A third first-class half century from James Sales lifted Northamptonshire to a first batting point of the season with the match well poised heading into Day 3.

Play started at 11.30am following heavy showers and it was Gregory who made the first breakthrough with the score on 164 when Rob Keogh, on 19, fell LBW looking to on-drive a fullish delivery.

Sales looked fluent throughout the morning but lost his fellow Overstone CC partner Harry Gouldstone when he was strangled off a glove down the legside. Sales and Tom Taylor added 46 for the seventh wicket, Taylor pulling fours off successive deliveries from Overton. But on 28 he drove hard at Leach and picked out the man at deep mid off.

It was 232 for six at lunch, with Sales unbeaten on 44. He reached a valuable 96-ball half-century, but began to run out of partners as Jordan Buckingham advanced down the pitch to Leach and was narrowly stumped by Rew.

A Sales single off Siddle took his side to 250 and that elusive batting point, but five runs later Ben Sanderson was bowled by a quicker ball from Leach. Sales looked to go on the offensive but ultimately was last to depart for 57.

Following a rain-break at eight for no wicket in their reply, the home side’s top order frailty was evident again as Tom Lammonby was trapped on the crease and fell LBW to White for five.

Sean Dickson’s Somerset struggles continued when, having reached 17, he drove at a wide ball from Sanderson and was caught behind. It left the former Durham opener with an average of 7.85 in seven innings for his new county.

Abell walked to the crease with his side 25 for two. He helped Bancroft take the score to 61, but then drove at Buckingham and edged a sharp catch to Vasconcelos at first slip, giving the young Australian seamer his first Northamptonshire wicket on debut.

Kohler-Cadmore, also short of runs at the start of his Somerset career, nervously flashed at Buckingham’s next delivery, well wide of off stump, and was relieved to see the ball fly over the slips for four. It was the first of a handful of lucky moments as things seemed to fall his way in exchange for his attacking intent.

Bancroft had looked uncomfortable for much of the afternoon and eventually fell when White found a thick edge and wicketkeeper Gouldstone took a low diving catch.

Undeterred, Kohler-Cadmore remained in one-day mode and reached fifty off 37 balls, with 11 fours. James Rew will no doubt consider himself fortunate to have survived a particularly convincing LBW appeal early in his innings, but he survived to the close, Somerset 199/4 at stumps still trailing by 56.