Career best scores from Peter Trego and Ryan Davies helped to put Somerset in charge on day two of this Specsavers County Championship at Emirates Old Trafford.
The record partnership meant that Lancashire’s batsmen ended the day facing a tough battle to avoid the follow-on.
Replying to the visitors’ 553 for eight declared, Steven Croft’s batsmen had reached 138 for 2 at stumps. However, they have already lost their youthful openers. Haseeb Hameed was caught behind by Davies off Tim Groenewald when he had made 56 and Rob Jones was very smartly run out for 34 by the same bowler.
At the close Alviro Petersen was undefeated on 25 and Liam Livingstone was 20 not out, but the follow-on target of 404 was still very distant and Lancashire’s players may already be eyeing Saturday’s dismal weather forecast with relief.
Earlier in the day Somerset’s eighth-wicket pair, Trego and Davies, completely dominated the morning’s play by adding 146 runs in 31 overs to leave their side on 485-7 at lunch.
Trego was undefeated on 121 having reached his second century of the season off 101 balls and having hit 16 fours; Davies was 74 not out, a career-best score, and his stand with Trego was worth 198 at lunch, an eighth-wicket record between the two counties which eclipsed the 163 added by Jeremy Lloyds and Martin Crowe at Bath in 1984.
Lancashire’s bowlers suffered a little ill luck early in the session but they were gradually mastered by the Somerset batsmen. In the afternoon Trego finished on a career-best 154 not out and had put on 236 with Davies before the Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman played on to Tom Bailey for 86. By then, however, his stand with Trego represented an eighth-wicket record for the county, beating the 217 put on by Roelof van der Merwe and Craig Overton against Hampshire in Somerset’s previous Championship match. Bailey finished with 5-111 and he was the only Lancashire bowler to take a wicket on the second day.
One of Lancashire’s youngest opening partnerships in recent seasons then made solid progress before Hameed nibbled at a good ball from Groenewald and Jones, having played a straight drive, was run out by a lightning fast pick up and throw from the bowler.
After the close of play Trego, who also reached 9000 first-class career runs today, said: “It was remarkable to break the record on the back of a 20-year-old eighth-wicket record being broken against Hampshire only four or five days ago. It was great to see how Ryan’s developed. He played a really mature innings and was a good foil for myself. We had a really good time out there.”
“If you could bottle the way I felt on Wednesday evening, you’d get a lot of runs. I didn’t go out there trying to chase boundaries, I just tried to watch the ball. I don’t think those shots were rash, I just played really nicely. I was pleased that my batting game has come together and I certainly feel that there is a lot more to come.
“I’ve left it a little late in my career but there’s a lot more to come. I’m still fit enough to score a lot more runs for Somerset and that’s certainly what I have ambitions to do.”