Somerset added 208 in the morning session before declaring. Rogers batted throughout and reached three figures off the penultimate ball before the interval, having faced 139 balls and hit 13 fours.
There were bright contributions from Davies, whose half-century occupied 53 balls and Trego, who needed just 34 deliveries to reach the same landmark, passing 1,000 Championship runs in a season for the first time. Rogers had also achieved that landmark in his first and maybe only season with Somerset, one that could yet end in unprecedented glory for them.
Notts were hindered by two run-outs in the afternoon session as they set about their improbable task, also losing opener Steven Mullaney for 18, caught at mid-on by Trego off Roelof van der Merwe with the total on 48.
Jake Libby was run out for 26 by substitute fielder Max Waller’s direct hit at the bowler’s end attempting a single off Dom Bess. And when Michael Lumb called for another risky single to wide mid-off, his partner Tom Moores failed to beat Trego’s throw to the wicketkeeper.
At tea Notts were 112 for three. The final session saw van der Merwe pin Lumb lbw with the second ball and soon it was apparent that a three-day finish was in prospect. Samit Patel fell lbw to the pace of Craig Overton and Chris Read went for a duck, leg-before to Leach. Two balls later Brett Hutton had his off stump uprooted by the left-arm spinner.
Root’s half-century was a fine effort in a losing cause. But he lost his remaining partners as Matt Carter was caught at second slip off the wicketkeeper’s gloves to give van der Merwe his third wicket.
Leach then cleaned up Jake Ball and Imran Tahir to continue his superb end-of-season form and Rogers led his side from the field to a standing ovation. They returned with the coaching staff for a deserved lap of honour, but will now have try and get a night’s sleep wondering if they have made history.