|Bob Willis Trophy, The Cooper Associates County Ground (day three):|
|Somerset 237 & 223-1 dec: Abell 101*, Lammonby 101*|
|Gloucestershire 76 & 63-8: Higgins 21; Davey 4-25, C Overton 4-25|
|Gloucestershire (3 pts) need another 322 to beat Somerset (4 pts) with 2 wickets left|
Craig Overton and Josh Davey continued to wreak havoc with Gloucestershire’s batting as Somerset were defied by the weather on day three of the Bob Willis Trophy match at Taunton.
What little play there was saw the visitors stumble from 14-3 at the start of play to 63-8, chasing an unlikely 385 to win.
Overton and Davey ended the day with identical figures of 4-25 and their team were clearly unhappy when umpires Ian Blackwell and Paul Baldwin deemed the light too poor to continue with a possible five overs remaining.
While the Gloucestershire batsmen made for the sanctuary of the pavilion, Somerset’s fielders remained on the outfield and head coach Jason Kerr stood in lengthy conversation with the umpires.
Clearly concerned that more rain is forecast for Tuesday, Kerr and his players were desperate to complete victory, having been denied an almost certain win by the elements in their previous group match against Warwickshire.
Heavy overnight rain followed by showers meant no play before tea. When the players finally emerged from the dressing rooms at 4.00pm, Somerset had a potential 39.4 overs to clinch victory with a day to spare.
But at 5.25pm the rain returned, with Gloucestershire 61 for six, and a further 10 overs were lost.
When play restarted at 6.05pm, only eight remained in the day, but with three of them bowled and the floodlights on, the umpires made the ruling on the light to complete a day of intense frustration for Somerset.
Overton had made the first breakthrough, comprehensively beating George Hankins’ defensive shot and uprooting two of his stumps to make the score 23-4
Ryan Higgins confidently off-drove his first delivery for four and then top-edged a six over third-man off Overton, but soon it was 49-5 as Graeme Van Buuren’s loose shot saw him caught behind off Davey.
Gareth Roderick failed to trouble the scorers, carelessly chipping a catch to Eddie Byrom at mid-wicket off Davey, but the former Middlesex pairing of Higgins and George Scott survived for eight overs as Jamie Overton and Jack Brooks took up the attack.
After 40 minutes more were lost to rain, Craig Overton struck with the sixth delivery of the resumption, pinning Higgins lbw for 21.
But soon the light was not considered good enough to continue and Somerset will be praying there is sufficient play on the final day to complete a dominant performance.
Match report supplied by PA Media.