Marcus Trescothick and Chris Rogers were dismissed within sight of centuries as Somerset dominated the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match with Yorkshire at Taunton.
A large crowd at the Cooper Associates County Ground saw Trescothick contribute 97 and Rogers 91 to a total of 342 for four after Yorkshire had elected to bowl first in warm sunshine on a dry looking pitch.
The two experienced left-handers added 148 for the second wicket before James Hildreth (68 not out) and Jim Allenby (51) cemented an already strong position with a partnership of 85, Hildreth going past 13,000 First Class runs for Somerset in the process.
Adil Rashid, who was not introduced until the 50th over, claimed the wickets of Trescothick and Rogers, but there was little in the pitch for the Yorkshire seamers, who faced a day of toil.
The visitors must have hoped to capitalise on the green tinges in the wicket during the first hour, but managed only one breakthrough. That came when Tom Abell, on eight, played a forward defensive shot to Steven Patterson and was bowled between bat and pad by a ball that nipped back.
From 30 for one, Trescothick and Rogers progressed with few alarms. Trescothick appeared to survive a tough caught and bowled chance to Adam Lyth on 42, but went on to a 78-ball half-century, including 10 fours.
The former England opener was particularly severe on anything pitched wide and was given solid support by Rogers as they took the score to 110 for one from 34 overs at lunch.
After the interval Rogers moved to his half-century, off 108 deliveries, with 7 fours, and the two former Test players had taken the score to 178 when Rashid struck in his first over.
Trescothick was tempted into a big drive by a full ball and the leg-spinner took a sharp return catch with the batsman three short of what would have been a 61st First Class century. He had faced 151 balls and hit 17 fours.
At tea the scoreboard read 235 for two.
Rogers looked set for three-figures when he became Rashid’s second victim with the score on 247. The Australian edged a catch through to wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd, having hit nine boundaries in his 183-ball innings. At 247 for three, Yorkshire may have sensed an opening. However, the door was shut by Hildreth and Allenby.
Hildreth reached a fluent fifty from 75 balls, with 6 fours, and Allenby notched the fourth half-century of the day from 72 deliveries, having hit a six over mid-wicket off Rashid and 4 fours.
The former Glamorgan all-rounder was moving towards his best Somerset score of 64 when he was snapped up at cover by Gary Ballance off Will Rhodes with the total on 332.
Following the days play Marcus Trescothick said: “I had a bit of luck with a couple of dropped catches but I will take that when you compare it to what it was like last week and playing on tougher pitches. It’s been a pretty good day all in all after being stuck into bat first, and to come off there four down with 342 on the board, we are very please with where we are.”
Having scored two Championship centuries already this season, is there anything he puts his early season form down to? “I think it would be easy to say it was giving the captaincy away,” he said. “That would be the obvious thing for people to say, but I still remain determined in what I am trying to do. When you’re not captain you have more time to prepare your own game and concentrate on what you need to do, rather than thinking about lots of other things. “Nowadays I concentrate solely on what I have to do which feels nice to me, because I can relax.”
What would Somerset have done if there had been a toss? “I presume we were going to bat,” said Marcus. “It looked like a pretty good pitch, although there was a little bit of live grass on it, but with the sun being out it would have been a bat first decision.”
Tres went on: “I think we are relatively pleased with what we have done and to get ourselves four down with 342 on the board is great. We have put ourselves in a good position and there is more time tomorrow for someone to go on and get a big score.”