A James Hildreth hundred and another big half century from Pete Trego enabled Somerset to dominate proceedings for a second day against Yorkshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground where by close the champions trailed by 435 runs with nine first innings wickets remaining.
Resuming on 342 for four, overnight batsmen Hildreth, unbeaten on 68 and Pete Trego not out seven, picked up where they left off.
Trego played the supporting role in the early stages of the day as Hildreth, last season’s leading run scorer in the competition, moved towards three figures. Hildreth went to his second century of the season with a single off Adil Rashid into the on side, his runs coming off 160 balls and containing 11 fours.
As the morning wore on Trego became more aggressive and took two sixes off Rashid, one over mid wicket into the Somerset Stand and the other straight, into the Sir Ian Botham Stand before going to his third half century of the season.
Trego then hit Adam Lyth for a big six that landed on the top tier of the new Somerset Stand, becoming the first batsman to do so since it was opened and by lunch the two had taken the home side onto 493.
The fifth wicket partnership was worth 199 until it was broken when Trego was caught behind on 94 whilst looking to drive Rashid with the total on 531.
Hildreth followed not long after, caught and bowled by Rashid for 166 as he tried to work the ball to the leg side and got a top edge. Jamie Overton then hit a quickfire 23 including a six into the River Tone before Somerset declared just before 2.25pm on 562 for seven.
When Yorkshire replied Adam Lyth gave a very hard low return catch to Groenewald’s third ball. Left arm spinner Jack Leach entered the attack for the 10th over and was unlucky not to have had Alex Lees caught at first slip in his second over with the score on 24. Lyth went to his 50 in the 31st over with a single off Lewis Gregory, his runs coming off 90 balls with eight 4s and one 6.
The opening pair added 103 before Overton made the breakthrough when he had Lees caught at third slip by Trego for 33.
By the close Yorkshire had taken their score onto 127 for one off 51 overs, Lyth unbeaten on 80 and Will Rhodes not out six.
After the close of play James Hildreth said: “It felt good batting out there. It was quite flat and it was good that quite a few of the guys contributed.”
Talking about passing 13,000 First Class runs for Somerset the right hander said: “I always aim to get as many runs as I can, so its always good to go past landmarks.”
Regarding his fifth wicket batting partner Pete Trego he said: “I have been really impressed with the way that Tregs has batted so far this year. He has applied himself as if he was a top order batsman. His preparation has changed a bit in both his technique and his approach to batting and I think it is serving him really well at the moment. I hope that continues because he is looking very good.”
The pick of the Somerset bowlers was Jamie Overton about whom Hildy said: “In the last few games he has been brilliant and he may have got confidence from being called in to the 30 man England Performance Squad. He bowled exceptionally well on a flat wicket where the ball didn’t swing. He did brilliantly because he is not just banging short balls in. He’s bowling sensible mature spells and that combined with his batting shows that he is coming on in leaps and bounds.”