Somerset 160-3 Yorkshire: Langer quick to set the example in quest for title

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The Independent Online

Justin Langer and Arul Suppiah both made half-centuries to give Somerset, chasing their first ever Championship, the edge over Yorkshire on a gloomy first day of their First Division match. When the second of two afternoon breaks for bad light ended play for the day, Somerset had reached 160 for three in 44 overs after being put into bat.

Yorkshire, who need every point they can muster in order to steer clear of the relegation zone, did not help their cause by fluffing three chances. James Hildreth was dropped twice at third slip in the space of three balls and later survived a missed stumping opportunity.

A wet outfield caused a half-hour delay to the start and Marcus Trescothick was out to the first ball. Matthew Hoggard pitched wide outside off stump and an expansive drive resulted in a catch for wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy.

Langer soon showed himself to be in dashing form and he progressed almost exclusively in boundaries, the majority of them through the covers. He was particularly severe on Gough when he joined the attack and he struck him for five boundaries from six balls, the fourth one taking him to his fifty off 71 deliveries with 12 fours.

But the arrival of leg-spinner Adil Rashid quickly brought about his downfall for 55. Langer aimed a big blow to leg, only to spoon a catch into the waiting hands of Matthew Hoggard at point, to end a stand of 87 in 21 overs for the second wicket.

Zander de Bruyn became Rashid's next victim when he was lbw attempting to sweep before he had scored, and Somerset went in to lunch on 107 for three, Suppiah having carefully negotiated the morning session for 29.

Gough had hurt his left hand when he stopped a return drive from Suppiah and went for a precautionary X-ray during the interval but was able to return to the action later on.

On the resumption, Deon Kruis had Hildreth dropped twice in three balls by Richard Pyrah at third slip.

Bad light brought a 39-minute delay after which Hildreth should have been stumped for 26 when he charged down the pitch at Rashid and failed to connect. Brophy, however, could not hold the ball and Hildreth was able to scramble back into his crease.

Suppiah's patient half-century came off 112 balls and he had made 58 and Hildreth 29 when the light closed in, the fourth-wicket pair having put on an unbroken 69 in 20 overs.

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