Northamptonshire kept Somerset in check with the ball on the opening day of the contest in Taunton.

After winning the toss and electing to bat it was Northamptonshire’s bowlers who took the honours in the first hour, albeit without scoreboard reward for their efforts.

Ben Sanderson and Jack White continually beat the bat without finding the edge as Somerset crawled their way to to 49 in the 25th over before the opening breakthrough came. Gay accepting an edge from Imam off White. The Pakistan Test opener departed for 25, off 69 deliveries. 

It was 55 for one off 30 overs at lunch, Lammonby having moved to 23 with Ben Sanderson recording eight maidens in his ten overs. He eventually added a deserved wicket to his figures when an acrobatic Emilio Gay picked up his second catch of the innings at slip.

Abell and Bartlett built steadily from 72 for two, adding 91 before tea, which was taken with the Somerset captain having reached a 99-ball half-century. 

By then there was little assistance from the pitch for the Northamptonshire attack, who kept a grip on the scoring rate without often the reward of a breakthrough. 

The final session saw Bartlett go to fifty off 111 balls, with 6 fours, shortly after the century stand had been brought up. Bartlett, who spent much of the season in the second XI following an early shoulder injury, slogged a six over wide long-on off Rob Keogh before falling two balls later. 

Pushing forward defensively, he edged a catch to Northamptonshire Skipper Will Young, the only slip. The stand with Abell had occupied 39 overs but the scoring rate remained low. 

It was 227 for three when the second new ball was taken, with Abell on 91. He went to a chanceless ton with a three to third-man off Sanderson, having faced 164 balls and hit 13 fours. 

Lewis Goldsworthy had helped add 53 for the fourth wicket when Abell sacrificed his wicket needlessly.  

Having stroked White to deep cover for a comfortable single, he turned for a second run that was never there and when Goldsworthy failed to respond, was easily run out by Zaib’s throw to the bowler’s end. 

Goldsworthy and James Rew shut up shop to see Somerset through to the close.