Lewis Gregory was the pick of the Somerset bowlers as Durham were dismissed for 256 on day one of this Specsavers County Championship Division One season opener at the Emirates Riverside.
Gregory finished with figures of four for 58 from 17.4 overs after Captain Chris Rogers elected to bowl.
The home openers reached 30 before Tim Groenewald found the shoulder of Mark Stoneman’s bat and Tom Abell took the catch at point with the left-hander aiming for mid-wicket. Gregory then skidded one through to trap Scott Borthwick lbw with the score on 55.
Jack Burnham contributed 33 to a stand of 79 with Keaton Jennings before groping forward to a superb ball from Scotsman Josh Davey which removed off and middle stumps. That prompted a slide from 134 for three to 172 for six, highlighted by two in two for Gregory with balls which nipped back. The second splattered Paul Collingwood’s stumps with the home skipper stuck on the crease.
Ryan Pringle drove to extra cover, then Usman Arshad proved even more watchful than Jennings in scoring eight off the first 59 balls he faced. He then drove Jim Allenby wide of mid-off for four and Jennings clipped the same bowler to deep mid-wicket for the two runs which took him to his century, which included 13 fours.
Jennings reverse-swept the left-arm spin of Roelof Van Der Merwe for four as he looked to press on before the new ball was taken. That brought his downfall though when an attempted pull off Davey resulted in a skied catch to Marcus Trescothick at gully and he departed for 116.
The rest swiftly followed and the home side were all out for 256. Tim Groenewald finished with three for 54 whilst Championship debutant Josh Davey claimed two for 39.
In reply Somerset reached 30 for three by the close of play. The men out were openers Marcus Trescothick (3) and Tom Abell (10) plus nightwatchman Davey (10).
Shortly after the close Lewis said: “I think we have had a pretty reasonable day even though I don’t think we quite hit our straps and bowled as well as we could have but we bowled them out for 250, about which we were pretty happy. Obviously we would have liked to have lost fewer wickets than we have by the close, but despite that we feel in quite a good place at the moment.”
Talking about his own bowling performance he said: “Personally I didn’t think that I bowled that well, but to pick up four wickets was a nice start to the season for me. Hopefully when I feel like I have bowled a little bit better then the rewards will still be there.”
Regarding the wicket Lewis said: “It’s not the typical wicket you would expect and its pretty slow, but it offers a little bit if you put the ball in the right areas.
He added: “If we can get through the new ball in the morning and then get the bowlers into their second and third spells then we will be in a good place tomorrow.”