Pakistan had the better of the proceedings on the second day of the Tourist Match against Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground and by the close they led by 371 runs with six second innings wickets remaining.
Resuming on 324 for five, Younis Khan went to his century with two to fine leg off Paul van Meekeren. In the next over Josh Davey was rewarded when he had Younis Khan well caught at second slip by Tim Rouse for 104.
New batsman Mohammad Amir faced a no ball before the next delivery from Davey had him caught by Alex Barrow which made Pakistan 335 for seven. Van Meekeren claimed his third wicket when he had Sohail Khan caught by Barrow for five with the total on 341. With the first innings being limited to 100 overs, Yasir Shah lofted the final ball from Van Meekeren over the boundary for six as Pakistan ended on 359 for eight.
Van Meekeren ended with three for 78 on his First Class debut, while Davey claimed two for 71 and Tim Groenewald had two for 24.
When Somerset batted Marcus Trescothick cut the second ball of the innings, bowled by the returning Mohammad Amir, to the boundary. However Mohammad Amir got his revenge when he had Trescothick caught by wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed for eight to make Somerset 12 for one. Adam Hose had moved onto 10 when he was bowled by Mohammad Amir which made the hosts 23 for two. Without addition Tim Rouse was caught by Sarfraz Ahmed off Sohail Khan.
Somerset Captain Peter Trego joined James Hildreth and the two remained together until lunch by which time the total had moved onto 56 for three.
In the third over following lunch Mohammad Amir claimed his third wicket when he bowled Trego with an in- swinger that removed the middle stump. New batsman Barrow helped to take the total 79 before he was bowled by Rahat Ali for six. Hildreth saw up the 100 in the 25th over with a boundary off Mohammad Amir, but three runs later Josh Davey was caught by Younis Khan off Rahat Ali for 10. Dom Bess opened his account with a boundary but soon after he was bowled by Yasir Shah with the total on 116 for seven.
Jack Leach was caught by Younis Khan off Sohail Khan for one and three balls later without addition to the score Groenewald was lbw without scoring which made Somerset 123 for nine. Hildreth who batted well was three runs short of his half century when last man van Meekeren was out lbw to Yasir Shah and Somerset were all out for 128. Mohammad Amir ended with three for 36 off 11 overs, while Sohail Khan claimed three for 26 off 10.
Pakistan opted not to enforce the follow on and batting for a second time with a lead of 231 got off to a flying start when Mohammad Hafeez clipped the first delivery of the innings from Davey over fine leg for six. Davey soon got his revenge however when he bowled Mohammad Hafeez for 10 with the total on 11. The Pakistan second wicket partnership added 52 together before Shan Masood was caught by Leach at mid off from the bowling of Groenewald off the last ball of the 19th over.
Leach was introduced into the attack at the River End and claimed two wickets in the space of two overs. Firstly the left arm spinner had the Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq sharply caught at slip by Trescothick for 19 and then claimed the wicket of Sarfraz Ahmed lbw.
Azhar Ali was then joined by Asad Shafiq, and the former continued to flourish and duly went to his 50 with a lofted four. By the close Pakistan had moved onto 140 for four, a lead of 371.
After the close of play James Hildreth said: “Amir bowled really well against us and it has been swinging most of the day. It was about watching the ball and with left armers you usually have to wait a little bit longer for it to come into your pads. My mind set was to wait as long as possible and play the in swinger which he bowls very well. The other guys bowled a few more bad balls that you could capitalise on.”
Talking about the Pakistan attack Hildy said: “It was a pretty good attack and Amir is one of the best left armers I have ever faced and it was good to have that challenge. The other guys gave me the odd bad ball but there were some good ones mixed in with them as well. They also swung it a little bit on a reasonably good wicket.”
Looking ahead to the morning Hildy said: “Looking from where they are if they want their bowlers to have another bowl then they have to declare, but we will be going into tomorrow looking to take these last six wickets. That’s our game plan. Paul van Meekeren has bowled really well for us and it’s exciting to see him come in and do as well as he has and Tim Groenewald has been steady so the guys are doing alright. We are not going to wait for them to declare, we will go into tomorrow looking to bowl them out.”