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County Championship: Tom Abell ton for Somerset piles pressure on Gloucestershire

Tom Abell
Tom Abell’s century was his second in the Championship this season
LV= County Championship Division One, Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol (day two)
Somerset 591-7 dec: Abell 142, Renshaw 94, Gregory 89, Lammonby 76, Hildreth 53; Chappell 2-91
Gloucestershire 119-4: Bracey 39, Harris 32; Leach 3-29
Gloucestershire (1pt) trail Somerset(4 pts) by 472 with 6 wickets standing
Match scorecard

Tom Abell’s 10th first-class century tightened Somerset’s grip on the second day of their County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Bristol.

The visiting skipper took his run tally in his last four knocks to 415 with a measured 142, made from 246 balls with 17 fours and a six, as his side took their first-innings total from an overnight 319-4 to 591-7 declared.

Lewis Gregory contributed a sparkling 89 at a run a ball, hitting 10 fours and four sixes, and by the close Gloucestershire had struggled to 119-4 in reply, with England’s Jack Leach claiming 3-29 from 13 overs.

Any hope the hosts had of a flurry of early wickets disappeared at the start of the day when Abell, still on his overnight 52, edged Zak Chappell straight to second slip where Miles Hammond somehow contrived to spill the chance.

Gloucestershire’s already lengthy injury list was extended when skipper Graeme van Buuren crashed into an advertising board attempting to prevent a boundary and had to leave the field nursing a badly jarred right shoulder.

Ryan Higgins assumed the captaincy as Abell and Steven Davies batted with caution through the first hour, the latter bringing up the 350 with a back-foot forcing shot for four off Brad Wheal.

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The total had progressed to 361 when Davies was caught behind driving for 37 to give loan recruit Wheal his first Gloucestershire wicket.

Gregory’s arrival saw Somerset accelerate immediately as he lifted left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar for a straight six and a boundary off George Scott took the all-rounder past 3,000 first-class runs.

Abell, who must be on England’s radar, played his part in raising the scoring rate and reached a 202-ball hundred with a single, courtesy of a misfield.

Gregory smashed the next delivery from part-time spinner Jacob Bethell straight for six and by lunch the pair had added 92 off 90 balls.

The afternoon session saw Gregory go to fifty with his third six, a pull off Chappell, and it was just a case of how many the visitors wanted to score.

Abell was eight short of his career-best score, made against Surrey three weeks ago, when he top-edged a sweep off Zafar to Wheal at deep square and Gregory missed out on a hundred when he was run out by Wheal calling for a third after Craig Overton’s bottom edge past the wicketkeeper.

Abell called a halt in, leaving 11 overs before tea and the first ball of the opening one saw Peter Siddle pin Scott lbw.

Having kept wicket for 147 overs, James Bracey found himself walking out to bat at three with hardly a break, but he and Marcus Harris took the score to 33-1 by the interval.

Bracey rode his luck at times, but also hit six fours in reaching 39 before pushing forward to the final ball of Leach’s first over and edging the left-arm spinner to Overton at slip.

Leach struck again as Harris, on 32, guided the last delivery of his fifth over into the hands of Tom Banton at short leg and grabbed his third wicket when Hammond edged a back-foot defensive shot to Overton.

It was an impressive effort from Leach, who bowled at just the right pace to apply pressure on an unresponsive surface.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.

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