Patience is its own reward for Bicknell

Somerset 399 Nottinghamshire 266-4

Darren Bicknell is a patient man, as Somerset found out at first hand yesterday. They were compelled to watch the Nottinghamshire opener compile his first century for 21 months, and the 40th of his first-class career in this County Championship Second Division match.

Darren Bicknell is a patient man, as Somerset found out at first hand yesterday. They were compelled to watch the Nottinghamshire opener compile his first century for 21 months, and the 40th of his first-class career in this County Championship Second Division match.

It wrested what little initiative Somerset had gleaned in their first innings, which had seen them fall a tantalising one run short of maximum batting bonus points for only the second time this summer.

After, the Somerset bowlers seemed unable to hit the line and length that would have committed the Nottinghamshire batsmen to a stroke. All too often Bicknell and his team-mates were able to eschew attempting contact with the ball.

But when contact was established, certainly in Bicknell's case, it was generally fairly conclusive, the ball being creamed to the cover boundary or driven off front and back foot by the left-hander.

He pulled one ball from Simon Francis over the stand on to the neighbouring Bath rugby pitch for six during his second wicket stand of 159 with Anurag Singh, who passed fifty for the second time in what was only his third innings on this ground.

The departure of Singh brought Russell Warren to the crease and Nottinghamshire lookedsecure as the close approached, until Ian Blackwell knocked back Warren's off-stump with an arm ball and Andy Caddick removed night watchman Ryan Sidebottom.

But Bicknell remained there unmoved, having helped Nottinghamshire to within 133 runs of their opponents' first innings score. Somerset's day got off to a poor start with the loss of Blackwell. They then lost their way completely and Paul Franks finished with 7 for 72.

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