Somerset slump against revitalised Mahmood

Somerset 268 Lancashire 70-0

There is a suspicion that Lancashire might not have the depth to be competitive all season but there is nothing wrong with their form so far. Having beaten Sussex by an innings in their first match, they fought back to curtail Somerset's ambitions of a substantial total here. What's more, they did so despite the late withdrawal of their captain and talisman, Glen Chapple.

The old warhorse pulled out after feeling a twinge behind a knee, which can happen when you are 37. It was a blow to Lancashire because he had already underlined his continuing importance to their cause with nine wickets in the Sussex win.

When a long absence threatens, you wonder how Lancashire will cope. So it can only be for the betterment of their self-belief that they were able to clip Somerset's wings after last season's triple runners-up reached 129 for 2 at lunch on the opening day.

A half-century from Stephen Moore, who had a life on 13 when he edged Charl Willoughby hard and second slip appeared to take evasive action, helped Lancashire to 70 without loss in reply.

Marcus Trescothick's decision to bat first looked reasonable enough and while he and opening partner Arul Suppiah were early casualties you would not have bet against Nick Compton and James Hildreth turning their morning half-centuries into a position of strength in the afternoon.

But, spurred on when Hildreth stumbled out of his ground and allowed Gareth Cross a gift stumping four balls after the first interval, Lancashire battled back to take six wickets in the second session and did not let Somerset off the hook after tea.

It might be pointed out that the visitors' confidence could be a little suspect, given their calamitous opening defeat against Warwickshire. But that would be doing Lancashire's bowlers a disservice. The pick was undoubtedly Saj Mahmood, whose inconsistent career has brought frustration for his admirers but can challenge the best opponents when everything clicks. The bounce was perfect for his length and was a factor in seeing off both openers with the help of busy wicketkeeper Cross, much as Suppiah was clearly furious at the manner of his dismissal after he was adjudged to have gloved a catch down the leg side.

Gary Keedy, still the cleverest left-arm spinner on the circuit, did his bit, limiting Craig Kieswetter to 53 by luring the Somerset wicketkeeper into an injudicious charge, while the all-rounder Tom Smith bowled with control and Oliver Newby, who had struggled in the morning, returned to have Compton caught at backward point.

The unluckiest bowler was the Sri Lankan, Farveez Maharoof, Lancashire's newest overseas player, who made his debut in place of Chapple, asked questions in most of his 11 overs but was wicketless, although he did take a fine catch, running backwards, to give Newby his second wicket.

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace