Lathwell guides Somerset to win

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire 413 and 197-6 dec

Somerset 351-5 dec and 261-3

Somerset win by seven wickets

Mark Lathwell steered Somerset to victory with his first Championship century of the season after Yorkshire's acting captain, David Byas, set Somerset 260 off a maximum of 58 overs at Taunton yesterday.

After a fine start to the season with three wins out of three, Yorkshire have now lost their last two Championship matches and, on a wicket that was dry and dusty and no more than a slow turner, Byas erred on the side of generosity in his declaration.

Yorkshire struck first with Peter Hartley dismissing Marcus Trescothick for a duck but from then on they struggled. Peter Bowler, who steered Richard Stemp to slip, put on 63 with Lathwell before the opener went on to pepper the boundary with 21 fours as he reached 111 before being caught behind by Richard Blakey off Stemp.

Always more cautious facing spin, Lathwell, who gave Byas a sharp chance at slip off Stemp, finally fell after two-and-three-quarter hours when an ungainly prod looped off the boot of the bat to the running Blakey.

Richard Harden (80no), who shared a third-wicket stand of 145 with Lathwell in just 29 overs, took Somerset to victory with 13 balls to spare.

With their pace bowling attack depleted through injuries, Somerset's first victory owed much to their slow bowlers, especially Mushtaq Ahmed, their tireless leg-spinner. He bowled 81 overs in the match, taking 9 for 212.