Published: 17th May, 2019
Lewis Gregory’s second Specsavers County Championship century gave Somerset the upper hand on the third day of the match with Surrey at Taunton, as Rory Burns side ended the day on 152/5.
The 26-year-old all-rounder made an unbeaten 129, from 153 balls, with 10 fours and 5 sixes, as his side were bowled out for 398, from an overnight 243 for five
That gave Somerset a first innings lead of 18 and Gregory was soon in the thick of the action again, claiming two wickets as Surrey, without illness victim Dean Elgar, struggled to 152 for five at the close.
The hosts were also without seamer Jack Brooks, sidelined by a calf problem. First innings centurion Rory Burns again held Surrey together with 78 to guide them from a perilous 43 for three just before tea.
The day began with Somerset trailing by 137. Steve Davies had added only four to his overnight score of 54 when falling lbw to Gareth Batty, but Gregory, who started the morning on 18, moved confidently to his half-century off 69 balls, with 6 fours and a six.
Craig Overton contributed 15 to a seventh-wicket stand of 51 before Conor McKee had him caught behind off a glove. The second new ball was taken at 303 for seven and saw Gregory start to cut loose.
It was 353 for seven at lunch, with Gregory on 96 and he went to three figures off 121 balls, with 8 fours and 4 sixes.
Tim Groenewald helped add 64 and Jack Leach a further 32 in stands dominated by Gregory. But Somerset fell short of a fifth batting point when last man Brooks, nursing his calf injury, had his middle stump uprooted by Rikki Clarke.
Surrey fell 19 for two, Mark Stoneman edging Gregory to Marcus Trescothick at second slip and Scott Borthwick falling lbw to Overton.
With Elgar unable to bat, Somerset pressed home their advantage. Leach bowled Patel and at tea the visitors were 49 for three.
That became 94 for four when Gregory continued his memorable day by hurrying a ball through Ben Foakes’ defence to trap him leg before for nine.
Skipper Burns was in defiant mood. Using his feet well to Leach, the left-hander brought up his second fifty of the game off 108 balls, with 6 fours.
Will Jacks helped Burns add 54 before Leach produced another breakthrough.
Burns advanced down the track and was stumped by Davies as the ball beat his outside edge.
Morkel was sent out as nightwatchman to join Jacks, who had shown good temperament in moving to 31, and the pair safely negotiated the last two overs of the day with their side leading by 134.